Timewarp back to mid 2015 and the Beach Café had some of the finest food on the east side of Chch.
Their Eggs Benedict was absolutely to die for. I would sing its praises to anyone who would listen, and often to those who weren’t listening either.
Instead of an English muffin or brioche, they had a slab of the most delicious home-made hash brown. Not your typical Eggs Benny, but combined with expertly poached eggs and generous helpings of a sweet but tangy hollandaise – it had me going back time and time again.
Fast forward to March 2016 and the café has undergone a facelift (for the better) and has new owners, chef and staff. Always a nervous time when you’re looking forward to what you consider to be the best version of your favourite meal.
Sadly, my favourite Eggs Benny is no more.
Firstly, the large black plate had a tomato sauce zig-zagged over the whole plate area. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a nice sauce and I’d have loved to have dipped a fried sausage or chips into it, but applying it so unavoidably to an Eggs Benny is just criminal.
I couldn’t get away from it. Every mouthful was tainted by the tomato sauce. It mixed in with the hollandaise and sweetened it to the point where it was unrecognisable as a hollandaise. Now I appreciate the sentiment, but give it to me in a dish on the side as an option. Don’t force it down my throat.
The English muffin was a quality one – nicely toasted and thick enough to provide a decent mouthful with each bite. It wasn’t a standard supermarket English muffin, which I have to give kudos for.
The two eggs were a disappointment. One was pretty much perfectly cooked and the other was essentially hard-boiled. Both were extremely small and it seemed like much of the surrounding egg white was left in the pan. How you manage to get one egg right and the other so wrong is beyond me.
Small bacon rashers on each half of the muffin looked more generous than they were due to the eggs being so small, but they were cooked sufficiently. A little crispier may have added more flavour to the dish as a whole and balanced out that sweet sauce.
The hollandaise tasted fine by itself but as mentioned was soon drowned out and diluted my the needless tomato sauce. Perhaps more hollandaise would have helped, but because the eggs were so small, there wasn’t much to put it on.
While my personal preference is bacon, I couldn’t help but think if I’d had the salmon, that it would have been completely overpowered by the tomato sauce. And at $23.50 for the salmon, I would have been pretty pissed off.
So I walked out of the Beach Café bitterly disappointed, feeling like I’d been robbed of a precious memory.
Smoked salmon $23.50
16 Beach Rd, North New Brighton, Christchurch 8083