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By Sophie Chung
October 29, 2015


A one-stop hot-spot for morning larks, night owls or anything in between.
By Sophie Chung
October 29, 2015

Newmarket, and Auckland in general, is always in dire need of an all-day eatery that is open – all day. Often times, one can get extremely peckish after watching a heavy screening at Rialto and I always feel rather helpless at the prospect of needing to find a decent place to eat - especially at a not so awfully late hour of 9pm. What an absolute delight it is that a Nuffield Street diner has opened up, injecting some life back into the sedated scene of Newmarket.

Replacing and restoring what was once the Mac's Brew Bar, the fresh and spacious upmarket bistro is a hotspot for the shopping aficionados moseying around the neighbouring sartorial stores. Kirsty Mitchell and Rebecca Walker from Veneer Interiors are responsible for designing this chic and minted California-esque attraction to complement the Los Angeles and Malibu-inspired menu. They’ve designed other established restaurants such as: Ebisu, Bedford Soda & Liquor, La Zeppa and TSG.

Abiding by the Californian culinary trend of tacos, fresh juices, breakfast foods, burgers and seasonal dishes, this eatery caters to everyone on the “healthy” spectrum. They have four menus plus an additional kid’s menu so you can pop in at any time of the day for an American feed. There’s been a global surge in popularity of infusing Korean culinary flavours into Western dishes. Cali’s head chef Eric J Lee rides this food trend and injects his Korean roots into the menu, bringing kimchi, crispy dakgangjeong (fried chicken) and bulgogi (marinated beef) into several dishes. For a fun fusion taco, try the Korean chicken taco with pineapple cucumber slaw and their special Cali mayo ($18). If you’re feeling like a big dose of iron, then go for the house-cured Angus beef fillet with chimichurri béarnaise, kale chips and field mushrooms ($34). The portions are generous and the steak comes with a decent side salad to balance out that rich and delicious béarnaise sauce. I’m usually quite standoffish with kale, but who knew that kale chips were such a crispy and crunchy surprise? They have an extensive drinks menu to suit any dish of your choosing. My recommendation would be a Cali Bloody Mary for those who enjoy (and can handle) a heated kick, or if you need to recover from your hangover ($14.50).

Cali is the one-stop hot-spot for the morning larks, night owls or anything in between. This uber cool sparkling-water-serving joint makes you feel momentarily like a chichi SoCal Angelino effortlessly on trend. It’s a go-to for a healthy or treat-yo’self brekkie, shopping lunch break, late night dinner and cheeky tipple.

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