Arcimboldi - porridge header

24 Dundas St, Seatoun, Wellington
Opens 8.30am Wednesday to Sunday; closes 8.30pm
Porridge $16, granola $16; Supreme coffee, t-leaf-T tea

Arcimboldi is an eatery in the upmarket seaside suburb of Seatoun. Its name comes from the sixteenth century mannerist artist Guiseppe Arcimboldi who painted portraits composed of fruit, vegetables, plants and sea creatures. You can see reproductions of his work on the eatery walls. Why choose this artist’s name? You will have to go to the website for the full explanation.

The eatery does counter food, à la carte brunch and dinner, and takeaways. The latter focuses on a large range of pizzas. I’m told the muffins are very good, so next time you are driving around the bays this could be a good place to stop. And they seem to do year-round granola and porridge, rather than swapping them over according to season like many other places.

Arcimboldi - porridge and coffee

The porridge is very nicely presented in a large, shallow bowl, with a leaf of basil on top. It is made from oats, chia and flax seed and there is so much of it I couldn’t quite manage to finish my bowl. I enjoyed the additional grains in the porridge, as plain oats can get a bit boring after a while. There is a light drizzle of what is described on the menu as vanilla golden syrup across the top. Readers of this site will know I am against added sugar, but there wasn’t very much of this syrup, so no complaints really.

As you can see, there was a line of sliced banana on top and a very small amount of boysenberry compote. I would have liked a bit more. And on one half was a thin sprinkling of a highly toasted ‘crumble’, rich in toasted coconut shred, almonds and oats. I think granola on porridge is a great idea – you get something crunchy and nutty to contrast with the smooth pastiness of porridge. This was much the same.

Arcimboldi - interior to door

I had to ask for a jug of milk, as it didn’t come with the porridge and I wouldn’t have got through it without one. I seemed to detect a slightly puzzled look at my request, but who eats porridge without milk or cream? Anyway, a small jug of milk did duly arrive.

There is no filter coffee available at Arcimboldi, but I must say the Americano was generous in quantity and very hot. The latter compensated from being served in a cup, where you lose heat quickly, rather than a mug.

Arcimboldi - interior to garden

I turned up at the 8.30am opening time on a Saturday, and nobody else was there for quite a while. That is, until I realised there was an entrance down the side of the building which led to a pleasant area out the back, with French doors opening to an outside seating area with planters. About seven or eight people were seated there when I left at about 9.30am.

Arcimboldi - garden
Arcimboldi - exterior

I liked the multi-grain porridge. I would probably prefer a less toasted and less sweet crumble topping, and a bit more compote, but these are my only niggles. I’m keen to come back for the granola. It is not the same as the crumble I was told, and comes with lots of fruit. If I lived in Seatoun I would probably be popping in here all the time to try the other food on offer too.

Reviewed October 2020.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.

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