311 Parnell Road,
(09) 379 2860
The ViewAuckland Review
I used to work just down the road from Verve. Pretty much every morning, I'd walk 30 seconds down the road and get the morning coffee. You always received a warm welcome from Katya, the bubbly owner and have a skim read of the paper whilst she beautifully made my double flat white takeaway, the place hummed, and I loved it.
Heading back onto Parnell Rd after 3 years, not much has changed. The Starbucks has gone from down the road, replaced by a Coffee Club but Verve has stayed put, with a bit of a new counter but essentially the same. Well, I say the same. Perhaps the better word is 'samey'.
For Verve doesn't seem to have progressed at all which is surprising considering how far the cafe scene has come since I last visited. The menu looks identical, and contains absolutely no surprises. There are some specials on the same old blackboards on the walls, but none stand out as particularly exciting.
I tried the Eggs Benedict with bacon, and my brunch friend went safe with scrambled eggs. So essentially the same order as a few weeks ago at Twenty Three (see that review here
), but two very different experiences.
The Eggs Benedict were stacked so looked tiny but were fine once you collapsed it. The eggs were slightly overdone, but still runny in the very middle. Everything was nice, except for the overpowering Hollandaise sauce. Now, I'm a fan of a bit of sharpness in my hollandaise, but this was verging on uncomfortable. The scrambled eggs of my friend seemed to go down well, but were accompanied by huge steps of bread that didn't make eating them easy.
The coffees that came were well made and very drinkable. Service though was certainly nothing special and I think as we were leaving we interrupted an argument behind the counter. A reminder to staff - with the kitchen and service area completely open to the main room, you hear everything.
Verve is very very safe. I can't mark it down for that, but it definitely sits in that rather bland clump. If you want safe and standard, then Verve is the place. But if you want some personality, some excitement... heck, even some interesting choices in what to eat, then I'd look elsewhere. You won't find it in Parnell, so keep driving till Kokako up the road.
Next Up: The Williamson
Verve Cafe has been reviewed by 5 users