Shaky Isles is the cafe that embraces all things Kiwi; Vogels toast, pikelets and wilted silverbeet instead of spinach on your eggs Bene. And you can't leave out the Whittakers chocolate bar that melts into your hot chocolate as you stir it in - sweet as.
The little brother to the original Kingsland cafe, Shaky Isles Britomart was opened in late 2010. Located in Excelsior House on Customs Street East, the interior of the cafe embraces the historic nature of the 1897 building. The walls are stripped back to the original cladding or tiled, and decorated with the company's distinctive graphics. You can choose from large communal tables or an annex with smaller table seating. It all combines to create a very funky, inner-city, New York-style vibe.
We visited on a cruisy Sunday morning, and the kitchen seemed to be in cruise mode too. Our coffees were quick to arrive but breakfast was a little longer in getting to us. Shaky Isles' tag line is "putting the (serious) fun into coffee" and they mean business. You can stick to your regular espresso hit, or branch out and try their specialty syphon coffee (think bunsen burner crossed with a plunger). They are also making filter coffee cool again, and the bottomless mugs on offer entice you to stay & linger whilst using the free Wifi. The cold drip coffee comes in neat, still or sparkling varieties if you feel like a refreshing caffeine fix. But it is hard to go past those mochas and hot chocolates with the unctuous, melting Whittaker's chocolatey-ness oozing from them......
The breakfast/brunch menu offers a unique, if limited, selection of meals, supported by a cabinet display of salads & sandwiches. Each meal comes served on a large wooden board; muesli, fruit and yoghurt in quirky glass jars & bottles to be mixed at your pleasure, and the more substantial cooked meals come stacked on Vogels toast with a heaped pinch of loose sea salt & cracked pepper adorning the corner of the board. The hollandaise on the Eggs Benedict had a delicious lemony tang, and the silverbeet was perfectly wilted. These guys are committed to using the highest quality ingredients and sourcing local, organic and free-range wherever possible.
If you are serious about coffee, Shaky Isles is your kinda place. This gorgeous cafe oozes style, and as the substance continues to measure up, Britomart will have another jewel in it's rather overloaded crown.