Even though Craft Kitchen has been open for two years, it has kept a low profile compared to its packed-out Ponsonby Road neighbours. Recently however, after teaming up with Auckland caterers Little Eats to host The Melt every Friday and Saturday night, Craft Kitchen has been drawing some serious attention to its sunny spot near the Ponsonby/K' Rd intersection.
Instead of visiting during The Melt, which we have been told went amazingly well, we went for breakfast. We were greeted by cheerful staff and offered something to drink as soon as we sat down. Craft Kitchen uses Millers coffee and, dare I say, it was one of the best flat whites I have had in ages. The chai latte was also lovely; beautifully creamy and more spicy than sugary, which is hard to find.
To eat I went for the homemade muesli with passionfruit yoghurt, rhubarb compote and seasonal fresh fruit ($16). The combination of rhubarb and passionfruit yoghurt was a touch too sweet for my liking, but the muesli was toasty and crunchy and definitely tasted homemade. The showstopper was a couple of gorgeous little fruit roses nestled into the yoghurt. They were made of layers of thinly sliced apple, soaked overnight in rosewater and beetroot juice, to give them a faint taste of rose and made them a pretty dark pink. A beautiful touch, although $16 is probably the most I've spent on muesli at a cafe. My brekkie buddy opted for the buckwheat crepe with spiced poached berries, coconut yoghurt and toasted pistachios ($18). Besides the raw-tasting cloves which she had to pick out, it was a fresh dish that wasn't too heavy.
Craft Kitchen puts a big emphasis on healthy offerings, with a chunk of the menu boasting paleo options and a large selection of paleo cabinet goods. Because I'm a sucker for savoury muffins I tried their paleo version with sundried tomatoes and olives ($6.50). It came slightly warmed and with a lick of butter it was pretty good for a healthy muffin, although you'd need to like coconut to enjoy it because there were some serious coconutty notes coming through.
If you fancy a low-key breakfast away from the hustle and bustle of Ponsonby Road then pop in to Craft Kitchen - there's plenty of parks down nearby side streets making it easy to access for such a busy area. Or, if you're in the mood for a total belly-hug comfort dinner, head in one Friday or Saturday night for a gourmet cheese toasty. Get there early to avoid disappointment.