REVIEW: Catroux Cafe, Auckland
Last month, I embarked on a whirlwind week long trip to Auckland, New Zealand. The main purpose of my trip was to visit my boyfriend, who was spending the month working in Auckland City Hospital. Secretly, though? I was almost as excited about New Zealand’s incredible breakfast offerings as I was to see him. Shh…
We researched the best breakfast spots in Auckland and spent the week making our way through our favourites. Then, on my seventh and last day, we visited Catroux for breakfast. And let’s just say it totally knocked all the other incredible food we’d sampled that week right out of the park. Everything was absolutely heavenly. I mean, I can’t even explain. But I shall try…
Catroux is nestled within the suburb of Westmere, a 10 minute drive from Auckland city centre. It’s a little out of the way since most of Auckland’s trendiest cafes are clustered around the suburb of Ponsonby, but it’s worth the drive nonetheless.
Inside the cafe, the Betty Catroux inspired minimalist theme is evident with simple sleek, white, elegant interiors interspersed with splashes of colour from the fresh flowers and vibrant salads.
The extensive and beautifully crafted menu offers a large variety of sweet and savoury offerings, many of which cater well to those looking for a healthier option, or those with special dietary requirements. At the time of visiting, four of the eleven dishes were gluten free, and one of them dairy free. The ingredient pairings all sounded just beautiful, creative and well thought out. They stem from the sort of imagination you wish you had when you wake up on the weekend and stare at your cupboards wondering what you could possibly make now you have the extra time.
After much agonising and the joint conclusion that it would be socially unacceptable to order every dish on the menu, Andrew and I made the decision to order one sweet and one savoury dish. Compromise. For the sweet, we went for the pumpkin pie pancake with coffee crème diplomat, roasted banana, walnut crumble and maple. It was nothing short of perfect. The pumpkin pie pancake was delicately spiced, with a perfectly moist and springy texture whilst the roasted banana was sweet, melt in your mouth deliciousness enhanced by the caramelised walnuts and not too overpowering flavour of the coffee creme diplomat. With every mouthful we couldn’t help staring over the table at each other with unencumbered, wide eyed glee.
For the savoury, we opted for the green eggs & ham: scrambled eggs, free range ham, smashed peas, emmental, truffle oil & toast. This definitely didn’t disappoint. I might go as far as to say that it’s the best egg based dish I’ve ever eaten out. The scrambled eggs were beautifully seasoned, but the combination of ham and truffle oil took the dish to new heights of deliciousness.
If you so wish, the dishes can be supplemented with a range of extra sides for an additional cost. There’s also a kids menu, which sounds equally yummy and nutritious with offerings such as porridge with banana and coconut sugar or the classic boiled egg and soldiers. There’s even a sandpit at the back of the room for the little ones.
For drinks, we couldn’t resist the yummy sounding superfood smoothies. Andrew got the raw cacao protein with chocolate protein, cacao, almond butter, almond milk and psyllium husk. It was the perfect chocolatey treat- the health factor was just a bonus! I went for the super blue antioxidant with blueberries, acai, coconut water, banana and almond butter. Fruity, tropical and creamy- a yes from me.
We would have loved to try the coffee, but were just so full! I hear they have a great blend however, courtesy of EightThirty coffee. The counter also boasts a delicious range of nutritious, colourful salads with a scattering of yummy treats (some healthier than others) like granola bars, cookies and energy balls.
We couldn’t fault the service. The cafe was bustling with customers on the morning of our visit yet the staff were all very helpful and informed about the menu, and our food arrived in good time.
All in all, we absolutely loved Catroux. In spite of Auckland’s plentiful breakfast and brunch spots, Catroux was my absolute favourite. Delicious, well thought out flavours, smiley and good natured staff, and great service. You’ve got to check it out!
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