Cafes

Ceremony | The Verdict

By Marilynn McLachlan - 19 Jul 2016

Ceremony
Grafton, NZ 1 Image
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It’s no secret that here at The Urban List we love Ceremony’s legendary burgers—or sandwiches, as they prefer to call them. 

Their breakfast burger is beyond perfection and doesn’t need any introduction to anyone who calls themselves an Aucklander. Think bacon, cheddar, caramalised onion with egg dripping from between the buns. Of course there are other options too (vegetarians, you won’t be disappointed at the burger they’ve made for you) if it doesn't sound like you. 

When we caught wind Ceremony has launched a new breakfast menu, we would be remiss if we didn’t head down and try it—all in the name of work, of course.

Situated opposite Auckland Hospital, close to the lights of Grafton Bridge, Ceremony is an unassuming café—blink and you might miss it. Blink, and you’ll regret it. There’s a few outdoor seats on the street—more have recently been added—and once inside the folding glass doors, there’s a large, shared table and a few smaller ones for around four people. Be warned—there is not a lot of space here! 

Round lights hang in bunches from above to create a piece of art, and the walls are decorated with artworks from an artist in residence who changes from time to time. The latest is Trisha Nestor Smith with her show, Smudges, Smears & Adventitious Marks—a selection of drawings and lithographs of various themes from 1988 to 2016.

There’s also a constant influx of cool kids and a warm and welcoming, snug atmosphere. It’s almost like everyone is sharing the same secret—which, in a way, they are. 

This hotspot is owned by the same people who recently opened Homestead—that gallery-come-café beauty that has quickly become popular among the Auckland crowd. With a very different style of menu, they recently decided to bring some of the more popular dishes from Homestead over to Ceremony. 

While both are focused on free-range, organic and local produce, we were curious to find out what a trip to Ceremony would now be like if we didn’t order one of their burgers. I know, it’s almost sacrilege to say it. 

But, somebody’s got to do the work, so I went along last Sunday morning to check it out. Parking can be a bit difficult around this spot, it’s worth noting. That aside, it took so much effort to bypass my tried-and-true smoked bacon sandwich and focus on the new breakfast menu. 

The options are short but satisfying—chia and oat porridge, free-range eggs and toast, a grilled cheese sandwich, pesto rice salad, a breakfast crumpet and a sweet crumpet for those who like something a little more…sweet. The latter has poached pear and Greek yoghurt with candied almond, so technically you’re still being healthy #winning.

The breakfast crumpet is certainly not to be missed. Piled high with delicious mushrooms, butternut, bacon and egg, it is beautifully presented, delicious and filling without leaving you bloated. 

While eggs and bacon may seem like a boring breakfast, for those of us who are a tad obsessed with it, we become quite evangelistic about our dish. It’s so basic, but so easy to get wrong. Thankfully, Ceremony manages to do it very, very well. The scrambled eggs were the right mix of soft and hard and the bacon was perfection—soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and hot, hot, hot. 

And now it’s confession time. One of our party of three couldn’t say no to a burger. Admittedly, it was his first time at Ceremony and can be forgiven after hearing me rave about it for so long. Yep, he went for the breakfast sandwich and devoured it—greasy goodness dripping down his chin within minutes. With a satisfied smile, he assured me he’d be back.

While it’s not possible for us to try everything on the menu, looking at the dishes and trying what we could, we can pretty much give this a five-star Sunday morning experience. Or any other day of the week. The venue is funky, the staff are friendly and the food is everything you would want for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Whether you’re in need of some grease to help you recover from the antics of the night before or after a healthy start to your day or lunch, Ceremony has you covered. 

Trust us—Ceremony will not disappoint. And, you can be sure, in the immortal words of The Terminator: I’ll be back.

Want to know the location, opening hours and all the deets? Find Ceremony in the Directory.

Image credit: Andrew Wilson

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