Review: XCHC cafe, Christchurch

The chicken deluxe sandwich is packed with veges.
Christina Kuntz

The chicken deluxe sandwich is packed with veges.

A taste of… XCHC cafe, 376 Wilsons Rd, Waltham, Christchurch.

We'd heard… This tucked-away cafe was a cool spot with great coffee.

We started with… A delicious double date and cinnamon scone ($4.50) and Americano coffees ($3.80 each). There's no menu - just cabinet food offerings that change from day to day as they're based on locally-sourced ingredients. This day's offerings included plenty of sandwiches, tarts and pastries for brunch/lunch.

I settled on the chicken deluxe sandwich ($16), while my friend chose the bacon toasted sandwich ($14.50). After ordering and paying at the counter, we took a few minutes to check out the place, which also houses a creative workspace.

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You can't go wrong with a good bacon sandwich.
Christina Kuntz

You can't go wrong with a good bacon sandwich.

A server soon tracked us down to apologise for being out of decaf, which is what I had ordered. A chai latte was my backup drink, and it ended up being the better choice. Piping hot, spicy and not too sweet, it was the perfect match for the warm and tasty scone, which was served with a healthy dollop of butter.

The sandwiches arrived shortly after. Both were a substantial size and packed with salad and roasted veges, with chipotle mayo on the side. The chicken sandwich was pleasant enough - the bread was fresh, and the chipotle added a much-needed kick. But I actually preferred my friend's bacon sandwich, which was dripping with melted cheese and mayo. He liked the chicken one better, so we switched halfway through - win-win.

The service was… Super friendly. Every server we encountered was chatty and helpful, and there wasn't much of a wait for our food and drinks.

The industrial chic decor gives the cafe a cool vibe.
Christina Kuntz

The industrial chic decor gives the cafe a cool vibe.

The vibe was...  Hip but laidback. The decor is "industrial chic" with homey touches such as retro dishes and fresh flowers on the tables. It seems like a good spot for work meetings or to just catch up on emails while enjoying some good coffee.

If you go…  You can't go wrong with the double date cinnamon scone and chai latte.

But try to avoid... Getting too hung up on menus. It's kind of nice not knowing what you're going to get that day.

Rating out of 5: 4

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