24 Lady Elizabeth Lane, 10 Waterloo Quay, Wellington waterfront
Opens 7am weekdays, 8am Sat; closes 4pm weekdays, 2pm Sat
Muesli $15; Emporio coffee, t-leaf-T tea
Black Doris is a new addition to the Wellington eatery scene, opening in late 2019. It is on the waterfront in the PWC building, opposite the NZ Post building and near Wellington Railway Station. It specialises in Vietnamese food, but also offers standard New Zealand café fare for breakfast such as eggs or mushrooms on toast as well as ‘house-made black strap granola’.
I’d definitely describe the product as muesli rather than granola as there is no clumping of grains or crunchiness. However, it is quite different from any other muesli I’ve so far tried in eateries. The oats are quite dry (I had to ask for a second jug of milk to wet them), and a little bit crisp, suggesting that they have been roasted in some way, presumably with the black strap molasses of the description. There is certainly a dark colouring to it. Note that this type of molasses has relatively little sugar and this was borne out by how little dissolved into the residual milk from the muesli.
The muesli was composed of small-grain oat flakes combined with limited quantities of raisins, dried cranberries, coconut shred and pumpkin seeds. It was topped with a good variety of fresh fruit (but ironically, no black doris plums at the very time when they are in season), a small amount of runny yoghurt and a sweet strawberry compote.
My companion had scrambled eggs on toast with the optional kranskys. She reported that the eggs were done just as she likes them.
I had an Americano coffee and it was served in a cappuccino cup. It seemed fine.
The decor is contemporary industrial – polished concrete floor, big metal-frame glass windows, metal stools (plus some black webbing chairs and bench seats), and a high ceiling with exposed utilities. Noise didn’t seem to be a problem, though there weren’t many people when I was there. Easy-to-ignore reggae music was playing away in the background.
I don’t recall seeing any newspapers or magazines to read, but maybe that’s because it is more of a lunch place, or maybe they like to keep it slick and clean looking and such things would look too messy.
Interesting and original muesli. Could do with more yoghurt and fresh fruit to add moisture to an otherwise very dry mix. Black Doris has a sharp, carefully tuned design aesthetic more suited to the business end of town where customers are there for a short span of time and not planning to take their shoes off and blob out for an hour or two.
Reviewed March 2020.