With my cousin kindly offering to baby-sit we were initially planning to tick off one of the restaurants on our “must-try” list. Friday found Papa M coming down with the cold CJ and I had earlier in the week so we decided to head somewhere a little closer to home for our lunch date. We tootled off to the Clevedon Cafe, a wee treasure tucked away from the hustle and bustle of East and South Auckland. Based right in the centre of Clevedon Village (you should be able to see it as you head through the only roundabout), they do brunch, lunch and dinner and on a winter’s day the place can be surprisingly cosy.
Our drink orders were taken promptly, something I’m always grateful for when out for brunch. The restaurant has a really broad wine list but beer and cider availability is not as extensive. This isn’t necessarily an negative, just depends on what you are looking for. Due to the chilly day, sickness (him) and a full-on week (me), coffee was the order of the day and both arrived relatively quickly and were completely satisfactory, albeit nothing to write home about.
Papa M was looking for something to clear his nose so went for the spicy breakfast quesadilla, topped with grilled haloumi and a fried egg. Had he not been trying to decongest himself, he would have gone for the roast pumpkin pearl barley risotto with spinach, goats’ cheese and red pepper and raisin relish. It was a hard choice for me between the cafe smoked salmon and potato salad or the indian spiced lamb wrap but the wrap won out in the end. I was also giving the berry and chocolate brioche fingers the glad eye and would have definitely have picked this if I’d been in the mood for something sweet.
Papa M found the quesadilla quite good – he thought the mince was delicious, with a bit of a tang but not quite as much kick as he had hoped. He found the egg was fried quite well and felt the haloumi was a really nice touch. The serving of lamb in my wrap was quite generous and the whole thing was fairly substantial – I actually did not quite finish! The inclusion of chickpeas definitely help with that satiety factor and the cucumber raita really added to the dish.
Service was attentive and quick without being “in your face”. The restaurant wasn’t overly busy but one would hope that they would manage to maintain that level of service even during peak periods. The price was right too, with two meals and two coffees providing a little change out of $50. While we went without CJ, there were a couple of families also dining in at that time and the layout is relatively family-friendly, with a ramp entrance suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. The Clevedon Cafe gets a thumbs up from the M-team.
Want to make a day of it? Beachlands, Maraetai and Kawakawa Bay beaches are within a twenty minute drive. Wine tasting is available at both John Hill Estate and Vin Alto. The area has a thriving market scene with both farmers’ and craft markets happening every Sunday. For something a little bit different, you can also check out McNicol Homestead Museum: the home of the first settlers in the area, open weekends 1-4pm.
The Clevedon Cafe | 1 North Rd, Clevedon