Review: Hummingbird

23:18, Feb 15 2014
HUMMINGBIRD: The cafe has a great design and a surprisingly large capacity.

Hummingbird is a big, well- known Christchurch coffee brand with a cafe in Sydenham and a container cafe in Re:Start Mall, started after the earthquakes.

The container cafe is not only a great design, it has a surprisingly large capacity. While the wind- tunnel created by Cashel St makes the outdoor seating a bit cold sometimes, the indoor space is well-organised and sheltered from the elements.

Staff make an art out of working in a small space and despite at least half a dozen people being behind the counter/coffee machine/kitchen area, it seems to work. There are cheerful smiles all around and service is personable from the get-go.

The immediate appeal of Hummingbird is in the cabinet food. It is polished, but with a rustic flair and simplicity and is stacked full on a Saturday morning. The coffee arrives first and only after a short wait - a good effort, considering the number of customers. It is smooth and strong, and well-executed - as you would expect from a brand like Hummingbird.

A well-stocked sugar bowl per table would be helpful to avoid the hunt falling to the customer.

The mushrooms on toast with thyme is the special of the day and the smell of cooking from the kitchen reinforces the idea it would be a good choice.


It arrives glistening with butter and plenty of fresh thyme. The mushrooms are cooked without being soggy and retain a little bite to keep the texture interesting. It is beautifully plated and a generous serving size.

A pity it arrives with white bread rather than the requested wholegrain, but not a major problem.

The big breakfast is a real treat. It comes with chunky white toast, two perfectly cooked poached eggs, sausage, bacon, tomato, mushrooms and potato hash.

It certainly fits the "big breakfast" description and a little pat of butter on the side is a nice touch.

The tomatoes are sliced and roasted and well-seasoned. A little more texture could be kept by using halves, which don't cook so quickly. The mushrooms are firm and tasty and the sausage, while a little wrinkly, is nicely spiced. The bacon is crisp and a nice serving size for the meal.

Overall, Hummingbird serves a nice breakfast with evidence of a real passion for serving good quality food at reasonable prices.


Where: Re: Start Mall, Cashel St

Ph 03 941 2141

When: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday, 9am - 5pm

Cost:$57.30 including drinks

Upside: cabinet food

Downside: Lack of stocked sugar bowls

Sunday Star Times