If you’re reading this from the suburb of Newmarket, stop and drop whatever you’re doing. And, if you’re anywhere else in Auckland, also stop and drop whatever you’re doing and make your way to new opening, Champ Canteen!
Set up by the same people behind Mt Eden’s popular RAD cafe, it is situated just off Broadway. Painted bright blue, there’s no chance of missing this one! Inside, the interiors, designed by the lovely girls at Material Creative, are minimalistic yet ooze cool factor. Communal tables take up the back end of the eatery, while bar leaners and stools sit pretty at the front—perfect for watching the bustling streets as you wait for one the many delectable treats on offer.
Firstly, coffee is taken very seriously here—as it should be. Their blends, courtesy of Rocket, are created specifically for them, while their single-origin filter coffee is purchased and roasted in season. Even if you aren’t a black coffee drinker, we recommend you give it a whirl—the Hario coffee is beautifully sweet and smooth, with subtle tea-like notes.
From the kitchen there’s certainly something to make everyone salivate. Toasties are reminiscent of those you’ve enjoyed as a kid.
“Hugh and I lived off these,” explains owner, Duke. “Our versions include old favourites, but instead of the filling coming from a can, ours is homemade.”
They certainly induce nostalgic feelings and are delicious to boot. The spaghetti and sausage toastie includes Pokeno Toulouse pork, a rich tomato sauce and plenty of fresh herbs. Their cheese toastie is stringy, thanks to the 15-month gruyere, and has a gentle hum thanks to the shallots, truffle butter and chives. And, their creamed corn is an absolute winner too, with poached prawns and streaky bacon adding welcomed flavour and texture.
There’s breakfast that consists of muesli, or eggs on Midnight Baker’s toast. The prawn benedict is not to missed—perfectly sauteed prawns and shrimp hollandaise sit perfectly on a buttery and flaky toasted croissant.
On to lunch, which takes on a Vietnamese spin. There’s a soft-shell crab salad with a traditional spicy papaya base. The caramel salmon bowl’s sweetness gets cut-through with the addition of pickled cucumber and dill rice or, if you want to play it a little safe, we highly suggest the beautiful chicken salad that boasts the perfect combo of grilled asparagus, baby cos, hazelnuts, avo, green olives, basil mayo and a soft boiled egg.
Champ Canteen is one of those new openings you want to be at all the time. Why? Because they’ve simply got everything so right—decor that’s calming and comfortable to be in, perfectly brewed coffee, friendly and knowledgeable service and food offerings that will happily see you from the wee hours of the morning until a late lunch.
So, we repeat—stop, drop whatever you’re doing, and get there.
For more details on Champ Canteen, including opening hours, click here.
Image credit: Lauren Matilda Matthews