The last time I was at Occam I was too young to appreciate coffee and hot chips were my favourite food. Today I return with an established caffeine addiction and, thankfully, much broader tastebuds.
We walk in for a late lunch on a drizzly afternoon and there's plenty of seating available. After a glance at the huge specials blackboard, we head down to the back wall near the bar. There are plenty of tables and outdoor seating areas (where a few groups are braving the weather) but Occam still maintains its intimate vibe. The fireplace in the middle of the cafe must make the place popular for cosy nights when the bar opens late.
A friendly waiter brings us glasses of water and menus to peruse. Options seem standard but reliable: bagels; vanilla porridge; ricotta and berry pancakes; and typical eggy breakfast dishes.
We begin with Allpress coffee orders followed by the Occam big brekkie and the French toast (you can order this either with a French stick or brioche - I go for the latter).
The well-made coffee arrives and it hits the spot. Our food follows not long after. The big brekkie has many stars of the show: juicy chorizo, grilled tomato, a pair of eggs, crispy hashbrowns, mushroom and toast. This is wolfed down and the chorizo gets a special mention. It sounds so good I have to try it. There's a good spice to it and it lifts the dish.
The French toast is very nice - not soggy or gluggy from all the syrup. It comes with bacon strips, a grilled banana, berry compote and maple syrup with pieces of apple, orange, pineapple and grapes on the side. The fruit goes nicely with the dish.
The serving sizes are generous but we finish the mains without feeling completely full to the brim. There's still room for dessert. There are a few sweet options in the cabinet so we choose a piece of brownie to take home. It has a slight crunch to it which I like but I do prefer brownies a bit moister.
Occam is a good cafe option in Grey Lynn. It hits all the right spots with friendly, swift service and tasty food.
WHERE: 135 Williamson Ave, Grey Lynn, Auckland, ph 09 378 0604, occamcafe.co.nz.
WHEN: Monday to Tuesday, 7am-5pm; Wednesday to Saturday, 7am-10pm; Sunday, 8am-5pm.
WHAT'S TO EAT: Good staple dishes and a long list of specials.
HOW MUCH: $48.50 for two brunches, two coffees and a brownie.
WHAT DO WE THINK: A reliable choice.
Sunday Star Times