Friday 25 April | 2014
On seeing the strange ship and white faces, the local Maori population skipped the friendly introductions and attacked the ship, killing four crew members. Undeterred, Abel returned home and later named this “very fine land” Nieuw Zeeland.
Luckily for us, the Dutch are much more welcoming, with their trendy De Pijp neighbourhood giving the flock of Kiwis at Bakers & Roasters a warm reception.
Apparently Bakers and Roasters is a Brazilian/Kiwi mashup, but to be honest, this place is straight suburban Wellington with half of the local Edmonds cookbook piled up on the counter. The coffee is artisan, the grinder box is pristinely clean and there are tiger mottles running past us. Hallelujah!
The café is barely a year old, but that has been plenty of time to establish a cult following here. We wait in a staged seating area that borders on genius and drool all over the menu. It begins with a friendly BomDia and Kia Ora, and follows up with more genuine Pacific hospitality: eggs benedict, sweet potato hash stacks, homemade granola, french toast, a tex-mex style breakfast tortilla and classic sides like avocado, bacon, beans and mushrooms.
In contrast to the muted pastel décor, the atmosphere is positively humming. There is a clear New Zealand theme here, from the vintage apple boxes stacked on the floor, full of seasonal produce, to the bathroom artwork featuring kitsch Maori figurines in traditional costumes. But it’s the collector teaspoons with New Zealand motifs that really set the scene.
At this point we’ll eat the beautiful fresh flowers on our table so long they are covered in hollandaise sauce. We order the eggs Benedict, which is served with bacon instead of ham, and the eggs florentine, which swaps the bacon for spinach. We follow that up with a sweet potato hash, and granola with fresh fruit and yoghurt. And try a berry smoothie too. And a slice of lolly cake, along with another coffee. Cue the sideways glances from the table next to us!
The poached eggs are perfectly cooked, the spinach is tender, the bacon is crisp and that’s a pretty good take on sourdough for being in Amsterdam. Importantly, the coffee is smooth and the artisan beans have a beautiful flavour. If you’re not into coffee, the tea here is high quality and the smoothies are great too.
The granola is good, and the sweet potato hash is lovable despite the absence of real kumara, which is magic. The only disappointment is that we have to leave!
You fullas, this is kapai kai.
Check out Bakers & Roasters’ menu here: