Ceremony, a new release by Auckland's resident music curator/TV persona/promoter/ENFP at large Connor Nestor and coffee man Charles Williams (formerly found brewing behind the counters of Odette's Eatery) has - just a day shy of opening - already garnered itself a nice bulky portion of Auckland's social media attention.
Yet despite the furore, the takeaway cafe is a genuine and lovely site run by people who could easily have the same adjectives used to describe them. Head over on less-than-ideal winter's morning, pull up a fresh, gelid aluminium bar stool counterside, order a warm cup of coffee made with Flight Coffee-roasted beans and a feed, have some interesting yarns with some winsome entrepreneurs and soon enough you'll feel like you're perched around the kitchen bench at an old friend's place.
Granted, looks-wise Ceremony's a tad austere, but that gets countered easily enough by the comforting, wholesome fare and banter - which truly are Ceremony's star players. The menu consists of a few key items which are mostly takeaway-able and pretty high on the healthy spectrum. Sandwiches are the main speciality - with a few varieties on offer, including: the #1 (a smoked bacon, over easy egg, cheddar caramelised onion jam and chipotle ketchup sandwich); the #2 (a pork and fennel sausage, over easy egg, cheddar, slaw, Sriracha mayo sandwich); a wild mushroom, vege chickpea patty, over easy egg, baby spinach and chipotle ketchup sandwich). I opted for the vego option; a very good call.
What was genius about the #3 was that it was damn comforting (shout out to the perfectly made eggs and patty on that one), without being boring - probably due to the extended ingredient list invite for chipotle ketchup to join the coalition of flavours, a surprising choice which definitely paid off. Just brilliant.
My advice would be to make sure you ask for an extra handful of serviettes. As once you begin your journey towards sandwich utopia, the ingredients have the propensity to make things rather stressful. And at $12 per sandwich, be prepared for a meal, these guys have done their research and pack in the flavours.
All in all, Ceremony has the kind of personality and quality of goods that could turn it into a Grafton local. It's definitely one to visit if you live in the area and excited to hear where these guys take the brand.