The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Sunday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Auckland
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
By Jenny Wylie
August 07, 2014
  shares

La Fourchette

A fresh and breezy slice of Saint Tropez in St Heliers.
By Jenny Wylie
August 07, 2014
  shares

Outisde the comfort zone of Auckland’s central café hub, a weekend drive to St Heliers Bay seems like a road trip to me. Moreover, I can tell you from growing up in St Heliers that this predominantly family and retiree zone has never been a hot spot for popular cafés and restaurants. Hearing a French accent in the local shops would certainly have been odd for me as a child. Yet times are a changing.

Industrious French bistro La Fourchette (the "fork") on the once dead Turua Street seems to be harbouring a whole workforce of French nationals, transforming the bay into the southern-hemisphere’s Saint Tropez (okay, so more like Normandy in the greyness of July). I’ve been three times. Each time it’s been packed with Sunday brunchers, and each time I’ve had a new wide-eyed and over-zealous French waiter at my table (or not - but bless, they’re rushed off their feet). Notwithstanding the apparent disorder the service is surprisingly swift - just don’t confuse everyone by ordering something from the cabinet and the menu.

Maybe a bit of French charm is just what St Heliers needed. It’s fresh and breezy. And busy. Two out of the three visits we’ve been seated upstairs on the mezzanine overlooking the hum-drum of the café below. It’s like a little sanctuary up there. The combination of ocean-blue feature walls, smart beech tables and white French café chairs makes me happy. It kind of makes up for the travesty of a building you’re in, a beacon of controversy in the area for which several heritage cottages were bowled to make way.

I’ve had the goats cheese salad with candied figs. Superb and not stingy on the chèvre at all ($19, although not really a bona fide salad if leaves are what you’re after). I’ve had the French onion soup ($13), which was a smidgeon on the small side (I could have easily had two it was so tasty). And, friends, I have had the crêpe au caramel salé ($8.00). I shared with a companion and my only complaint is that my half was gone in seconds. It doesn’t get much better than perfectly salted caramel sauce with brittly macadamia crumbs and cream. In a crêpe. Nom du dieu.

On the weekend La Fourchette offer a formule du jour of three courses and an alcoholic beverage for $36. Pas mal. As well as an extensive day and evening menu, La Fourchette run a cabinet gig with a solid selection of patisserie. They do a salon du thé offering too, which is a kind of Frenchified high tea for patisserie buffs ($45 pp, bookings required). My only criticism of this robust Saint Heliers culture injection is that they’re overachievers. Yet totally worth that road trip to the old ‘hood.

  •   shares
      shares
Sorry, no results in this area
Loading...
Loading map...

NEARBY PLACES

  • List
  • Map

SIMILAR CAFES

  • List
  • Map

NEARBY EVENTS

  • List
  • Map
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter