Monday, January 15, 2007

Occam Cafe, Grey Lynn

I go out for breakfast about once a week, and like trying new places. I always have poached eggs, so have used that as my culinary barometer. It’s amazing how many establishments can balls up such a simple dish, so is probably quite accurate.

Occam Café, 135 Williamson Ave, Grey Lynn

Decor: Standard café minimalism; polished concrete floors, walls of indeterminate greyish/white. Zzzzzzzz.

View: Panoramic outlook on Foodtown.

Clientele: All either in their 20s, or 50s. Looked middle-class enough to afford a house in the area, but not quite hip or rich enough for Ponsonby. Busy and lively atmosphere. Obviously a very popular local hang-out, possibly because the only alternative is the rather grim-looking café around the corner, which had a large crowd of tattooed, urbanised ferals hanging around outside.

Poached Egg Barometer: ($8) Eggs come on toasted Turkish pide (pita bread). I am not keen on this. Pita bread is too thin and miserable to match poached eggs and it amazes me how many cafés use this stuff for egg dishes. One would prefer a couple of slices of toast; something robust enough to mop up the yolk. Sourdough or five-grain is as fancy as it needs to get.

Coffee: Good, although when I asked for my flat white to be made with low-fat milk, the server pulled such a dreadful face, I found myself apologetically telling her not to bother. She rolled her eyes in an unattractive fashion, and said, "well, it hardly makes any difference." If I were at all tubby, I’m sure I would have taken that quite personally.

Service: As above, although I was impressed with how quickly everything arrived, given the place was astonishingly busy.


Michael Timothy said...

I like your easy style of writing.
Read a few....will read more.

Krimsonlake said...

"...the rather grim-looking café around the corner, which had a large crowd of tattooed, urbanised ferals hanging around outside."

Ok, now THIS sounds like my kind of place. I simply must have its name and location so I can go and feel comfortable in the company of fellow ferals the next time I'm in Auckland:-)

Francophile said...

That's a very fair and accurate review of the place.

More please.

kyotolaw said...

What do you think of breakfast at Headquarters down in the Viaduct/Marina area?

Cactus Kate said...


I can review that briefly:

Smelly yacht people and no eye candy. Too many smokers, As for the food, if you wish to get as fat and as poor as a Samoan, then great.

Mrs Smith said...

Thank-you so much, Mr Timothy, & Francophile. Auckland is supposedly famous for its 'cafe culture,' so thought with my extensive experience, reviews of cafes might be fun.

Kate - What a brilliant review. Instead of writing for the Dominion, you should write for Metro. Their restaurant reviews would be much more credible.

Krimsonlake - The people I mentioned looked like hard-core ferals (The place was on Great North Road, in the main block of Grey Lynn shops - it was called, I think, 'Louie's). If you would prefer MOR ferals, try Roasted Addiqtion, in Kingsland :)

Krimsonlake said...

MOR ferals? I need a definition due to ignorance.

As for hardcore ferals, they're quite fascinating in small doses, if you can sidestep their whacked out violence.

So I might just try visiting both establishments.

After all, my visit to Otara went off without a hitch:-)

And thanks for the info.

Mrs Smith said...

Sorry, Krimson. MOR = Middle Of the Road... The Celine Dions of the feral world.

MarcusD said...

Mrs Smith - try Cima in High Street. Order the bacon and eggs on 5 grain toast. Very, very good.

Angelina Shudbeshot said...

Is Mrs Smith a vegetarian?

stef said...

I think more that Mrs Smith doesn't have a problem with Meat per say, but rather any food that involves spending hours working off at the gym.

Mrs Smith said...

Vegetarian!? Goodness, no. I'm very partial to large slabs of prime meat. It's the secret of my success.

Quite right, Stef. Bacon is to be avoided. I've never seen a slim pig.

chico said...

Who is that bloke who lives outside Foodtown? seems very well nourished to me.

Anonymous said...

OMG... do you seriously thik that a cafe can be reviewed on eggs, bacon and...toast? for christs sake people live a little and try ordering something the chef has spent more than 2 seconds thinking about! the "feral" cafe round the corner is called "7" and does excelent coffee although they do not use yucky watery tasteless trim milk or serve latte bowels so you prob wont like it. there may be some samoans about as well.

MrsDesperate said...

Loving the panoramic view of Foodtown! We went there on the weekend, thought the food was great. But we don't get out much ..)