Little & Friday – Belmont
Nestled amongst a little row of shops on a sleepy residential street, Belmont's much-hyped Little & Friday is a quintessential neighborhood café. However, it's not just the locals you'll find here. I made the journey across the bridge one Saturday to see what all the fuss was about.
May 18, 2012
Nestled amongst a little row of shops on a sleepy residential street, Belmont's much-hyped Little & Friday is a quintessential neighborhood café. However, it's not just the locals you'll find here.
I made the journey across the bridge one Saturday to see what all the fuss was about and it was an easy find, marked by a queue of fashionably dressed Ponsonby types in a line running out the door. It seems I wasn't the only one prepared to make the trip for what I'd heard were some of the best freshly baked sweet and savoury treats in Auckland.
What struck me immediately was the palpable buzz of the café. Excited chatter from the patrons who inside sat around a big communal table and outside, flank funky multicolored stools and tables arranged around the entrance, as they get their coffee fix or stop by for a quick bite with their dog and pram.
Small and stylish, Little & Friday is bright white with a mix of modern and French provincial style furniture and lovely antique touches including an old piano and bicycle. Clever shelf displays line the walls, interspersed with well-presented merchandise; cook books, peserves and freshly baked cookies to name a few. An eclectic collection in the centre of the main table boasts freshly picked flowers in glass jars and petal covered cakes tempting you from behind the glass atop elegant cake stands.
Winner of Metro's best Best Cakes/Counter Top in 2010, Little & Friday absolutely deserves this accolade - as I approach the front of the line I start to panic. What can only be described as delectable, and some may say indulgent, freshly baked donuts, pies, cakes, tarts and pastries line the cabinet straight from the oven and I want to sample everything on offer. This is eating with your eyes at its best.
The line moves remarkably quickly thanks to at least eight staff who run around like a well-choreographed production, executing their allocated task (making coffee, delivering it, taking orders,clearing tables, re-stocking fast diminishing pastries) with a look of sheer determination and unwavering commitment.
A fan of savoury, I settle on the sun-dried tomato & spinach risotto cake and a coffee. The cake is bursting with flavour at every bite, if not a little big, even for a food lover like me. The coffee is incredible - smooth, strong superbly extracted.
Established by self-taught baker Kim Evans a few years ago, the café extraordinaire has since opened a second Little & Friday in New Market and has just released the highly coveted cook book, Treats from Little & Friday, which showcases 65 of Kim's most popular delights.
Well worth the wait I say - the queue and the cook book that is.