221 The Parade, Island Bay, Wellington
Opens: 7:30am Tues–Fri, 8am weekend; closes 3pm
Muesli $13; Mojo coffee, Libertine tea
Betsy is a small deli, bakery and café in Island Bay. Its website proclaims, ‘Modern Deli, Real Food, No Junk’. Yes, I will go along with these claims. The menu includes house-made crumpets and bagels, only one meat dish, and uses or sells top quality products like Shelly Bay Bakery bread, Forty Thieves nut butters and KB Kombucha. So what was the muesli like?
For starters, the muesli was an attractive sight, with a good mix of fresh fruit topped by three flower blossoms and a light sprinkle of freeze-dried raspberries and blueberries. Maybe it could have been more artfully arranged, but I’m not really complaining. Underneath, the muesli (described on the menu as granola, but definitely not) mostly comprised large whole-grain rolled oats mixed with slices of dried figs and apricots. You could tell that this was a bespoke mix from the way the dried fruit was generously cut: it didn’t come from out of a chopped fruit packet or a bulk bin.
There was a smallish amount of nuts amongst the oats: cashews, almonds, pumpkin and walnuts. And a cinnamon taste ran through the muesli, but I didn’t detect any added sweetener. On top was a spoonful of Zany Zeus Greek yoghurt.
As I mentioned, the place is small and the seating isn’t the sort that makes you want to linger: a large table in the middle with stools, a bench along the window, and a couple of tables outside.
And maybe people don’t usually sit. When I visited on a holiday weekend shortly after opening the only patrons were people coming in for take-out coffee, bakery or deli items. One person (a regular it turned out) later sat outside.
The Americano coffee was good. And beyond that, I really don’t have much more to say. Maybe because, besides the seating, there I couldn’t find anything to complain about!
Betsy was a find and I will be back to try some of the other food. The muesli is not overly ambitious, but simply just right, though if you prefer an all-guns-blazing dish you may find it too plain. For me, perhaps I do need a little more pizzazz to make the longish bus trip worthwhile on a regular basis, but if I was local I would happily eat here often.
Reviewed February 2021.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.