Frank’s Café

Frank’s Café

Frank’s Café, tucked away in the corner of Eastgate Mall is a tiny place, with minimal seating, yet manages to transcend anything else the mall has to offer in terms of food quality.

Their eggs benedict, while simple is very tasty and excellent value for the price.

Ciabatta is an excellent choice for an English muffin replacement as it’s porous and holds egg yolk and hollandaise very well. Frank’s had two generous squares of toasted ciabatta which were topped by a layer of basic baby spinach leaves.

The bacon was crisped well, and obviously cooked in a sandwich press going by its tell-tale flatness. Both eggs were perfectly poached and were covered in a thick hollandaise, which could have been a more generous serving if I’m to be honest.

There was a solitary hash-brown triangle that was straight out of the supermarket, and in fact you could whip up this exact eggs benedict by visiting any supermarket. However Frank’s doesn’t build it up to be anything other than a no frills, basic eggs benedict, and the price reflects exactly that.

I’ve had far worse eggs benedicts from places with far loftier reputations. Consider this as an alternative next time you’re milling around Eastgate’s food hall.

Cost:

Eggs Benedict with bacon and a hashbrown – $15.50

 

FRANK’S CAFE

Eastgate Mall, 20 Buckleys Rd, Linwood, Christchurch 8062

Styx and Stone

Styx and Stone

Northwood is horribly starved for places to sit and eat if you don’t want Subway, Pepe’s or cabinet food.

So I took a gamble on Styx and Stone Bar and Restaurant, and sure enough they had Eggs Benedict on the menu.

They seemed a bit short staffed this particular day and the manager was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, but coping well as it wasn’t very busy.

My Eggs Benedict arrived in around 10 minutes and looked decidedly average on the plate. It wasn’t hard to tell that the taste was going to follow suit.

The supermarket grade English muffin laid a beige platform for some overcooked, but not crispy middle bacon (which was stated as streaky bacon on the menu).

Two perfectly cooked poached “farm fresh” eggs sat atop the bacon and were covered in a rather bland hollandaise, although there was a decent covering to coat every mouthful.

Overall there was nothing offensive about the meal, but nothing to lift it above being your middle of the road, stock standard, garden variety, vanilla, “meh” Eggs Benedict. Probably worth a couple of dollars less than the menu price of $17.50.

Cost:

Eggs Benedict with Streaky Bacon or Mushrooms & Spinach $17.50

 

STYX AND STONE

1 Radcliffe Rd, Belfast, Christchurch 8051

Dose Diner

Dose Diner

When Google tells me that Lonely Planet describes Dose Diner as having one of the best Eggs Benedicts in Christchurch and the café wins Zest’s 2015 Café of the Year, the it sounds like a place that I need to check out.

Dose Diner can get busy, and when it does there’s little to no parking – as was the case on this particular day. I decided to park at The Warehouse just next door and walk to the café.

Eggs Benedict with pork is gaining some traction around town and Dose Diner has a Pulled Pork version which I simply had to try.

Served on a couple of nicely toasted pieces of sour dough, the plate looked extremely appetising when it arrived. However the two poached eggs had merged into one large one in the pan and hence had a very frugal amount of hollandaise on top.

The ‘eggs’ were perfectly cooked and the hollandaise was pretty standard. Having more sauce would have helped balance out the meals most fatal flaw though, as I’ll explain.

The pulled pork was lovely, with a mild BBQ taste, and went well with Eggs Benedict. I can see why it’s becoming popular, if a tad untraditional. But the taste of the pork, and everything else on the plate was tainted by a sticky sauce drizzled all over the plate.

I thought it may have been a honey/soy concoction so I asked the waiter what it was. He asked the chef and told me the sauce is a “sweetened balsamic reduction”.

It’s really nice, isn’t it?” the waiter said.

No, it ruined the whole meal” I replied, much to his astonishment.

You see there was nothing sweet about this balsamic reduction at all – it was intensely bitter and tainted almost every mouthful. It overpowered the delicate eggs and when it got amongst the pork, it killed that taste too.

The baby spinach under the pork was also strangely bitter and metallic, which didn’t help things either.

Had there been a more generous serving of hollandaise, I believe it could have balanced out some of the bitterness, but alas there was nothing to save this dish from leaving me underwhelmed.

So I left with a bitter taste in my mouth both literally and figuratively, and a firm believer in what many call the “Lonely Planet curse”.

Costs

Eggs Benedict with bacon, salmon or pulled pork

on Sour Dough $19.50

on Two Hashbrowns $21.50

 

DOSE DINER

295 Blenheim Rd, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch 8041

Salt on the Pier Café

Salt on the Pier Café

Salt on the Pier (the downstairs café) is one of my favourite spots in town. It’s always busy and the location is second to none in Christchurch.

Their no-frills Eggs Benedict is free of pretentiousness and arrives pretty much as you would expect it based on the menu description.

Two crispy pieces of sourdough with nicely cooked bacon, two supermarket triangle hashbrowns and two eggs on top. A massive bonus for the dish is the clear ability to split the dish into two separate parts, each with a bit of everything on.

The hollandaise is a little weak in colour and lacks that tangy hit, and it’s also runnier than many others. Disappointing is the inclusion of cracked pepper in the sauce itself and chopped parsley on top. Those should both be optional. Put a couple of sprigs of parsley as a garnish and let me put my own pepper on if needed. Take my wife for example – she hates parsley and cracked pepper – so that excludes this dish from the menu for her, except she wouldn’t know until she ordered it.

Overall, for $20 I would expect at least a homemade hash, but the meal as a whole isn’t an unsatisfying one taste-wise.

Costs:

Bacon, Salmon or Spinach $20.00

Pin It on Pinterest