After a sporty Saturday morning our tummies are rumbling. We're in the area and Katie has heard good things about Urban Soul so we stop by.
It's busy inside but we spot a table down the back and make a beeline. The space is light and airy with white walls, modern furniture and a sheltered outdoor area.
Food can be ordered from the generous breakfast/lunch menu or from the cabinet, which is full to the brim today with a mix of sweet and savoury offerings. Some of the more unexpected dishes available include scallop and bacon skewers, the Mexican breakfast and the brandy cream and bacon livers.
We watch waitstaff deliver plates piled high with food to other tables and start salivating. Our coffees come first but it's not a long wait before the main attractions arrive.
Katie has ordered the homemade French potato cake which comes with wilted spinach, poached eggs and hollandaise. These components have potential to look messy and unappealing on a plate but we all get an onset of food envy after admiring her meal. It is stacked high and looks delicious. She has opted for the side of bacon for an extra $4 but it's a bountiful helping. I sneak a taste and it's delicious - heavy on the potatoes which are crispy and the meal doesn't taste gluggy, like some potato cakes I've had.
Ryan has the beer battered fish with fries, salad and tartare. It arrives in a wooden dish lined with newsprint baking paper, which is a nice touch. The fish and chips are both very crispy and the salad comes in its own bowl with some dressing on the side.
I had spotted some enticing options in the cabinet when we walked in so go for the lamb on Turkish bread. It is tasty and there's plenty of lamb filling the sandwich along with some greens, capsicum and dressing, but I should have ordered a side because this dish is much smaller than the others' (although that's reflected in the price, too).
The waitstaff here are impressive. About three different people deal with us over lunch and they are all friendly and courteous.
On the way out we can't resist grabbing something sweet. Old-fashioned cheesecake, chocolate cake and brownies all beckon us but in the end a chocolate coconut rough and lemon loaf wins.
WHERE: 652 Great South Rd, Manukau, ph 09 262 2435, urbansoul.co.nz.
WHEN: Monday to Thursday, 7am-4.30pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am-4pm; Friday, 7am-late.
WHAT'S TO EAT: Breakfast and lunch staples, an enticing array of cabinet food and unique dishes.
HOW MUCH: $58.30 for three mains and three coffees.
WHAT DO WE THINK: We're planning our next meal.
- Sunday Star Times