12 Birkdale Road,
(09) 482 1629
The ViewAuckland Review
Verrans Espresso and Food is a bit of a throwback to those comfy-casual cafés that used to be everywhere when the coffee-house craze hit New Zealand a decade-and-a-half or so ago.
Part of the laid-back Verran’s Corner shopping precinct which is perched on the Birkdale ridge, the café has picture windows looking onto the main roundabout where occasionally a car passes.
With an interior featuring wood panels and colonial mouldings, there are also tables on a small covered balcony at the back which afford a view over the expansive suburban valley towards the hills of rural Albany.
As any good suburban café should be, this one hums with the chatter of happy locals. When we visited one mid-week lunchtime there were schoolkids, retirees and a few businesspeople in for a coffee ($3 for a flat white or a long black), a quick snack, or a hearty lunch.
Verrans’ menu is unashamedly a throwback as well. It is divided in two: all-day breakfast (not much more creative than eggs, mushrooms, bacon, toast and the likes); and lunch (café faves like Turkish break, roasted vegetables and more permutations of bacon).
You order and pay at the counter, and our meals didn’t take long to emerge from the small but bustling kitchen.
My companion had leek and mushroom risotto cake ($15) which was small-ish and mushy, but fried till dark and crisp on the top and bottom. It had a hint of sharpness from the leek and came with a perfectly poached egg, a small side salad and the option of salmon or bacon.
My companion chose the latter and was pleased that there was plenty, and it was not too fatty.
I had the sweetcorn and feta fritters ($15). There were three of them, quite small, made with a fairly dry batter studded with big chunks of creamy feta. A portion of sweet capsicum dip (made in-house, according to the blackboard) and more of the good bacon and side salad completed a reliably satisfying dish.
Verrans is not licensed. You help yourself to the water from jugs on the counter and I had a Phoenix apple-cranberry drink ($3.50).
For the oldies but goodies of New Zealand café culture and cuisine, Verrans Espresso and Food can’t be beat.
Verrans Espresso and Food has been reviewed by 1 users