dot.. is just so cute that you kind of want to cuddle it, smoosh its cheeks and play peek-a-boo with it. The newborn, aptly named cafe is tiny - but doesn't have a claustrophobic vibe. Mainly because it is bright, well decorated, and arranged to perfection. Enough tables and chairs fill the space without overcrowding it, and outdoor seating means that the cafe can accommodate a number of patrons at the same time, which is lucky since dot.. seems to be Kingsland’s new hot spot. We received a friendly greeting from the owner upon entry, and immediately felt the love when they took the time to explain their menu and the cabinet food they had on offer.
Everything in the cabinet is made in-house, and everything looks amazing. After a lot of deliberating I settled for an almond croissant, and I’ve got to say, that might’ve been one of the best calls I’ve ever made in terms of food. I bought it for my flatmate, who considers herself an almond croissant connoisseur, but ended up eating nearly the entire thing myself. The pastry was perfection and there was a caramel-y taste in there that won the croissant the ‘Best in Auckland’ award from the both of us. But I’m jumping ahead. At the cafe we tried the evil child hot chocolate ($4.50) which was rich and decadent and definitely worth cheating on my monogamous relationship with black coffee. If the cafe wasn't named after its petite size, it might have been paying tribute to the size of the brunch menu. There are only a few options, but they seem to cover all the taste bud bases. The hash stack was the definite winner here. The homemade hash browns are bigger than the place itself and flavoured with spring onion. They can’t be good for the cholesterol, but man were they good for my hangover. I will never be taking a Berocca, skulling blue Powerade, or drowning my sorrows in a McMuffin ever again. Even the 'hair of the dog' approach (my personal favourite) is off the cards after trying dot’s hash browns. Trust me.
And when I was so annoying as to order a further hash brown on its own, (yep, they were that good,) there was no complaining or exasperated sigh from the staff as I made them fire up the grill for a $4 side. In fact, they seemed to find my request amusing and perhaps even flattering. The service was great from the moment we walked in the door, and continued through the meal as they entertained questions about their new business venture and their approach to cafe food. I left feeling as though I’d made new friends, and I’m not talking about the hash browns, even though I definitely wouldn't say no to a close friendship with their fried potatoes.