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What is this Site About?

This site revolves around reviews of muesli and related breakfast cereals served in the cafés and restaurants of Wellington, New Zealand. Why? Well, Wellington has 880 or so eateries – twice as many eateries for its population than New York! Of these, I count at least 100 in the inner city and nearby suburbs that do muesli, granola or porridge. Yet you will never find these dishes covered by food reviewers.

So that’s what I’m here for: to find you the best oat-based eating experience in Wellington.

More than just Cereals

I also cover other fare. Wellington has a strong coffee culture and it’s easy enough to get a good espresso. But a filter coffee, where you can taste the difference between the varieties of bean, is harder to come by. So I have sought filter coffees out. The overwhelming emphasis on espresso also means very few eateries in Wellington have any idea how to prepare and serve tea. I’ve added hunting down those that do to my tasks.

And then there are the cheese scones. I do a small sideline in those because apparently this is a Wellington thing, with stiff competition to make the best.

More than just Wellington and Muesli

I give a run-down on my general impressions of each eatery, so even if you are not into eating muesli at cafés it will still be useful. And I’d like to think that if they can do muesli well, then they can excel at other things.

And if you don’t live in Wellington, the dishes sampled provide plenty of ideas for how you could work up your own. I also discuss:

  • the history of different cereal dishes (with a New Zealand emphasis)
  • frumenty – a traditional cereal dish not offered by eateries
  • health questions and cereals
  • and making your own muesli.
How to Use the Site

On the muesli, granola, bircher and porridge pages I have created thumbnail images to stand for cafés and restaurants I’ve reviewed. These are ranked best to worst, starting top left. This assessment is weighted towards quality of the dish, but also includes the total dining experience.

You can also click on the map to see locations and view my colour-coded rankings from one to five stars. Roll over marker to see the eatery name; click on marker to get details; click on eatery name to go to my review.

Below I also list my selected favourites by a single judging factor. And further down you can just enter the name of an eatery in the search box to see if I have reviewed it.

What is the Site Really About?

Isn’t this reviewing different eateries in one town just on muesli-related dishes a bit too specialised and obsessive? Well, I suppose. Am I serious? Afraid so, sort of. Don’t I have better, more important things to do? Yes, I think so. Or maybe no. Isn’t excellence what we should be demanding, of ourselves and others, in all things? That is, quality that comes from both care and attention? To experience this in a dining experience – in a humble bowl of muesli or a cup of tea – reminds us how to live.

And just so you have some warning, I’m planning to close this site down by 1 December 2022. It has been fun, and a lot of work, and now I would like to move onto other things. Also, there is little point keeping it running without updating because menus change so often, not to mention eateries coming and going. So things get quickly out of date.

Athol McCredie
‘The Muesli Man’


* * * The Awards * * *

Best All Round: People often ask me for a one-liner on where the best place for muesli or other oat-based dish is in Wellington. I can’t really answer that as it depends what is important to you. For me, it is not just the food, but also the environment. And then there are other factors like the quality of the tea or coffee and whether newspapers are offered. So I’ve separated the factors out below. But if you really push me, then here are the places I would return to. Note that they are mostly very popular and you often need to arrive within 30 mins of opening to have a decent experience:
Maranui (scores on all factors)
The Oatery (scores on the food)
Neo (scores on food, coffee, newspapers)
Hangar (scores on food and coffee)
Nikau (scores on food, coffee, environment, newspapers)
Archimboldi (scores on food and environment)
Seashore Cabaret (scores on food, coffee, environment)
Pranah (good food and environment (if you can get the best seats))

Best Muesli: Maranui, Word of Mouth, Seize, Rata, Comes and Goes

Best Granola: Neo, Hangar, Polo, The Oatery

Best Bircher: The Lab, The Oatery, Two Grey, Floriditas

Best Porridge: Maranui, The Oatery, Kaizen, Qilin

Serves Filter Coffee: Hangar, Neo, Loretta, Highwater, Leeds St Bakery, Mojo, Goods, Maranui, Seashore Cabaret, Machete, Prefab, L’affare, Comes and Goes, Goldmine, Aro Cafe, Bicycle Junction, Empire Cinema, Origin, Small Batch, Peoples Coffee

Best Tea: Very few do tea well in Wellington. Qilin, August and Greta Point would be my top picks, in that order.

Best Cheese Scones: Nikau, August

Best Environment: Southern Cross, Coene’s, Home, Loretta, Maranui, Ohtel, Dixon St Deli, Lola Stays, Egmont St Eatery, Arcimboldi, August

Best Value For Money: Midnight Espresso, Vic Books, Whitby’s, Dixon St Deli, Kaffee Eis, Squirrel, Pranah, Peoples Coffee

Sustainability Award: Highwater, Rātā Cafe

Eateries Reviewed: 129
Dishes Reviewed: 165
Recently Added: Urban on Manners, The Oatery, Artisan, The Lab – Press Hall, Peoples Coffee, Forage Kitchen at Mövenpick Hotel

One thought on “Home

  1. Brilliant Reviews. Well written and honest and I think a rarity in the world of self-styled influencers with fake and over-the-top reviews

    Like

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