Winona Forever, Parnell, Auckland, NZ

I’ve been wanting to try this place for months – have driven past so many times to see queues and queues of people waiting in the cold for a taste of Auckland’s hottest new cafe, now thats great advertising!

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The vibe is trendy, bustling,  crowded but for good reason. We came at midday on a Friday, hoping to miss the queues. There were heaps of people but 3 of us were seated immediately, but a few minutes later people were waiting for tables.

The floor to ceiling glass walls, huge glass globe lights and masses of indoor foliage gave a nod to nature in true boho hippie style, the waiters were in stripey t’s and appeared rushed off their feet but also were obliging and helpful. They even had a highchair for my friends lil one, bonus! FYI leave your pram at home, space is tight.

The menu was extensive and exotic, loved the creative names such as the “magic mushrooms” and “beet street”. Even the drinks were impressive, the hot chocolate was so good I ordered 2! Coconut white chocolate for the first – a solid block of white chocolate on a stick like a lollipop which when hot milk is poured over melts to make a not too rich white chocolate dream, served with coconut flake rim stuck to the glass with honey, genius! The dark chocolate hot chocolate was also moreish: a dark chocolate block on a stick, dark chocolate concentrated liquid, served with a side of frothy hot milk to be poured over. Lattes were good – as expected for an upscale cafe.

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The prices were standard for Auckland cafes which is amazing – this is a premium place at a legit price.

Mains: I ordered the Beet Street: This was a cold dish but didn’t make it any less delicious! The bright crimson beetroot salmon with beetroot puree married perfectly with the smoked fish-cremefraiche mixture to make a refreshing smoky companion to the fish. Who would have thought, amazing! Crispy salmon skin gave an interesting crunch, but in all honesty couldn’t be tasted. This was all piled  high on kumara sourdough.

Verdict: amazing for beetroot and smoked fish lovers, could be an acquired taste otherwiseIMG_2264

My friend opted for the Squid Bruschetta: This was more like some sort of mysterious squid and garlic and tomato mash but full of flavour and really delicious, didn’t have the typical “rubbery” squid that 99% of places serve which was fantastic.

Verdict: unique take on squid, sophisticated textures and flavours

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Other friend went for the Eton Rifle: this was french toast ON STEROIDS! A thick slice of brioche french toast, topped with a giant meringue, fruit compote and freeze dried fruits, whipped mascarpone and if it wasn’t yummy enough a side of streaky bacon. He wolfed this down like no tomorrow, and was in a very very good place indeed.

Verdict: all of the best things in life on one place, yes I approve, nuff said.

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Final score

Food 9/10 really amazing food,  my 2nd favourite cafe in Auckland food-wise

Ambience 9/10 fabulous decor, lost one point for tables crowded super close together that you felt like you’re almost dining with strangers

Service 7/10 friendly helpful staff, but we did wait over 30 minutes for food, and a good 10 minutes after being seated for our orders to be taken, perhaps their finding their feet

Value 10/10 top notch food and ambience in a trendy Auckland suburb at standard prices, hence the crowds

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What do you think of this post? Did you try other things? Leave a comment!

Laterz peeps

Mer X