Little 107 is possibly one of those cafes you've passed by a number of times while on your way to your usual Ponsonby Rd brunch stop. I've been guilty of the same thing on numerous occasions but it's time to try something new.
Outside the cafe's floor to ceiling front windows sit colourful tables and chairs but the sun hasn't reached this side of the street yet so Boyfriend and I claim a spot at the large communal table inside. The table is scattered with glossy magazines and newspapers, there's a large vase of fresh flowers and behind us is a gas heater, with the name "Hotimus Prime" scrawled in chalk on its front.
A waiter swiftly offers us clipboard menus and Ti Tonics complimentary water. The breakfast offerings are varied – creamy oat porridge with manuka honey; homemade crumpets with apple and syrup; buttermilk and cream cheese pancakes with lemon curd; open omelettes; and zucchini fritters all catch my eye. Instead, I order from the lunch menu – the sauteed squid and spicy chorizo, Spanish roasted potatoes, with salad and toast is too tempting to resist.
Boyfriend's mocha, with Cafe L'Affare coffee, is rich and creamy and his open omelette with leg ham, tomato and mushroom is excellent. He orders a side of bacon and gets a generous and moreish crisply cooked serving. Pesto and fresh basil leaves add an extra delicious element. He is happy; I have food envy.
The presentation of my dish could do with more attention to detail – the different elements are competing rather than working together. There are two different types of chorizo mixed with the sauteed squid – one is rich, spicy and firm, the other is slightly greasy and not as flavoursome. The potatoes are in a creamy sauce and while very tasty, I'm not quite sure how they could be described as Spanish. Some more paprika would definitely help. The squid is well cooked, however, and the meal is very satisfying.
My English breakfast tea, unlike at a lot of cafes these days, is served in a large pot with loose tea leaves. I get at least three cups from the pot, without having to ask for extra water or milk.
We each choose to take away one of the cakes displayed temptingly on the counter – ginger loaf and Louise slice. We eat them later with yet another cup of tea and this time he has food envy – the loaf is moist and full of large chunks of crystallised ginger.
This is one little cafe that leaves a big impression.
WHERE: 107 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland, ph 09 378 1592.
WHEN: Tuesday to Friday, 7.30am-4pm; Saturday to Sunday, 8am-4.30pm.
WHAT'S TO EAT: An excellent selection of well-crafted meals, with many home-made and organic ingredients.
HOW MUCH: $57.40 for two brunches, one pot of tea, one mocha, and two takeaway cakes.
WHAT DO WE THINK: Giving Ponsonby's old classics a run for their money.
- Sunday Star Times