I'm dubious about stopping at Buns for brunch but Boyfriend assures me he has been here before and it's really good. "Everything is made fresh on site," he tells me, and says the coffee is good too. From the outside, it doesn't look like much. It's on High St, in a strip of cafes, and the outside tables have a less than desirable outlook of the road. But the chalkboard offers a Saturday special offer of $2 coffees with any menu item, and there is a decent selection to choose from.
Inside, the cabinet food does look fresh and inviting. There are lots of vegetarian options too, something not many cafes seem to cater for at breakfast time.
We take a table outside and order from our friendly waitress. She comes back to deliver our Vittoria coffees – carrying one over at a time – but after one sip I realise mine has been made with regular milk, not the requested soy. I take it back inside and she replaces it free of charge with no fuss. Second time round, my coffee tastes great and Boyfriend is happy with his mocha.
I order the spinach and parmesan potato cakes with mushrooms and am impressed with the presentation when they arrive. The cakes are thick and look like they could be stodgy but they taste light and fluffy with a lovely, strong but not overpowering flavour of parmesan. The cakes are sitting on a bed of wilted spinach, topped with poached eggs and cooked mushrooms drizzled with buttery hollandaise. It's really satisfying.
Boyfriend originally wanted the steak sandwich, but the waitress informs him there is no steak today and, correctly guessing his carnivore tastes, steers him toward the five burgers on the lunch menu. He goes for the barbecue beef burger, served with cheese, bacon, salad, fries and aioli. The fries are OK and the aioli isn't great but the burger is thick and hearty with a good barbecue tang to the minced beef. "It's all made fresh here, you know," he reiterates.
The other drawcard for Buns is the reasonable pricing. Portion sizes are large but prices are not, compared to other cafes in the area. Boyfriend's meal costs $14.80 and mine is $14.50. And don't forget those $2 coffees (soy milk is still 50c extra though).
Appearances aren't everything and if you're in the city looking for a good-quality, well-priced breakfast or lunch, you'd be wise to park your buns at Buns.
WHERE: 60 High St, Auckland, ph: (09) 3796939.
WHEN: Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 5pm; Saturday, 8.30am-3pm.
WHAT'S TO EAT: All-day breakfasts, burgers and a good array of fresh cabinet food.
HOW MUCH: $33.80 for two coffees (special price on a Saturday) and two main meals.
WHAT DO WE THINK: Great prices and excellent vegetarian selection.
- Sunday Star Times