Domain Ayr Cafe (formerly Kokako Cafe)
492 Parnell Road,
(09) 379 2868
The ViewAuckland Review
Kokako Organic Coffee is the cafe arm of Kokako Coffee Roasters and can be seen as the older sister of Federal and Wolfe which has recently opened (and given a rare 5 stars by View). It's on the corner of Ayr St and Parnell Rd and to be honest you'd probably driven by it twenty times and not really registered that it's there.
I didn't actually know that Kokako Organic Coffee was a vegetarian cafe when I went in for lunch on a sunny Thursday afternoon until I went to order the chicken burger. My eyesight isn't great at the best of times, so when the lovely lady at the counter advised that it was a chickPEA burger, I was slightly thrown. Searching the menu for chicken or meat came up short, so I was a little apprehensive when ordering given that I'm a bacon and eggs kinda guy.
I needn't have worried as what came out was delicious. I got the herb and lentil cakes, which come grilled with a yoghurt and mint dressing, watercress, roasted baby beets and little chunks of preserved lemon. This was a very fresh light meal, especially with the watercress and yoghurt. The cakes themselves weren't perhaps as tasty as I was hoping for, but then lentils are always a struggle to make interesting. My friend got one of their pumpkin wraps from the counter selection and it was stunning. I've never found pumpkin to be an overly exciting element in a meal, but this burst with earthy flavour. Highly recommended.
We also got smoothies (I'm turning into a smoothy nut!), and these were just as cool and refreshing as the meal, coming rather sweetly in jam jars that have a handle for ease of drinking. The whole cafe had the same sweet vibe whilst we were there with excellent staff and fast service. The high table is great if you're there solo, but definitely try and get the window seat. It's bright and becomes your own little nook, especially with the morning papers in hand.
This is a great little cafe in Parnell, a suburb that doesn't have enough of them. If you're a meat lover, you'll still come out more than happy and if you're vegetarian, why aren't you there already?
A Flat White costs: $4
Must Try:The counter selection, especially the wraps
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