Isn’t it interesting how you can walk past a whole series of cafes and restaurants that are just hanging in there with a handful of patrons and then you hit one that is absolutely cranking. What’s the bully? Is it brand-spanking new? Are the waitresses topless? Is it full of b-grade celebs? The Foxtrot Parlour has a lot more going for it than that.
The same geniuses behind Savor and Devour opened this gem of a café, nestled in the back of Ponsonby Central, in December 2012 and from that point onwards it seems to have had quite the cult following. Exposed wood floors, industrial vintage furnishings and kitsch china all give it that ‘instant favorite café’ feel.
There’s certainly a lot going on when you walk through the doors. There’s the full Kapiti ice cream bar, a large class cabinet literally brimming with more tasty savory and sweet treats than you can poke a stick at and of course the counter, which seems to have a permanent line of patrons steadily flowing past it.
I’d heard a rumour that this was a place where I could order a homemade donut and then proceed to inject it with a delicious filling of my choice, so despite rolling in at 12:30pm – an ideal time for lunch – I promptly ordered myself the infamous treat and a coffee. My poor friend was left to follow suit and after a difficult decision making process (“there’s so much to choose from”), she settled on a rustic looking raspberry lamington and cappuccino. We took a seat and waited in anticipation.
Prepare to be distracted at the Foxtrot Parlour. Almost the moment I sat down my eyes wandered over to the delectable plate of smartly presented coddled eggs being served to the table next to us. And then it was my turn to do the distracting. A deep-fried, sugar coated bomb was presented to me on a mini chopping board complete with a side dish of whipped cream and a stainless steel syringe full of salted caramel sauce. People stared. Children pointed. I’m pretty sure someone let out a laugh, but I was too focused on the delight in front of me to bother with that. I won’t go into detail (it was messy work getting through it) but it was certainly quite agreeable. And I’ll note that I did see a few more donuts being delivered to neighboring tables soon after.
It’s probably not a place you should spend time at if you’re aiming to drop a few kilos, but if you’re an “all things in moderation” type of person (like me), then the Foxtrot Parlour is definitely somewhere you need to get to know. As much as I loved eating a donut for lunch, I am looking forward to my next trip when I can dabble into more traditional breakfast or lunch fare. I have it on good authority that the salmon gravalax on five grain, vanilla risotto and banh mi are all well worth tasting.
The Foxtrot Parlour is clearly a hit with locals. A thoughtfully styled space with delightful food (both to look at and eat) complete with friendly wait-staff and baristas certainly make this parlour something to sing and dance about.