10 Federal Street,
(09) 359 9113
The ViewAuckland Review
Friends we know have been to Federal & Wolfe on a number of occasions, and whilst they were very up on it, most of the conversation about it focused on 'the waiter'. Apparently, he's been quite a character and perhaps always not in a good way. One favourite story was when he got the attention of a happily conversing table of 20 by smacking his hands loudly on the back of someone's seat. This we had to see.
I'm a bit disappointed in a way to say that whilst yes, the waiter was present and was a bit of a character, he was actually pretty good with his service. By the end of it, I actually didn't mind that he was offhand. Maybe he just grew on me, or perhaps it was because everything else was so damn good.
And it was. The first impression you get when you walk in is how light and well laid out Federal & Wolfe is. This was surprising to us as the cafe is surrounded by car parks and the backs of office blocks. And yet for every grey wall you see, there is something that the owners of F&W have done to offset it. The big sliding windows along two sides mean that you get fresh air and sunlight (with grass growing along the window sills). Inside, it's spacious, interesting (menus come in old science books) and has the feeling of an old lounge. Who cares if there are 3 levels of concrete outside when there are so many reasons not to look out.
If the surroundings are great, the food matches it. I had the organic pancakes with boysenberries, lemon curd and lavender. This came in quarters and were soaked in maple syrup exactly how they should be. The lemon and boysenberries gave the dish a sharp tart taste but this was a nice change to the overbearing sweetness that you often get with this in other cafes. The pancakes themselves were light and delicious, and most importantly made with wheatmeal flour, again a nice change.
Other meals at our table included the bircher muesli which our friend said was the best he'd ever tasted, and two rounds of Eggs Benedict, one with halloumi, basil pesto and rocket, and the other with mushrooms, spinach and feta - both got top marks. The coffee (Kokako) was delicious and went down way too easily. And it was all fast too - we were in and out in 40 minutes.
Everything is right about Federal & Wolfe. The food, the decor, the fact that we had a DJ playing to us at 7:45am on a Friday. I went in expecting a bit of CBD toss. I came out wanting to go back. Seriously, if you're in the city with an hour to kill, try it. And see if you can pick the waiter we're talking about (it shouldn't be hard).
The details: 10 Federal St, City (09) 359 9113
A Flat White costs: $4
Must Try: The organic pancakes (but give them a heads up as they take longer to make)
Federal & Wolfe has been reviewed by 4 users