I followed three men dressed in black into what is arguably New Zealand's biggest den of commercial creatives: the Saatchi and Saatchi building. More people dressed in black filed in shortly after us. Here, in the bowels of the building lies a new little cafe that makes forgetting to make your lunch not only convenient but almost an imperative.
Run by the guys behind The Grassy Knoll and with the help of chef Petra Galler (ex-Little Bird Organics) at the helm of the kitchen, The Strand does a mixture of satisfying and healthy Paleo/vegetarian takeaway and sit-in meals to power the creative minds of this city. Non-creative outsiders are also most welcome to pull up a chair and also enjoy their fare.
On this visit, I tried the Paleo bowl ($18), which was a nicely tossed mixture of Middle Eastern kumara, kale, house smoked salmon and dukkah crusted softly boiled egg. Served in a beautiful rustic plate the portion sizing was on point. Large enough to feel full, but small enough not to incite regret from being a tad bit too gluttonous. It also had quite an interesting tanginess to it which I couldn't quite place, but severely enjoyed experiencing. In terms of coffee, they also make a pretty decent soy flat white, although I wouldn't say it's the smoothest one I've had (And I know, soy milk's a tricky beast to froth, but I think if a cafe can do a soy flat white exceptionally well then it usually means they can do everything else well too).
Lastly, a little shout out to the staff for being so zen-like and efficient. It's the little things that count, like bringing me water and checking whether I'd like more coffee at an appropriate interval; all the while completely oblivious to me inconspicuously eyeing them up and writing this review about them.