We visited with no great expectations, in fact we were a little reluctant because of its mixed reviews when the cafe was operating as Rosehip and also because of our last poor run in with Hip Group service and food at Takapuna Beach Cafe. We left Rosie however, so so incredibly satisfied.
With renovation the cafe now sports the familiar clean, modern Hip Group interior. It’s well placed just across from the Parnell Rose Gardens so you can take a stroll there whilst you wait for your table to be ready. Citrus Fresh Juice ($7) – orange
Feijoa and apple soda ($4.50) – it seems like if you want soda stick to the guys at Bedford
Harvest Fruits Fresh Juice ($7) – pear and apple
Pulled pork and apple tartine ($18) – our definite favourite. The bread was crispy and the green apple minced on top gave it the extra sweetness and oomph.
Green eggs benedict with smoked fish ($18) – whilst we enjoyed the fish, the dish as a whole didn’t quite steal our hearts.
Short ribs ($24) – a close second. The brussel sprouts were surprisingly tasty. The ribs itself were full of flavour and a little different to the typical sticky sweet affair you find elsewhere.
Passionfruit panna cotta – a divine dessert, dare I say it’s the best we’ve had this year. The passionfruit shells are filled with creamy panna cotta, and paired with a splatter of coconut on the side it was ah-ma-zing. It’s also very affordable at $10 – give me more please. We’d recommend you pay our new friend, Rosie a visit. There is often a wait for tables as she’s small, but the Passionfruit Panna Cotta alone is worth the wait. We can’t get enough.
82 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland.
Sorry we haven’t been checking as regularly in the past week, we have, like many of you been out and enjoying the beautiful sunshine. First off, have you seen our Zomato GIVEAWAY? A $25 restaurant voucher plus a large White’s & Co. froyo is up for grabs! All you have to do is LIKE us on Facebook and ANSWER the question: Which is the first city we visited in the South Island? (Hint: Answer can be found in the Travel tab above) EMAIL us the answer at email@example.com. More details can be found in the Facebook post.
This is not a new opening or a first-time visit, but we think consistency is just as important as first impressions. There have been so many restaurants where we’ve had great experiences on the first go but left disappointed after the second or third try (cough Miss Clawdy, cough Ebisu). Today not only was the weather terrible, but also our meal at Hip Group’s Takapuna Beach Cafe. Having been our favourite spot to go on the Shore we were not too impressed this time round.
We arrived at around 3pm so the menu had changed to the Afternoon set and was a lot more limited. For drinks we had the Vanilla Bean smoothie and the Ice Chocolate. Whilst we had loved the former at The Store before (read here) today it tasted off and had a hint of bitterness in it. I had about 1/4 of the drink, hoping it would get better as I drank, but it did not and I left the rest untouched.
The Fish Burger, previously having been such a glorious dish (read here) was disappointing too. Although there was a generous helping of fish it lacked flavour and the fries were soggy.
The Beetroot salad looked great, but I didn’t enjoy it. The puree was super sweet and the large cubes of feta were too salty.
Service was also not the typical Hip Group standard. Yes we were offered sparkling as we sat down but it never got filled up again, only after I asked twice. No one came around to ask us about our food and the waitress forgot what we ordered. Considering the meal cost a good $60, we’re not too excited to go back anytime soon.
Takapuna Beach Cafe & Store
22 The Promenade, Takapuna, Auckland.
Having awoken late on a lazy weekend, we desperately searched for a decent lunch disguised as an afternoon tea in the city. After having been told pizzas at Merchant of Venice were to take 50 minutes we hurriedly moved on to Britomart (this was at about 2pm, Saturday). Tyler St Garage was pitch black and Ortolana was full, luckily we snatched up a spot in The Store’s dine-in area. Inside, The Store adopts the same honeycomb wooden walls Milse has. Their award-winning ice cream is also available. On the other side of the restaurant is an on-the-go takeout area where they offer gourmet food and coffee. Of course by dining at a Hip Group restaurant we know that service is going to be impeccable.
Boni ordered the Kiwi classic Fish n chips ($21) and a vanilla milkshake ($6.50) whilst I had the Eggs benedict with bacon ($18.50) and a passionfruit frappe ($6.50). As always the simplest dishes are the hardest to make well and the hardest to please and surprise. We found the fish fresh and the chips thick and crispy. The gribiche was super delicious and flavourful, a nice change to the typical aioli. We were a bit surprised to find the dish accompanied with a slice of toast. It was however very tasty, soft and sweet but not particularly necessary. The vanilla milkshake had a nostalgic taste. It was almost as if we were drinking vanilla bean ice cream, straight. The benes came on two burger style buns that were toasted to perfection. It was accompanied with lots of quality bacon and delicious hollandaise sauce. The frappe was refreshing and full of flavour. We highly recommend paying The Store a visit for some hip breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea!
Other Hip Group restaurants that we have visited and blogged: Ortolana, Takapuna Beach Cafe, Milse
The Pavilions at Britomart. 5B Gore Street, Britomart, Auckland.