Coene’s

103 Oriental Parade, Oriental Bay, Wellington
11am weekdays, 8am weekends; closes late every day
Granola $21, porridge $20; Halo coffee, T2 tea

Coene’s Bar & Eatery is in an upstairs section of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, a spiffing location, with an uninterrupted view over the yacht harbour. There is even a balcony where you can dine, though breakfast breakfast diners tend not to eat here. Still, you should have no trouble getting a window seat most times.

The menu seems to change quite a lot, so don’t rely on the website. What I had was listed as yoghurt pudding with granola and other ingredients, but I’m calling it granola for the purposes of review. The base layer was indeed a yoghurt mix, and this had a sprinkling of shiny, crisp and sweet granola applied over it. On top of this was a riot of elements, some of which I couldn’t identify or name. I’m afraid this went off the menu a couple of weeks after I sampled it, but hopefully it will come back.

There was smooth peanut butter, but not enough to be a gluggy party pooper; fresh fruit such as strawberries and banana slices; and all manner of swirls of delicious custards and gels. One seemed like lemon curd. Another had a lovely flower fragrance. And there were flowers for real as well. If ever this was a breakfast dish designed for Instagraming, this was it.

Above is what things look like underneath the top layers once you’ve dug in a bit.

There was no one seated when I arrived at about 8.15am on a Sunday, and by 9am there were a handful of other diners. I grabbed one of the booth seats at the far end where you get the sun and face a window. Wedged in there it was my own private seat with a view. Some rather crappy music played a bit loud ruined things at first but that seemed to drop away after a while.

The coffee was a good size and tasted fine, but wasn’t terribly hot. Maybe that was because I asked them to hold the coffee until the granola was ready and rather than make it at this stage they had it sitting around in the cup while the granola was prepared. Other cafés seem to be able to deal with my request OK and pull the coffee once the dish is ready to go.

Conclusion

Fantastic location and food to match. The granola is made to appeal to our inner child. It is expensive, but you do get what you pay for here.

Reviewed October 2019.

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