Hearty baked goods and traditional Austrian cuisine in the heart of Brooklyn.
Since its opening in October 2014, Brooklyn Deli has become a firm favourite with the local foodies, and a welcome addition to the quaint yet cool little suburb.
The business is split into two halves, with a delicatessen on one side and a seated cafe area on the other. As you walk in you are greeted by a fabulous array of freshly baked bread and pastries, all made on site, as well as a collection of local and international produce on the shelves. Further down you’ll find the cosy seating area, fitted out tastefully with wooden floors and panelling; simple furniture that feels homely. The smell of bread in the oven and freshly ground coffee will have your mouth watering before you’ve even seen the menu.
The cafe offers a mixture of kiwi classics (with a twist) and Austrian cuisine – lots of hearty sounding meals with spelt bread, meats and European cheeses. Initially I was tempted by the Viennese breakfast ($18.50), but when the waitress explained the specials of the day, I opted for the unusual sounding eiernockerl ($16.50) – a traditional Austrian dish involving a unique kind of pasta (spaetzle) cooked with egg and fresh herbs, served with beetroot. It was a simple dish but just the right heaviness for a quick brunch, and all the flavours on the plate got along like old friends. The spaetzle was very similar to gnocchi in both texture and flavour – fluffy, light, incredibly moreish – and was clearly made fresh not long before being served. The horseradish dressing with the beetroot was also a nice touch, which added a little vibrancy to the meal and left a pleasant aftertaste. I could clearly imagine growing up eating this kind of food, taking in its sustenance before an afternoon’s frolicking in the mountains.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat after your main, you won’t be disappointed by the range of delights available from the counter. As it was early, I showed restraint and ordered a hildegard cookie ($3.50) – a simple spiced biscuit that goes beautifully with a coffee, as well as tasting like Christmas.
It’s wonderful to find somewhere offering Austrian cuisine in Wellington, and doing it with such understated panache. Be sure to pay the Brooklyn Deli a visit, perhaps for a bite to eat before catching a film at the Penthouse Cinema, or maybe even after a game of mini golf at Carlucci Land. Make sure you also pick up a loaf of their bread to take home – it’s some of the best that the city has to offer.