Honey Cafe | The Verdict

By Natasha Van Der Laan
8th Mar 2016

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Honey Café is creating a buzz in Takapuna—and for good reason too. The friendly neighbour café has things down pat. The menu, the space and the service are all second to none. 

Honey Café is the pride and joy of Lloyd Cho who took the business under his wing a year ago. After working in a bank for 10 years, Lloyd decided to kiss his finance career goodbye and return to his roots in the hospitality industry. And thank goodness he did—he’s now working his dream job and making local tummies very, VERY happy. 

Over the past 12 months Lloyd has been a busy bee: pimping out Honey’s interior and overhauling the menu—all while continuing to greet customers with a big, friendly smile.

When The Urban List popped into Honey on Saturday morning we perched ourselves on a long, wooden table. The café has a homely Scandinavian feel with white wooden furniture and panels. There are bold pops of colour with yellow being a common theme. The café has the whole indoor-outdoor flow thing perfected with retractable glass panels leading out to a large, open patio. We loved the hanging planters and carefully selected vintage collectables.

We ummed and ahhed over the all-day menu—everything sounded so good! They serve all your breakfast classics (eggs benny, smashed avo and French toast), as well as some more on-trend brekkies (oat and quinoa granola, sticky black rice and a Paleo-friendly breakfast). 

There are also some more lunch-ier dishes including pea and halloumi fritters, a superfood salad and the crowd favourite: a free-range chicken salad with halloumi, mango, avocado, toasted almonds and kumara crisps.

And while Lloyd has been living in New Zealand for the best part of 20 years, he gives a nod to his Korean heritage with the inclusion of kimchi in Honey’s breakfast tacos. For a lunch-on-the-go there are plenty of cabinet goodies such as hearty sausage rolls, baps, fresh muffins and a range of cakes.  

After much deliberation and helpful input from the friendly waitress we settled on eggs benedict and sticky black rice. The eggs benny starred two perfectly poached eggs (not too runny, not too hard) atop two crispy potato croquettes. This sat on a bed of fresh spinach and was smothered in house-made hollandaise. We liked the addition of beetroot puree, smeared artistically across the plate. Feeling hungry, we also added sides of free-range bacon and avocado smash to the dish.

The sticky black rice had some of our favourite flavours: banana, coconut and lemon grass. The warm porridge-like rice was perfectly complimented with coconut cream. The dish was then topped generously with fresh fruits (orange, apple and grape) and garnished with flowers and shredded coconut making it both delicious and Instagramable.

We opted to try the freshly squeezed juice of the day. On this particular visit, it was a refreshing blend of orange, apple, pear and carrot. Upon hearing we’re big peanut butter fans, Lloyd treated us to a PB smoothie that he plans on rolling out with a new menu. The dairy-free smoothie was made with almond milk, banana, cacao and, of course, peanut butter! It was absolutely divine. We’re sure it will be a welcome addition to the menu.

Caffeine addicts will be pleased to know Atomic coffee is on tap here. It’s brewed in an expert fashion from a bright yellow machine that sits cheerfully on the countertop. Honey Café also offers a prepaid coffee card that allows you to purchase 10 coffees of your choice for just $35—a popular initiative with local business people.

Whether you’re simply grabbing a coffee or catching up with friends over a long weekend brunch, Honey is your one-stop café. Long story short: we think Honey Café is the bee’s knees! 

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

Image credit: Honey Café and Natasha van der Laan

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