Cafe review: Emperor's New Clothes
The Emperor's New Clothes is perched on the side of the Port Hills on a busy road.
The quaint wee block of shops sharing the space lends a welcoming atmosphere before you even walk under the verandah and step inside.
EMP has been around a while, and is clearly a favourite for those industrious weekend warriors tramping the sidewalks and walking their dogs. The staff seem to know most people, and what they order - this is what makes a great local.
It's a lovely sunny morning but it's pretty cold outside. Unfortunately for EMP, the cafe is positioned on the cold side of the road and the outdoor area isn't getting any sun in the late morning.
Lured out by the good weather, we try outside first but we just can't hack it, and move inside. Perhaps the cafe could provide some blankets or pop a couple of gas heaters out there?
Inside, EMP is compact - a couple of tables and a window breakfast bar. The lights are upside-down coffee cups, and the feel is faded-glam retro.
Coffees are first up, and are nicely done flat whites. It's definitely a good start.
For breakfast we're giving some traditional favourites a go - eggs benny ($15.50) and porridge ($10.50). Porridge is becoming a very trendy winter option and is a great way to fuel up for that hill walk. It arrives creamy and smooth with puring cream and poached fruit. It's hearty, well- executed and not stodgy. I can't finish the bowl but wish I could.
The eggs benny is the best I have seen in a while. The delicious, zesty yellow hollandaise is just the right thickness and drips off some perfectly cooked eggs. A nice dusting of cracked pepper adds to the flavour. The bacon is nicely crispy but not overdone, and some gorgeous wholegrain bread wedges make for a well-rounded meal.
The service while we are there is pleasant but a little distracted. The food takes a little while to come out, but it's good so we're prepared to forgive.
EMP is a cute little classic and an integral part of the hills. We will probably be back soon to try some of the yummy-looking cabinet food.
WHERE: 95 Dyers Pass Rd, Christchurch.
WHEN: Mon, 8am-4pm; Tues to Sun, 8am-5pm.
HOW MUCH: $52.10 for two coffees, two cold drinks and two breakfasts.
WHAT WE THINK: Good effort.
Sunday Star Times