In a city where every nook and space is filled with cosy and intimate cafes, it’s a great to see The Cross Eatery buck that trend with an expansive cafe with an airy space and great light. It’s almost as if the owners have taken a suburban warehouse cafe fit-out and brought it into the city. A timber feature wall contrasts with white ceilings and cabinetry, and Nordic minimalist design. Communal tables are the centrepiece of the cafe but you can also take a seat along the front of the cafe and people watch as corporate types file into work of a morning. The Cross Eatery is located only minutes from Wynyard station and for cyclists, it’s on Clarence Street, home to the best cycle stores in the city.
The Cross Eatery is serious about their coffee with 3 grinders on standby to grind the Mecca sourced beans for your espresso or milk based coffee. To start off with, I sample a filter coffee two ways both and hot and cold. First off is the warm version which introduces a tart berry flavour that fades away nicely to reveal a smooth and fruity flavour. As with most filter coffees, Cross Eatery’s version prepares the palate for the food that follows, or that’s the way I like to start off my breakfast these days.
The filter coffee over ice is similar in taste but has a mellower flavour. If you’re not quite ready for a party in your mouth, try the filter coffee over ice and perhaps finish off with a warmer version.
Speaking of food, Cross Eatery’s approach is a healthy and wholesome approach. I don’t think you’ll see a deep fryer in the open kitchen, and there’s a whole lot of roasting going on. If you love salads, you will love coming here and on for breakfast there’s chia cups, muesli, and even a breakfast salad bowl! Keeping with the healthy theme, I choose a millet and oat porridge with dried apples and feijoa. You egg and bacon loving skeptics may be screaming out “boring” but I think you would be pleasantly surprised at what the folks in the kitchen do with this breakfast offering! I loved the soft consistency of the millet and oat porridge, which is contrasted by the dried apple and fejoia. The fejoia in dried form, maintain their tropical sweetness for which they are renowned. Dig deeper into the porridge, and you will find a dollop of honey which nicely balances out the dish.
Continuing with the rustic theme of the food offerings is soft eggs and soldiers. Forest reef eggs, a pointer to the provenance, are poached to 63 degrees for the perfectly gooey consistency. They almost float on a bath of olive oil and spicy vinaigrette, which compliments the brilliant white of the egg white, and oozing yoke. Chunky cut pieces of Brickfields sourdough with their large nooks and crannies are perfect for gathering up the yummy egg and vinaigrette sauce.
Completing a trifecta of delicious rustic offerings, is the Cross sabih. Cross Eatery presents baba ganoush, tomato, cucumber, radish, olives, labne, feta and a boiled egg on flat bread. It’s all served in a shallow ceramic bowl which highlights the colours of the dish ranging from the reds of the tomato and radish to the green from the cucumber, and huge chucks of white feta cheese. There was also a sprinkling of black seeds which added contrast in colour and texture to the taste of the dish. For me the winner was the egg. I am not too sure what they do to the hard boiled egg, but I love the vibrant orange colours of the exterior of the egg. It tasted delicious with flavours and spices of northern Africa. The baba ganoush was smooth and I love the nutty and smoky flavour.
Fellow Coco and Viner Mavis loves her Kombucha, and is excited to see that at Cross Eatery they have it on tap. For the uninitiated, Kombucha is a naturally fermented probiotic tea. In simple English, the stuff is good for you. I am a coffee person through and through, but my arm is twisted enthusiastically to try this Kombucha which is a ginger and tumeric version. To my surprise, I actually love it and actually go back for a couple more sips. I love the freshness and effervescence of the drink. The flavours are very reminiscent of ginger beer. If you haven’t tried Kombucha and a little hesitant, just try Cross Eatery’s version, and you will definitely be converted, I was!
To round out our morning at The Cross, I finish off with a cappuccino. First off, it’s a pretty cup of coffee with the perfect rosetta. The flavours of the blend are a mix of nutty and fruity and overall very well balanced. It’s a nice strong cap served at the perfect temperature.