Ris’tretto Café is one of the best hidden suburban gems in Christchurch. The coffee is award-winning (and rightfully so) and the staff are just so welcoming that even on your first visit, they make you feel like a regular.

While I hadn’t tried their Eggs Benedict before, I have had Ris’tretto’s Mushrooms on Toast – and it was one of the best brunches I’ve had in a long time. So I had high hopes that their Benedict was also going to leave me speechless.

Alas, it wasn’t to be.

One and a half large slices of crispy focaccia lined the base of the plate and were it not for the extra side of bacon I ordered, the meal would have looked like a toddler surfing on a 12ft longboard. Did I mention they were crispy? You had to be extra careful how you tackled each mouthful so not to get lacerated gums from the Ginsu Knife-like crust. This may not have been an issue had there been enough wet stuff on the plate for the bread to soak up.

Which brings me to the two smallish (one considerably smaller than the other) overcooked eggs. Only just overcooked I might add, but enough for the yolk that was runny to have no effect whatsoever on the rest of the ingredients.

Likewise, the hollandaise was frugal and had formed a film over it by the time my meal was delivered. It was barely runny enough to make it to the base of the egg. All this lack of moisture made the whole dish a struggle to get through. I even had to order a second coffee just to wash it down.

The dish comes with 2 rashers of shoulder bacon (4 including my extra order) and it’s hard to tell if they were boiled or microwaved, but I find it hard to believe they came anywhere near a hotplate.

There are many reasons to visit Ris’tretto Café – the coffee, the atmosphere, and the wonderful people – and I for one will be going back there, but I’ll be having the Mushrooms on Toast, because the Eggs Benedict was a genuine let down.



Eggs Benedict with Bacon $18.50 (+$5 for the extra 2 rashers of bacon)



670 Barbadoes Street, St Albans.

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