Time out: Casalinga Espresso

20:32, Nov 13 2012
Time out

Angela Cuming gives her verdict on Waikato's cafe scene

CASALINGA ESPRESSO 737 Grey St, Hamilton East.

The Irishman is fond of sending photo messages via his smartphone - almost entirely of the cat and her daily exploits - so when an image of a chocolate fish atop a takeaway coffee landed it piqued my cafe interest.

He had been charmed by the sweetly added touch to his flat white from Casalinga Espresso and urged I discover its delights for myself.

So leaving he and the cat at home one sunny Thursday morning I called in and was immediately taken by what I saw.

Much of the cafe is within a carefully and lovingly restored 1920s heritage building, and the wood features, high ceilings and ornate light fittings give it a feel of a glorious old church.


I took a seat in the back courtyard, a wonderful whitewashed space that has a Mediterranean feel perfectly suited to sunny days.

I ordered a chilli hot chocolate and sat admiring the cafe's potted herb garden and dog-friendly policy, highlighted when a staff member brought a fresh bowl of water to a table occupied by a gorgeous little terrier and his owner.

My drink was lovely. It came with a chocolate fish, and the chilli and chocolate combination worked a treat. It made me quite thirsty, though, but I was able to pour a glass of cool water from a jug filled with mint leaves and wedges of lemon. A perfect touch.

The relaxing nature of this cafe is matched by its cheerful and witty staff. I had often walked hurriedly pass this cafe on the way to or from somewhere and would wonder what it was like inside. I shall be back.