Love at First Sight

Anything French, I’m sold. My darling friend Hemma who abandoned me in Welly and moved to Auckland, suggested Catroux as a place for our catchup. How she knows me so well. This was so love at first sight.Owner Adele, who spent time overseas, decided to return to NZ to create this beautiful, neighborhood café. The name and theme was inspired by an elegant French model/muse to Yves St Laurent, Betty Catroux. Adele incorporated her passion for delicious, homemade food in the surrounds of a simple, stunning suburb of Auckland- Westmere.

The white on white sleek, elegant, minimalist décor is divine. This place is small but quaint and has little areas out the back.  The delicious display of fresh, cabinet food is mouth-watering and all food is made onsite. I arrived early to take some snaps and settle in. I chose a long black which was delicious. I later caved and ordered a turmeric latte with almond milk as they didn’t have coconut milk. It was fabulous. It always depends on the brand.

The brunch menu blew my mind and put me into a quandary. Everything was clearly marked GF DG V etc. Grand. Girlfriend chose porridge with mulled wine poached tamarillos, with boysenberry and runny cream.  Apparently this is one of her faves and it looked fab however she needed to get a knife to cut the tamarillos. The other cereal option was muesli with rhubarb, raspberry and chia seeds, coconut yoghurt and almond milk. Yum but I can have that at home. I wanted the Kumera Rosti, Blueberry Coconut Pancake  with caramelised banana and the Weekend Benedict – pulled free range pork, picked fennel, apple (or smoked salmon option). However I finally settled on the Fitness Bowl. Not a fan of smoked salmon, Hemma recommended I substitute avocado. Holy moly guacamole this was divine; halloumi, sauerkraut, raw cashew cream, turmeric nuts and seeds (I need that recipe), orange, rocket and poached egg. I must remember to try to replicate at home. I was in heaven and preferred this experience to Winona Forever. Sorry Winona. It was just smaller, less noisy and way more tasty. There were lots of other eggy meals e.g. omelette, green eggs and ham, free range eggs done anyway , plus a braised cheek quesadilla, mushrooms or avo and tomato on toast with ricotta. Oh it was just amazeballs. The kids menu offered boiled egg and soldiers, scrambled eggs or French Toast. Yah again no bloody chicken nuggets or chips. Even the sides sounded amazing to build your own brekkie e.g. wilted spinach and green goddess, halloumi, bacon, smoked, salmon, merguez, mushies, avo, roasted tomato etc and GF bread.

There was a huge range of cold drinks on offer including pineapple or beetroot kombucha, smoothies, sparkly water , juices as well as coffees or teas. Yum. You could also eat in or take out a variety of salads with ham off the bone, pork apple and sage sausage roll, miso ginger sesame salmon, lamb pite, halloumi/lemon chicken or sirloin caramelised onion bap, Vietnamese chicken kofta, smoked bagel, and loaves of gorgeous Midnight Baker bread. As for the sweet treats, Lordy Lordy. Russian fudge, gingerbread, gorgeous looking homemade protein bars, etc. The prices were very affordable too so a queue for take out full of young Trendy Wendy’s was long.

Oh and the service. Despite being manic, service was fantastic as you’d expect and it nicely matched the whole philosophy. My 1 hour 10 minute walk to get here from the CBD was so pleasant and well worth it. I would so love to return. The issue I have though is always wanting to try new places and then you don’t get a chance to go back but I’m starting to make that effort and do just that and keep the faves close to my heart.




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