Milieu

Milieu

Milieu is situated in the heart of Addington, an area somewhat starved of quality eateries. It’s surrounded by bustling offices and sees a constant flow of patronage whether they are eating or just grabbing a coffee on the go.

Their Eggs Benedict with bacon is a no-frills meal, but proves simplicity, when done well, can be a pleasure.

The biggest positive is their use of a first-rate English Muffin (sourced from local bakers Breads of Europe), which trumps sliced bread or your supermarket variety muffin every day of the week.

On top were nicely crisped rashers of bacon and a couple of perfectly poached free range eggs. The generous serving of hollandaise was a good colour and fairly standard in terms of taste.

There were a couple of hash-brown triangles on the side, which can sometimes bring the dish down, but these happened to be nice and crisp, texturally complimenting the rest of the meal.

The café was probably half full, but that didn’t hinder their Eggs Benedict being delivered within 5-10 minutes of sitting down. They also do a salmon/spinach and mushroom/spinach version.

Cost:

Eggs Benedict with Bacon $18.50

 

MILIEU

112 Wrights Rd, Addington, Christchurch 8024

Mitchelli’s Café Rinato

Mitchelli’s Café Rinato

Based in The Tannery, that upmarket hipster oasis in the middle of otherwise industrial Woolston, Mitchelli’s is a thriving little café with a steady stream of clientele.

Mitchelli’s came recommended on the Eggs Benediction Facebook page so I decided to see if their Eggs Benedict was up to the test.

There were a lot of staff working for a Tuesday morning, and the downstairs was at a premium, so we headed up to the mezzanine floor where more tables and even a small meeting room were available.

The girl who took my order (there were three of us dining this particular day) was obviously distracted, she spoke with other staff while I was speaking and I wondered whether she rang everything up. My suspicions were confirmed when one meal was missing a side of toast, another was missing a side of bacon, and the drinks were all served in takeaway cups, when we were dining in. Not a great start to the day.

However, it’s the Eggs Benedict I was there for, and in general it did not disappoint.

It’s unusual for Eggs Benny to be served on focaccia bread, and I wasn’t looking forward to the rosemary overpowering the meal, but the two well oiled and perfectly toasted triangles of focaccia didn’t do anything of the sort.

The free-range smoky bacon was beautifully subtle on the smoke and shaved so fine and delicate that any attempt to crisp it up would have ruined it altogether. It was a stunning bacon and alone, it’s something I would go back for (they do a bacon butty which sounds nothing but sublime!)

Two free-range poached eggs were a little on the small side and much of the egg white had been left behind in the pan. The yolks were full of flavour, expertly cooked and nothing but picture-perfect when broken into.

The hollandaise looked thick and rich with very little run-off from where it was poured – but it had developed a skin by the time it had been delivered which is never an appetising prospect. It had a very light speckling of cracked pepper through the sauce – something that I’d always prefer to add myself if needed, but nevertheless the level of richness and tang were right on the money.

Despite the lackadaisical service lending a bitter air to the meal, I’m sure it was just an anomaly for what otherwise looks like a tightly run ship. The Eggs Benedict is one that’s worth checking out, especially for bacon fans and even more so for the very reasonable prices.

Costs:

with free range smoky bacon $16.50
with hot smoked salmon $17.50
with spinach $16.50

 

MITCHELLI’S CAFE RINATO

The Tannery, 3 Garlands Rd, Woolston

Bean Scene Café

Bean Scene Café

Bean Scene at Cargo Bar in Addington is a busy cafe that attracts a steady flow of custom from the nearby office buildings.

Their pretentiously described Eggs Benedict on the menu perhaps imagines the dish on a slightly higher pedestal than it actually resides.

“Poached eggs, battered spinach, hashbrown and hollandaise served on a toasted french batard”

Battered spinach? I had visions of deep-fried tempura spinach that has no place on, or in the remote vicinity of my Eggs Benny, ever.

But no, battered spinach, it would seem, is just chef talk for wilted spinach that maybe, just maybe has been bashed with something hard before cooking. What that would achieve – I’m not so sure.

The dish was served within 10 minutes, which is always a bonus for breakfast on the go. The first thing that struck me was the vivid yellow of the hollandaise – so thick and the colour of a good free-range egg yolk. It made the whole dish look like a plastic presentation meal they have in the windows of some Asian restaurants.

But it also looked inviting – I knew that sauce was going to be rich and tangy, just the way I like it.

Served with two nicely toasted pieces of batard (baguette), the meal had been stacked to give it some height, which i understand from an aesthetic point of view, but it proved to make this meal a chore to eat.

One piece of bread on the bottom with a generous serving of “battered” spinach, another piece of bread on top with the (adequately cooked and slightly crispy) bacon, both eggs and sauce on top of that one piece of bread.

This meant, if I wanted to get a bit of everything in every mouthful, I had to first dismantle all the elements and reassemble the dish to my liking, i.e. an egg, on bacon, on spinach, on bread times two.

And why go to the effort of presenting a cheffy-looking Eggs Benny when you then go and shove a cheap triangle hashbrown on the side (propped up on the edge of the bread to dress it up a bit). Sure, it tasted fine, but homemade hash isn’t hard or expensive to make, and freezes very well.

There were also a couple of spots of balsamic dripped onto the plate for effect. It was a nice effect, but with that minute amount, it was a visual thing only.

The eggs were ever so slightly overdone, with the outer yolk being firm but the middle still nice and runny. The hollandaise lived up to its promise and provided that perfect contrasting flavour hit to the rest of the elements – most satisfying.

I wasn’t unhappy with the dish – it passed the taste test quite nicely. But a simplified menu description would have saved some overall confusion.

Costs:

Bacon $18.50

Ora King Salmon $19.50

Creamy Mushrooms $16.50

 

BEAN SCENE CAFE

359 Lincoln Rd, Addington, Christchurch 8024

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