Free range eggs on toast at Empire Cinema & Eatery

Great food, lovely decor, pity about the service

Free range eggs on toast at Empire Cinema & EateryFree range eggs on toast at Empire Cinema & Eatery

Empire Cinema & Eatery – 214 The Parade, Island Bay, Wellington

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Contents – Two poached eggs on toast with mushrooms, chorizo and bacon.

Price – $22.50

The food – The newly renovated Empire is dual-branded as an ‘eatery’ (which tells you all you need to know about their target market) as well as a cinema. The brunch menu is small but the quality is excellent.

The eggs were perfectly poached, breaking apart with the lightest touch of my fork and running through the thickly cut lightly toasted bread.

Bacon was heaped on in abundance, and beautifully cooked. I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it comes from the local and magnificent Island Bay butchery.

The chorizo was the weak link – overly tough, even for chorizo, and some slices were burnt. If I went back, I’d probably get the spinach instead of the chorizo as my final ingredient – I had made a last minute switch away from that plan when I originally ordered.

Lastly, there were some nice big field mushrooms, cooked well and bursting with flavour.

The food came out very quickly, which was a pleasant surprise – we hadn’t even finished our first coffees when our meals arrived at the table.
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European style creamy spinach @ Brooklyn Deli

Something you won’t find elsewhere in Wellington, well worth the trip

European style creamy spinach @ Brooklyn Deli

Brooklyn Deli – 199-201 Ohiro Road, Brooklyn, Wellington

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Contents – Two poached eggs in a bowl of creamy spinach, roast herbed potatoes on the side with a piece of homebaked toast.

Price – $16.50

The food – Brooklyn Deli is an Austrian cafe and deli, and the food is all takes on traditional Austrian food. Or, at least, that’s what they say, and I don’t know enough about Austrian cuisine to argue.

Most of the time when I come here (I’m lucky enough to live nearby) I get the creamy spinach. The spinach itself is warm but not hot, and perfectly pureed into a green goop that tastes better than it has any right to.

The roast herbed potatoes are some of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth (so much so that when I order a different menu item, I still get potatoes on the side) and they go great dipped in the spinach or mopping up yolk from the perfectly poached eggs.

The bread is baked on site according to traditional Austrian recipes (which means rye and spelt flours, apparently) and has a good spongey texture which soaks up the egg nicely.

It’s all served on a rectangular plate, with the eggs and spinach in a double-handled square bowl of sorts. It looks gorgeous, but can be a little tricky to eat from – there’s so many potatoes (a good problem to have) that it’s hard to fit the bread on the plate. Towards the end of your meal, it can be hard to get the last bits of spinach out of the bowl with the fork you’ve been given – and believe me, you’ll want every last drop in your mouth.
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Eggs on toasted ciabatta @ The Salty Pidgin

Beautiful venue, beautiful food.

Eggs on toasted ciabatta @ The Salty Pidgin

Salty Pidgin – 5 Todman St, Brooklyn, Wellington

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Contents – Two eggs on toasted ciabatta, with bacon, garlic mushrooms and potatoes (built myself).

Price – $20

The food – Simply beautiful. The egg yolks are the most vivid yellow and perfectly poached, so the whites are solid without being hard while the yolk runs free as soon as the seal is broken.

The bread is lovely, just the right size for a poached egg. I think it might be baked on site? Fluffy not dense, flavourful but not overwhelming.

Crispy potatoes make an excellent tool for mopping up the remaining yolk, and the heavy salting on them really enhances the crunch.

The mushrooms are probably the weak point – not that they’re bad (they really aren’t), but they could possibly stand a little more garlic, especially if you’re going to bill them as garlic mushrooms.

Bacon has the perfect level of fat, and is cooked just how I like it – a hint of crispiness but nothing more. Continue reading

Pipi Big Brekkie @ The Cheeky Pipi

Editors note: The Cheeky Pipi no longer exists, having closed down and been replaced by Brew’d Island Bay, a craft beer bar. I wrote this review back in 2013, when I originally thought about this blog, and then promptly never got around to writing more or launching.

Possibly the best hollandaise sauce I have ever tasted, real lemony and crazy delicious.

Pipi Big Brekkie @ The Cheeky Pipi

The Cheeky Pipi – 163 The Parade, Island Bay, Wellington

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Contents – Two eggs anyway served on Pandoro sourdough, grilled bacon, mushrooms, sausage, hash browns & pan-fried tomatoes

Price – $19

The food – Highly recommended. Most of it is just good ingredients cooked well (I say ‘just’ but obviously that’s quite an impressive start!) but there is one part that just towers above everything else and turns a good big breakfast into a great one. It’s even good enough that the rest of this review ignores the use of the horrific word ‘brekkie’ in the menu.

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