Golden, fluffy pillows, covered with fruit and served with bacon and cream, waffles are a satisfying year-round treat.
Matcha buckwheat waffles from Hello Sunday
6 Elgin St, Sydenham
Hello Sunday's waffles have the X-factor; patrons at tables either side of us stopped eating and commented when our plates arrived.
Two large square waffles were served with a generous smear of rhubarb and berry coulis, a wedge of tamarillo, slices of kiwifruit and feijoa, coconut shards, delicate flowers and a hefty scoop of chocolate fudge icecream.
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The waffles were delicious – soft on the inside, crisp on the outside, and with just the right amount of sweetness and flavour. The fruits worked beautifully together and didn't overpower the waffles. The icecream, while not entirely needed, did lift the decadence level a notch.
Golden buttermilk waffles with grilled banana and bacon from Luciano Espresso Bar
76 Moorhouse Ave, central Christchurch
From two options on the menu, we chose the traditional grilled banana, bacon and whipped cream waffle over the southern-style fried chicken version. The waffle was indeed golden, soft and pillowy. The streaky bacon and grilled banana were a near-perfect combination and, thankfully, the maple syrup arrived separately.
The sweet tooth poured it on generously and enjoyed it melding with the whipped cream. The savoury lover avoided both syrup and cream, with the banana providing enough sweetness and the bacon enough grunt. One dish, two experiences; both filling and feel-good.
Waffles with bacon, banana, berries and syrup from No 4
4 Mansfield Ave, Merivale
The waffles with bananas, blueberries and maple syrup on No 4's weekend brunch menu sounded substantial, but we couldn't resist the suggested addition of bacon.
The waffles here are hefty – four large fat segments were piled up with grilled banana, a scattering of blueberries and strawberries, maple syrup and a quenelle of whipped cream. A separate cast-iron skillet was brought over with a mound of bacon.
The waffles were light and fluffy and, despite all the fruit, syrup and cream, they were not overly sweet. The bacon added a salty, savoury contrast, balancing the dish. Expect no frills in terms of presentation – it's just a plain, good waffle that's delicious.
Lemon multi-seed waffles from Table at Monks
282 Madras St, central Christchurch
On a menu dominated by savoury options, this sweet brunch dish stood out. Table at Monks certainly doesn't skimp on toppings – in fact, our waffle couldn't be seen under the mountain of berries, coulis, kiwifruit, grapes, apple, yoghurt, almonds and maple syrup. There was a lot going on with this dish.
The berries and coulis, in particular, made it sweet to the point of sickly, and any hint of lemon was drowned out. The texture of the waffles – light and crispy – was perfect, and the roasted apple added a welcome tartness, but the other toppings could be pared back.
Waffles with poached berries and creme fraiche from Strawberry Fare
15 Bealey Ave, central Christchurch
If you're looking for a fruit-laden waffle to blow your mind on a Sunday morning, this is not it. My waffle appeared a bit mediocre when it arrived at my table, but after the first bite, I appreciated Strawberry Fare's focus on simple, classic flavours.
The waffle was perfect – soft and light with crisp edges – while the poached raspberries retained that magical balance between sweet and sour that is so appealing. The creme fraiche was delicious, but a more generous dollop would have been appreciated.
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