If you’re looking for an upbeat, cozy café with a wide choice of freshly-made cabinet food and a truly delicious menu, take a trip to The Collins Café and Bar in Greenhithe on Auckland’s North Shore. Set in a restored 1912 villa in semi-rural Greenhithe on Auckland’s North Shore, The Collins Café and Bar has a great atmosphere, plenty of parking and a beautiful garden where young children can run and play while adults relax and enjoy a slightly slower pace. The skate park across the road (and within sight if you’re seated outside) makes The Collins a popular weekend destination for families with older kids too.
Owners, Jenny and Allen, took over The Collins at the beginning of this year, after running another quirky café – The Swanson Station Café, set in a converted West Auckland railway station – for five years. Everyone loves their brioche-based French toast but, according to café manager Stefaan, the humble cheese scone is the café’s best seller.
“Our cheese scones are large, delicious and freshly-baked on the premises every day. People travel serious distances to get one — they’re heartbroken when we sell out.”
Stefaan is clearly proud of their beautifully-presented cabinet food: “It’s really fresh. The carrot cake slathered with cream cheese icing and our gluten free pineapple, passionfruit and coconut cake are real crowd pleasers.”
Many of the popular dishes on the menu are classics with a twist. For eggs bene-lovers, The Original Huevos Benedictos is hard to pass by: Poached eggs on a bed of grated, pan-fried potato, served with chorizo, chipotle cream, salsa and hollandaise. Right up there with the Huevos Benedictos is the French toast (did I mention the French toast?) made with golden brioche crusted in macadamia nuts and cornflakes, served with grilled banana, mascarpone and honey-roasted bacon; and don’t forget their Belgian waffles with seasonal fruit, vanilla mascarpone, lemon curd and bacon. Yum! There’s also a menu for little kids which is basically half adult-sized portions, simplified to appeal to younger palates.
Busiest periods at The Collins are weekday mornings and anytime during the weekend — especially when the sun is out. The coffee served is Altura’s Eclipse blend. Ex-chef and accomplished barista, Stefaan, explains why:
“We like the fact that Eclipse has a good balance of strength and sweetness, scattered with hints of blackcurrant, maple and caramel. A lot of our customers drink milky coffee like large flat whites or lattes, so it’s important that the intensity of the coffee comes through.
“We’ve just started serving Altura coffee and we love it. The Altura Coffee Company has been awesome, they don’t mess around. They met us half way and really looked after us.”
To win a $50 voucher to enjoy brunch or lunch at The Collins, go to our Facebook Page to enter (competition closes 18th December 2017).