I love this wee café/restaurant perfectly situated on the corner of Cambridge Terrace and Marjoribanks Street. It’s very Parisian and the people watching is out of this world. Step inside with me.Once upon a time, it was a cold, blustery, wet Welly day and we decided to go earlier than usual and check out the revamped Caffe L’affare. However to our dismay there was a huge queue; which is the norm here I guess as it’s fabulous. So not wanting to wait, well hubby not wanting to wait either, and on a mission, we ventured further up the road, braving the weather, to Capitol.
As soon as you push open the heavy door, you forget about the weather and all your troubles as you are welcomed into a beautiful, warm, cosy ambiance. It’s like dining in someone’s private dining room. I’ve had numerous meals here over the years, more lunches and dinners. So today it was brunch. I must say their French toast advertised on their outside blackboard got me tempted last week. The power of direct marketing eh?
We were greeted immediately by a friendly waitress explaining the specials to us and offering us water, coffee, or freshly squeezed juice, while we removed our wet coats and settled into a table by the window. I happened to see an Aperol Spritz on the board later on and could have even be tempted at breakfast with one of those babies but will hold off until our Italy trip.
Watching people fighting with umbrellas on one of the windiest corners of Wellington was entertaining. Also what people do in their cars while waiting at the lights is tres amusante!
Hubby was quicker with his decision than me. I don’t like to rush so I don’t miss things. I normally can order for him as I know him so well. He fooled me as I thought he may have chosen the lamb’s brains special, although it was a burger he said. He had listened intently and is not a burger fan. He opted for the good ole’ fashioned bubble and squeak with a fried egg, with a side of lamb kidneys. I ummed and ahhed over the lemon meringue pancake but stayed loyal to the French toast with free range ham, swiss cheese and cornichons. I was so not disappointed. Well I was and I wasn’t. I adored the presentation and the flavours were sensational. I savoured each bite. But after I put my fork down satisfied, the lady at the table behind us was presented with the lemon meringue pancake. Oh my word it looked amazing. The waiter told me it was her dessert. Of course it was. Could I have it as my dessert he asked. Heck no but heck yes but no. I finished with a long black that was actually very small and so strong so I needed hot water, and hubby enjoyed his mocha.
Other menu options were: Scotties porridge with molasses butter, build your own brekkie, baked eggs, whitebait fritter, rump steak, halloumi salad, sausage rigatoni, fried chicken, grilled beetroot or soup. Desserts were chocolate pudding, a baked persimmon posset, dulce de leche or a chocolate truffle. I’ve had the latter before and it was divine.
This visit reinforced my love for this place. It sits quietly under the radar but is nothing to be sniffed at. It’s a small place but holds its own from it’s simple, sophisticated dark wooden décor to sublime food and fabulous service. Portions aren’t large so it’s a little pricey, but still affordable. I’m going to make an effort to return more often, as it has so much to offer. I’d love this to be my local. And when people message me and ask for a dinner recommendation, as they always do, this will be added along with a few others.