Sweet Vanilla Cafe where have you been all my life? I laughed when I drove by this quaint cafe in the burbs of Lower Hutt, as their outside blackboard was advertising devilled kidneys. That’s all it said. Yuk my stomach churned and that smell and taste brought back childhood memories! However I did think, how clever, how very “Paleo’ of them, to boldly advertise their organ dish of the day! As I was now intrigued , I “sweetly vanilled asked” my Dad to treat us to lunch there. Not that I was wanting to try the kidneys of course, however I would have eaten chicken livers in a flash.
It was absolutely packed about 1230pm, mainly with lunching ladies and a few corporates. All of the brunch/lunch specials sounded divine e.g. Eggs Bene, salads soups, however we fancied something a little lighter from the cabinet. This was stacked with some amazing delights; sandwiches, paninis, savoury brioche, and a fab array of cakes. Plus their counter was heaving with jars of homemade cookies, a healthy slice, sweet brioche. What really impressed me the most was the great variety of gluten-free options. Sometimes a cafe might have a few offerings, but this was like 50/50
Mum had the Panini stuffed with avocado, bacon and tomato, Dad the savoury brioche with Rocket Fuel sauce and I chose the GF corn fritters stack with bacon, avocado and sweet chilli sauce/sour cream. All of the meals were so moreish. The portions were great ; definitely good bang for your buck. Dad chose a large, gingernut cookie sandwich for his sweet treat. I normally skip the sugar, even GF options, but I love looking and admiring all the baking regardless. Today was the day though that Mum and I got hooked, lined and sinkered by the chocolate/beetroot/salted caramel cake. It was the piece of resistance and I’m glad I shared the big slab with Mum. It was out of this world and we both died and went straight to foodie heaven. It was so moist and delicious and was complemented by some cream to nicely balance the sweetness. Friends were dying for the recipe too but I said nah don’t bake it, go buy a slice and enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labour!
They also have a good variety of drinks e.g. coffees (Ripe brand), teas, smoothies, and juices. No room at the inn for us though, in that department.
The staff were lovely and friendly and service very efficient. They got two text votes for the “Best Cafe of the Year” competition from us and we wish them well.
Sweet Cheeks, Sweet Pea, Sweet Mother of God, Sweet as Sweet Vanilla and Sweet Dreams.