My lovely Airbnb hostess in Auckland took great pride in reminding me that New Zealand was famous for the hipster nature of its coffee, having invented the phenomenally popular flat white. I didn’t like to tell her that I think of a flat white as a small latte! I suspect I am not hipster enough.
Restaurant: Dear Jervois
Location: 234 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, Auckland 1011, New Zealand
Website: Click here
Patrick visited in 2017
I spoke with my New Zealander friend, Anthony, about ideas of where to eat in Auckland and he said there was a hipster café which was the ‘in’ place in Herne Bay, which is the ‘in’ part of Auckland. I double-checked the pronunciation of “Dear Jervois” and discovered it’s pronounce “Jerr-voyz”. I didn’t want to be with the ‘out’ crowd!
It was just about 500 yards from my Airbnb to Dear Jervois. I had to do some adapting to recognise that autumn was indeed taking place in late May and the beautiful trees were changing colour.
The exterior is pretty unimposing; it looks like a friendly neighbourhood cafe.
Any other reviews I had found claimed that the café would be full at all times, but there was plenty of room at lunchtime and I took a seat towards the back. Staff were very busy but maintained a professional and friendly attitude.
I took in the marine, New England look everywhere, which I do like and studied the menu carefully.
This is my kind of lunch menu: fresh ingredients, made to sound appealing in the simplest way.
I ordered up a chicken and courgette salad. The plate was eminently Instagrammable and pretty. I couldn’t wait to dig in.
There was quite a bit of roast beetroot, of which I’m not the hugest fan. However, its dark earthiness had been made milder by the addition of perhaps a sherry vinegar in the roasting. The pistachios and radish gave the salad a real crunch and texture. The dressing was a light vinaigrette which allowed each flavour to sing in the salad choir.
Here I am, perched in my little corner of Dear Jervois. I may need to work on beard length if I am to be a proper hipster!
Let’s talk about price. It was $23 NZD for a lunchtime salad (before drinks or tips). This is not unusual for Auckland. The majority of restaurants I tried were simply great, paying attention to their ingredients, but I found them ALL very expensive. Some of this is the function of the exchange rate and some of it is the cost of living in New Zealand. And at least part of it is the budget of this traveller!
Since it’s hipster coffee land, I thought I’d better try something coffee-related. Yes, I do realise that’s a mocha and not a flat white.
It was gorgeous. Rich, bubbly, unctuous. Perhaps the hipsters will forgive me forgoing the flat white!