|Name||Go Bang Espresso|
Cafe: Perennial Petone favourite Go Bang is always humming, and this sunny morning is no different, as I usher the wee ones to the rear. One of the first cafes on the block, it has resolutely stood the test of time as others nearby have changed owners, closed, re-opened or moved on.
Small but cosy, with a box of toys and decent highchairs, the decor is funky yet comfy - dark yet cosy - with framed dusky maidens on the wall, a woven ceiling, brick walls and timber lampshades.
The tight space is cleverly broken up with artful partitioning, creating private spaces and booths.
I am quite excited to be reviewing Go Bang, because I have long desired to try its huevos rancheros - a gorgeous-sounding melange of corn chips, eggs and jalapenos.
Being school holidays, I have a toddler and 5-year-old in tow, which is great, because they can taste-test the kids' menu - consisting of Coco Pops, baked beans on toast, boiled egg and other nice and cheap favourites.
Alas no, little Miss Fussy is not satisfied with this selection, settling on an adult-sized portion of Belgian waffles with bacon, bananas and maple syrup (or poached fruit and cream).
After umming over the delicious- sounding balsamic mushrooms ($16) or haloumi with poached eggs and garlic yoghurt and chilli butter ($16), my foodie friend Gaby quickly hones in on the "signature dish", Go Bang's hash cakes and eggs, served with salmon, bacon or mushrooms.
Meanwhile I excitedly order my Mexican-style eggs, with home-made beans, poached eggs, cheese, guacamole and jalapenos on tortillas ($15.50).
The bagel selection also tempts, with unusual toppings such as haloumi and smashed peas, parmesan, mint and lemon.
The huevos do not disappoint - the guacamole is piquant, sour and salty, complementing the rest perfectly.
I would prefer the sweetish haricot beans in tomato sauce spicier, and perhaps some sour cream would have been good, but they are pretty awesome.
Ditto the hash cakes - large, round flying saucers with a trace of spice and sweetness - wasabi and kumara, perhaps? - with perfectly poached free-range eggs draped on top. The only criticism is that the serving is "huge" and too much for my friend.
The waffles are very generous also, but slightly too dense, rather than light, golden and fluffy.
Coffee is excellent; strong and hot, "with just the right amount of bitter", according to Gaby. I concur. We are happy to see the eggs are free-range and the milk organic.
We are too full to even attempt afters, despite a tempting array of treats such as ginger and rhubarb friands, passionfruit cheesecake and the ridiculously big "Granny's gluten- free chocolate cake".
Upon leaving, the hash cake's secret ingredient is revealed by the cashier - simply sweet chilli sauce!
Go Bang staff are totally professional, calm and cheerful, despite an abundance of noisy children (mine) who have tipped toys across the floor, and skilfully weave their way among the debris.
After all this time on cafe-dense Jackson St, these old hands know what they're doing.
Go Bang Espresso
182 Jackson St, Petone
Phone: 939 0070
Hours: 7.30am to 4.30pm weekdays; 7.30 to 5.30 weekends
Coffee: Ripe: rich, hot and strong 5/5
Mags: A pile of Domposts
Music: Unobtrusive, mellow, poppy
Clientele: Diverse, local workers, mums and bubs, ladies who lunch
Try this: Grilled in-house hash cakes with spinach, free-range eggs, hollandaise and salmon or bacon or mushrooms. Signature dish. $16/$17
- © Fairfax NZ News