It’s a St Heliers Mum’s wet dream. Remember Hammerheads? Yea that big-ass seafood restaurant that gave everyone food poisoning perched alongside Kelly Tarltons? Yes, It has just been taken over by Nic Watt, the culinary mind behind Masu on Federal Street. He has pulled some of his team from the Japanese haven and brought a little bit of LA to Orakei. Alongside his wife, Nic has established what can be best described as a giant Yoga studio with attached café/restaurant. I’m only going to talk about the café/restaurant part.
As you walk up the stone steps you can peep through the windows on your right, into the expansive yoga set up, two or more studios overlook the water. You’re greeted by friendly crisply clad staff, bar in front of you, yoga timetable scribbled up on brown paper to your left, a short wall guarding the interior tables from view. An expansive bar stretches out across the restaurant and leads you to the left, around to your seat. An outdoor area greets you through tall glass doors, the indoor-outdoor flow is impeccable. If the weather is nice, sit outside, they block the breeze for you, its so peaceful.
The food is healthy as fuck. Full on #fitspo vibes. Wine list comprised of totally bio-dynamic wines (which is basically a fancy way of saying organic and good for the soil). Green smoothies and coconut water is ready to be consumed to your hearts content. Kombucha is brewed in house by Nic’s wife. Coffee by AllPress keeps you caffeinated and sated for the day. We went around brunch-time, so opted for hot cakes and avocado smash. The hot cakes were made with a matcha mix, incredibly soft and paired with fruit and syrups, but the art was on the plate. It was almost like Nic Watt had been itching to make breakfast his own. The avocado smash can now be announced as a new staple to the NZ café breakfast menu, Nic whips it up with feta and serves up on something only to be described as an organic brown something that has the structure of sourdough and the taste of five grain. It was next level alongside two perfectly poached eggs. Manager Brett keeps the staff on their toes, all super friendly and ready to help (if not slightly hipster at the same time).
With free parking outside, and nothing but good vibes beaming in through the windows, take a moment to sit out in the sun and listen to the waves on the shores of Orakei, in this new exciting little (actually not so little) haunt. They’re at 19 Tamaki Drive, Okahu Bay.