Finding a good brunch spot on Auckland's Queen Street can be hard. However, the former Queen's Café and Bistro has been replaced by NEO, a place where you can find some peace and good coffee amongst the hustle and bustle. On top of Queen's Arcade, NEO is the newest rooftop spot that you should visit to enjoy some people watching and fantastic New Zealand cuisine with hints of French and Scandinavian influences.
With a spacious interior and a beautiful outside terrace, NEO is perfect for a business lunch, a relaxing Sunday brunch or some evening drinks anytime with their expansive wine list covering varietals from across the globe.
The all-day eatery from Jason Williams and Mariann Karlsson has an impressive breakfast menu that can't be found elsewhere, as well as unusual combinations of food that will pleasantly surprise you. The dill potatoes ($19) are a classic Swedish brunch choice. The potatoes are super delicious as they have soaked in all the flavours of garlic yoghurt and burnt sage butter. Of course, the poached eggs just make everything better. For seafood lovers who are seeking an alternative for the classic salmon eggs bene, why not give the pan-fried snapper ($18) a go? It's served on anchovy toast with a citrus kick. On another note, they do have variations of the traditional bene, pairing your eggs with caviar or asparagus and broccoli for the vegetarian lovers.
Moving onto the nibbles and lunch section, the menu is not shy of dishes that catch the eye. The duck croquettes are super tasty, with real, tender threaded duck meat inside a crispy golden coating. However, for $18 I was slightly disappointed with the portion (only five or so croquettes). Regardless, they are packed with flavour, quite rich and filling. On the side, instead of beer-battered chips, why not opt for a plate of beer battered courgettes for only $10? These morsels are mouth-wateringly delicious, and you can't help but want another plate.
The eatery is also an ideal place to spend at night, especially on the terrace where you can enjoy the sunset, some breeze and good food and drink by night. NEO, a place that you wouldn't want to miss along Queen Street.