90 Aro St, Aro Valley, Wellington
Opens 7.30am weekdays, 9am weekends; closes 4pm everyday; reopens 5.30pm–10pm Wed to Sat
Muesli $14; Aro Coffee (owners brand), t-Leaf-T tea
Aro Café is a bit of an institution in the secluded Aro Valley, which is not far from the Te Aro area of Wellington city.
This muesli was toasted, so perhaps belongs more strictly in the granola category, but as it was lightly toasted I will leave it here for now. It contained a large quantity of dried fruit and was topped by bland, thick and creamy yoghurt, and stewed pears (also a bland form of fruit in my view). I was served soy milk to accompany the muesli when I asked for it, but it was in a tiny jug of the sort you use for adding milk to tea or coffee.
According to the menu the yoghurt was Zany Zeus. Quite a few Wellington cafés seem to use this brand. I don’t know why. It does have a heavy, smooth and creamy texture, so I suppose there is a sort of luxuriance about it. But it has no taste. And on top of all this I found the muesli rather salty – maybe they were compensating for lack of taste with the yoghurt and fruit? The coffee was average: Americano served in a cup.
The café is a pretty relaxed place, as befits its situation in the heart of the bohemian Aro Valley, and popular with locals. But personally I find the dark wooden decor makes the place gloomy. This isn’t helped by the front windows being a veranda and never getting the sun.
I had high expectations of a café situated right in the heart of Wellington’s muesli eating suburb. But sorry Aro Café, though you are the nearest eatery to my home, and I have enjoyed cake at your tables, there is nothing that makes me want to return for your muesli.
Reviewed May 2019