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39 Elliott Street,
Auckland Central

(09) 309 5039

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson12/04/2008

4 out of 5 stars

The Elliot Stables precinct behind Smith & Caugheys on Elliot St is slowly reaching critical mass with the occasional new opening helping to fill the European-style arcade. One of the first businesses to open a few months back was Reslau, an offshoot of the Macgregor Brothers café up the hill and around the corner on Wyndham St.

Squeezed into a tiny space, Reslau is reminiscent of a European café, maybe in Milan or Vienna. Clever design maximises the compact space with bench seating running the full length of the café. A couple of outside tables front Elliot St, but you’re better off sitting inside and taking in the coolly, cosmopolitan décor. While the food on offer – frittata, bircher muesli, coffee and cake – reflects a European vibe, the décor is tinged with retro Kiwiana touches like vintage 1970s glassware and pottery. Dramatic wallpaper and oversized lampshades give Reslau a warmth and ambience totally different from other cafes around town.

On a Friday morning Reslau’s providing an essential service to inner city workers with superior coffee and a wide selection of food to kick off the day. Bircher muesli can be hard to get right, but Reslau’s version is robust and creamy, and combines well with a serving of stewed rhubarb. The selection of up-to-date magazines also reinforces that a successful café is just about the doing the basics really well.

Later in the day Reslau morphs into wine bar open to 8.30pm with a wide selection of wines by the glass. The dependable excellence of larger vineyards like Villa Maria is represented, but more obscure wineries are also evident. Unfortunately the range of beers is pedestrian by comparison, with only Cooper’s Sparkling Ale providing any point of difference from offerings from New Zealand’s biggest breweries. It would be nice to see more bars and cafes offering beer from some of New Zealand’s up and coming micro-breweries.

It’s a minor criticism though, and the laidback and stylish Reslau still appeals as an ideal spot to catch up with friends at any time of the day.

Reslau Cafe has been reviewed by 1 users

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