The newest eatery to open in our fair city resides in the beachy suburb of Torbay. We visited Scout on its third day open and word had obviously gotten around—it was jammed-packed. Why? Because it’s better than good.
Roger Lui, is the friendly owner you’ll find greeting guests and clearing tables. He’s no stranger to the hospitality scene, opening Epsom’s Hello Friends & Allies just shy of a year ago. He’s on a mission to give each and every Auckland suburb a “decent cafe”, but Scout is more than that. It’s incredibly well thought-out—everything from the decor, to the amount of space between the tables (knowing lots of young families wielding prams live in the area), to the menu to the loyalty coffee cards which boast wearable ‘Scout’ pins. This local cafe has certainly raised the bar.
The interiors was designed by Space CTRL—the artistic masterminds behind Dr Rudis and Kokako’s HQ. Its concrete floors and beech wood walls contrast with pastel tones of green and pink. A custom light feature weaves across the ceiling.
From the kitchen you’ll find a collection of cafe-faves all with exciting and modern twists. Note: you may find some of the techniques and ingredients used a little hard to understand (even we, as food writers did), but rest assured, the clued-up staff are there to help.
Granola is served with yoghurt pannacotta, caramelised white chocolate feuilletine, cherries and rhubarb. The ginger and soy smashed tofu is a vegetarian's dream served alongside tomato chutney, pickled daikon and Midnight Freedom loaf. The blueberry pikelets are stained a deep hue of indigo. Yuzu curd brightens the dish while summer stone fruit, coconut and maple give it balance. And hello, if you’re a fan of creme brulee, their Brulee French Toast is a must-try complete with fermented strawberries, dolce de leche, vanilla and green tea mascarpone and matcha crumble. And add bacon if you please.
A mushroom dish has never looked so good—Scout’s ‘Medley Mushrooms’ is a clever wee dish— pine needle doughnuts, black truffled whipped feta is garnished with thai basil. Choose the dish with or without a poached egg. Or take a trip to Mexico with their Chilaquiles Taco featuring cilantro scrambled eggs, avocado, black beans, salsa roja, puffed corn and nut butter powder.
Lunch is just as riveting. Il Casaro Burrata is New Zealand made, and is delicious and stringy. The plate itself looks like a piece of art. Verjus adds acidity while the compressed heirloom tomatoes add a myriad of colours. The Fish of The Day comes alongside meyer lemon puree, crispy shallots and a spice orange foam.
Wash all these delights down with housemade ‘kool drinks’—pineapple, ginger and mint soda or the ice tea of the day. Or, cool down with one of their tap ‘nitro’ cool brews thanks to Kokako. And, of course there’s plenty of smoothies and juices, too.
We’re not the jealous type—green is a terrible colour to wear. But in this instance we’re incredibly envious of the residents of Torbay and we’re hoping that Roger will magically clone himself tenfold so he can start opening cafes in every suburb. But for now, a trip across the Northern seems fair. Scout—that’s a high five from us.
Image credit: Lauren Matilda Matthews