For me little old Meadowbank is synonymous with school uniforms and play dates. Respectable dining? Not so much. But that’s all changed with the arrival of polished café and bistro Meadow. Proof that Meadowbank too has been absorbed in the culture creep steadily descending into Auckland suburbia.
On my mission to locate the popular new eatery I was intrigued to find a cobalt blue single-story structure on St John’s Road standing proudly on a patch of its own, not stuffed into the dingy block of shops where I expected it to be. The setting is a conversation starter. The tasteful interior acts as a low-lit moody corridor to Meadow’s game changer: the luminous street-side courtyard enclosed for all-weather al fresco. There’s also a quieter outdoor space at the rear that looked lovely for a long lunch on a Sunday afternoon.
Now to the menu. My friend chose the ‘Eggs your way’ (her way is poached) with broccoli pesto and grainy toast ($9.50). Eggs are not for me, but friend duly reported that all was in order with the yolk-run factor honed just to her liking. We thought the pesto was an exciting addition to plain old eggs on toast. I was indecisive, opting to straddle the avocado mash on grain with coriander, lime and chilli flakes ($11.50), and the glass-sized yoghurt parfait, house granola and rhubarb ($6.50, also available as a larger portion for $12.50). The avocado was deliciously guac-esque with a subtle zing, complemented well by the crunch of the toast, and then the perfect lunch-dessert.
My indecision that morning served to demonstrate the brilliance of Meadow. Indeed, the menu is planned with people like me in mind. The name is ode to a plentiful meadow of options (i.e. not just the hood), doing things a little bit differently to the prevailing café code. Brunch in small plates: An appealing and economic concept for when you’re either a) indecisive; b) not that hungry and just want a snack or c) really, really hungry. For conformists there’s still a big breakfast ($20.00) and other more substantial brunchy-lunchy things.
To drink my friend chose the 'Berry Superfood'($8.50). I had my eye on the banana, coconut and peanut butter number but thought I had better rein it in (next time for sure). A flat white turned out to be good second choice. If it hadn’t been 10 am I would have ordered the “Grand Meadow Mary” ($18.00) with chilli and honey-spiced vodka, kaitaia fire and flamed bacon (yes that’s right, bacon). Actually, I regret not ordering it full stop.
All in all we got a sense of value from Meadow, with our array of tasty brekky bites and beverage for two coming to a round $40.00. We’re keen to head back to experience the evening vibe.