Floriditas

Floriditas muesli - header image

161 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington
Opens 7am, closes 3pm; re-opens 5.30–late
Muesli $18; bircher $16; porridge $18; Supreme coffee; Tea Total leaf tea

Floriditas is known for its good food and service and is on the go all day and into the evening in a high-ceilinged 1930s space that’s right on a street corner. It won the Cuisine Magazine Best Casual Dining Restaurant award for 2021/2022.

They have stubbornly labelled this dish granola since I first had an earlier version in 2019, but really it is a muesli. Lets be clear about that straight out. Muesli. There is no binding agent, no crunch, no clusters or clumps.

Floriditas - coffee and muesli

With that out of the way, I will concede that it is an unusual muesli. I don’t think there are any oats in it for starters, and the grains are all puffed – possibly buckwheat, rice and millet, quinoa or amaranth (hard to tell with such small puffs). They are mixed with quite a lot of nuts and seeds: cashews, brazils, almonds, linseed, pumpkin, sunflower. Plus there is some shredded coconut and dried fruit in the form of cherries and cranberries. Everything is lightly toasted.

On top is coconut yoghurt and a lightly spiced preserved nectarine that looks, unfortunately a bit like a turd on top. Somehow my one at least was shaped into two elongated shapes that were more brown than the pink colour in my photograph. You also get a tiny jug of cashew milk, so the whole thing is vegan.

Floriditas granola 2019

Above is the version I had in July 2019. Sorry it is blurry. This was before I thought about a website, so it was a pretty casual snap. It is much the same dish, only there was a pear on top, and you could choose if you wanted dairy or plant yoghurt and milk. There was less of the puffed grains (just quinoa in this case) and more nuts. The red stuff was freeze-dried raspberries.

I guess preserved fruit offers chefs an opportunity to display their skills. It’s also quick and easy to serve (my muesli was certainly served in a flash) as there is no chopping up required, nor having to keep buying the stuff that might go to waste if nobody asks for muesli. I think there is also the romantic country kitchen kind of mystique about it too. But then how does this sit with the judges’ comments for the Cuisine awards: “It’s the sophisticated plates deftly produced to reflect seasonal flavours that are the very essence of Floriditas”. It’s summer as I write this, with a wonderful selection of fruits available. Why serve them cooked, as though you were eating in winter?

Floriditas interior view to Cuba St corner

The Americano coffee was good and served without hot water. There was music but it was pleasantly low volume. I think that when the place fills up it can get pretty noisy though as there are hard surfaces on all sides but there are not too many people at 8am on a Saturday. Service was fast, pleasant and very attentive. You get a glass of water when you sit down.

Floriditas interior - main room to east

I have also had tea and a cheese scone here. The tea was OK, and was plain leaf in a large teapot that poured about three cups. Yay, and may all those cafes that serve it in a mean pot the size of a small cup take note! A downside was the pot was stainless steel (loses heat) and poured badly (watch out!). The scone was good. Maybe not a prize winner in a town that does cheese scones well, but certainly up with the pack.

Floriditas interior - second room to west

There used to be newspapers to read, but I was told on a Saturday morning at about 8am that the dairy wasn’t open. (The nearest one opens and 8am and only slightly further away is the Night ‘N Day Cuba store that’s open 24 hrs.) No evidence of newspapers at 8:40 when I left either. Why not get them delivered? They will be on your door at around 7.30am.

Floriditas external
Conclusion

Excellent muesli mostly consisting of seeds, nuts and puffed grains. Expensive and smallish serving. Will suit paleos and vegans and one of the healthier muesli’s in town, with relatively low carb and sugar in particular (the preserved fruit is not syrupy). I’d prefer fresh fruit though. Comfortable environment when not too many people. Doesn’t reliably offer newspapers.

Reviewed July 2019 and February 2022.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit

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