For many years in my early magazine career, I used to have Friday breakfast once a fortnight at an Auckland cafe that almost always had street parking available outside and served up a delicious eggs bene.
Fast forward a decade and I'm standing outside Rabbit Cafe - the vegetarian eatery that's moved into the same famous premises on St Benedicts Street. Angel Food has kindly offered to take me to lunch to try out their new plant-powered menu. When I walk in, the place is transformed. Rabbit is a patchwork of colour and cosiness, paying homage to nature with hand-painted leaves on the tables.
From the moment you enter off the windy St Benedict's Street, it feels like you've walked into a homely haven - one fuelled by a very good-looking cabinet of vegan baking (dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free) and salads and soups to go. The other really cool thing about Rabbit? They cater to those with very specific food tastes. In fact, you can D.I.Y a dish with anything from their menu.
But today, we're all ears for the main event - their all-day breakfast or lunch menu.
While I'd normally dig the D.I.Y concept, I'm dining with a local vegan business owner, who has already worked her way around their menu. She recommends the creamy walnut mushrooms on The Midnight Baker's seeded gluten-free loaf with a zesty gremolata. I go with her vegan and gluten-free recommendation. And the dish? The definition of dreamy. The mushrooms give it a rich and earthy undertone while the walnuts provide texture and the gremolata, the mouth party. Alice, my lunch date, opts for the Tunisian spiced lentils (which you can also order D.I.Y) with roasted carrots and coconut yoghurt on toast.
Big props to the clever couple who created Rabbit for also allowing diners to select from a wide range of uncomplicated, healthy options. Got children with allergies? This Eden Terrace cafe will cater to their specific needs. You can choose from yoghurt, coconut yoghurt and cow's milk feta, as well as homemade peanut and cashew butter.
Good For... vegans, vegetarians and people who are gluten-free or dairy-free
Good For... doing business with a healthy bite
Good For... a good-for-you treat
Yours In Health and Happiness, KB xx
Discover Rabbit Cafe at 30 St Benedict's Street, Eden Terrace, Newton