Light, bright and with great coffee and creative, Instagram-worthy meals — there's plenty to love about Remuera's newest cafe, Scandinavian-influenced Snö.
Owner Therese Hawkins migrated from Sweden to New Zealand five years ago, and not long after took over Dear Jervois in Herne Bay. She then set her sights on Remuera for a second cafe, opening Snö — which nestles like a sparkly diamond at the base of the slick new St Marks apartment complex — in March.
"I had looked for a suitable space in Remuera for quite some time," says Hawkins. "I wanted to create a light, airy Scandinavian space to reflect my Swedish heritage."
Mission accomplished. Snö is a buzzing, open-plan space, with a unique take on Scandi-style that manages to feel both spacious and cosy. There's seating for 60 indoors at tables and window benches, plus a row of outdoor tables. It's busy when we visit on a Sunday afternoon, but still manages to feel laidback and friendly.
The menu is eclectic, with obvious touches of Scandinavian cuisine alongside a vast array of menu options and cabinet goodies for the grab-and-go crowd. Portions are generous and every dish has unexpected details (blueberries in a burger.)
For those not wanting a cooked dish there's cruesli (which some googling reveals to be a particularly crunchy muesli) or the 'Hulk Bowl' rammed full of superfoods — banana, avocado, soaked oats, kale, spinach, matcha, spirulina, goji berry and chia.
There are classics like eggs bene with bacon or cold smoked salmon, blueberry waffles (heart-shaped) and avocado on toast (which may no longer feature due to the current avogeddon) through to more eccentric options like the breakfast burger with scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, truffle aioli and blueberry compote, a Scandinavia tostada with hot smoked salmon and lemon dill cream or spiced mince with carrot, golden raisins, puffed rice, sour cream, dukkah and a poached egg.
Those feeling in a more Asian-inspired food mood can opt for a soba noodle salad or prawn dumpling soup.
The presentation is beautiful and very photogenic, with edible flowers and sprigs and sprinkles of this and that, each in pretty ceramic dishes, though the breakfast burger, which requires cutlery, came in a bowl, which didn't make for the easiest of eating.
The coffee is good and strong — Eighthirty and made in an appropriately sleek white La Marzocco machine.
The new residents of the surrounding apartments likely feel pretty pleased to have Snö as their local, and for the rest of us, it's a welcome addition to the Auckland cafe scene.