Auckland's not lacking in good coffee.
It is lacking in good sandwiches.
Ceremony does both, and it does both of them well. With a stripped back offering (so stripped back that in its entirety, food and drink only take up one aesthetic piece of paper menu each), the joint's here to do a few things, and do all of those things the right way.
Brainchild of Connor Nestor and Charles Williams, Ceremony was built as the catalyst for a community. Yes, a community. Yes, in the suburb most known for its over-stressed Med students, and typically only visited for its hospital.
The interior's reflective of its stark menu: naked brickwork, an exposed wooden beam, and a modest three tables - one huge, glorious slab of concrete, and two wooden numbers. There's a record player, and a nice little collection of records. From the ceiling, aesthetic blown-glass orbs (which I'm told were designed by Angus Muir) dangle. A facet of the aforementioned community plans, a dedicated exhibition space sits opposite the coffee machine, currently occupied with recognisable work from I Love Ugly's Valentin Ozich.
I'm not sure if it was an intentionally coordinated effort on the day we swung in, but if there's anything resembling a staff uniform, Nestor and Williams also have got that down - slamdunk - by way of beanies.
As for the food, Ceremony 'champions' its sandwich line-up. With two out of three staples accommodating an egg, over-easy, they're made to be eaten quickly. Additionally, a revolving special sandwich (which this week is the pulled pork - seriously, do yourself a favour, go, right now, get one, eat it), muesli, smoothies, and of course, coffee (Flight Coffee, fyi, straight outta Wellington), combine to achieve the most chill menu you're likely to find in Auckland.
P.S. Get the sandwich.