2 fab cafes in Palmy!

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When I’m outta town on a sales trip, I’m normally rushing to and from meetings however a gal’s still got to eat. So today I met some clients for lunch for a nice change. Not knowing Palmy well, they recommended Elm Cafe and I’m delighted they did so. This has won a few Manawatu hospitality awards in the past which is great.

Tucked away off the busy Fitzherbert Ave, I would never have even seen nor known about this place. First you enter into a beautiful, ornate courtyard. I was keen to eat al fresco as it was a gorgeous day but too windy so we ventured inside. Not only Wellington gets the wind you know. The decor inside was quite old-fashioned, like your traditional, regional tea room, however it was quaint.
You can choose cabinet food which did offer some yummy savoury/sweet options or order from the very extensive, mouth-watering menu. Oh foodie dilemma with what to have. I finally chose something I don’t cook at home. 5 spice duck with pureed kumera and cucumber salad. It was amazing. Good choice foodietraveller. The other clients had the marinated beef salad with kikorangi blue cheese, balsamic pears, pomegranate and garlic ciabatta (that was my other choice as all my favourites) and the arancini (risotto balls) with salad. They offered other dishes such as pate, soup, persian spiced chicken, vietnamese lemongrass curry, pork fennel sausage linguine. Yummo. Man I could have chosen all of them. I so love a menu that speaks my lingo. I quickly glanced over at the brunch menu and again it was just so tempting. I’m definitely making this a frequent stop.

The service was excellent; friendly and very efficient. We were all satisfied with our good portions so only squeezed in a coffee afterwards. They serve Ozone and it was delicious. They are open early for breakfast through to dinner and offer catering and the cafe as a function venue. Go check em’ out when you’re up that way.

Just before I go, I’ll add in another “must stop” on the Square. I’d only had coffee here at Cafe Express before and liked the feel of  the place. It’s got a funky vibe going on with bright decor, good cabinet food and coffee.

We got there right on opening at 7am. The menu (printed on the table) and then repeated on the blackboard becomes a little overwhelming, as you seem to see things on one that aren’t on the other. They should keep it simple and just use the board for the blackboard specials. Anyhoo short on time, we spotted mince on toast with poached eggs. No brainer. One of our ultimate faves. Me being me, opted to substitute sauteed spinach instead of the toast. The young girl taking my order had a slight sarcastic tone in her voice when she repeated ‘mince on spinach?’ and I said ‘yes as I wish to not have the bread, however if it’s a problem, don’t worry about it”. She said she was sure it was ok.

Lesson to be learned cafe peeps- be accommodating with your customers like I was with you. Don’t judge.  And yes fortunately your mince on toast was THE BEST we’ve ever had. Lattes were fab too so I still will go back.

Service was ok. It seemed friendly and the type of place where you would have thought they’d ask how the meals were and thank you when you left, but nada today. Oh well. I’ll use my customer service 101 skills and consult in my next job. Maybe they should visit Elm Cafe and learn. Good on ya Palmy.

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