4 Gipps St, Karori, Wellington
Opens: 7.30am; closes 4pm, except Sat 3pm; closed Sun
Muesli $9.50, porridge $9.50; Supreme coffee, t-leaf-T tea
Gipps St Deli is a suburban deli and café in an affluent part of Karori. It is very much in a side street away from the main thoroughfares of Karori, so you have to know it’s there if you don’t live nearby. There is a Saturday brunch menu on its website, and Saturday is when I visited. I don’t know what happens other days. Maybe it’s just counter food then. You can order takeaway meals though, but we are not talking about fish and chips and pizza. More like boeuf bourguignon, ratatouille with rice and smoked fish pie. Classy fare, yet not actually expensive.
The muesli was listed on the online menu as coming with stewed rhubarb, but it had a berry compote instead. No problem though. Actually compote might be my misnomer here, as I think it was just thawed frozen berries (blackberries?), but again, no problem as it meant no sugary fruit syrup. The yoghurt was pretty straightforward too. Plain, with a bit of a tang, not sweet, and not thick and fatty.
The muesli was beneath these toppings, and readers of my pages will know I don’t like this, as you can’t mix the three components in a spoonful, or alternate them. In a deep bowl you are forced to eat in vertical succession, leaving you with just a serve of plain muesli after you’ve worked through the toppings. The latter then work largely as decoration, not part of a combined taste experience.
The muesli was interesting. It was mostly smallish, toasted rolled oats. Absent were the ubiquitous sunflower and pumpkin seeds and almond pieces served at other eateries. Instead there were cashew nut pieces, coconut flakes, sultanas, and a very few pieces of another dried fruit, possibly apricot, but I think pawpaw. It seemed like a dry roasted mix, so not oily or sugary. With all those oats it was also quite dry to eat and took a fair bit of chewing to get through.
I really liked the café interior. Look at the photo above. Clean, precise, immaculate. And comfortable. It is clearly a couple of rooms in a former residence that have ben opened out. The steel topped table I sat at (to get the best natural light for my photos) you can see at centre left above seems a bit out of place, as does the red stool in the view towards the entrance in the photo below. But those would be my only complaints. The environment was complimented by very low volume background music, plus magazines and a single newspaper to read.
The Americano coffee I had was good and served in an attractive cup. Such a relief from the usual chocolate-brown coffee cups. I did notice someone being served tea and it looked like a plain white version of the coffee cup. The tea pot was nothing special and I noticed no extra hot water served, so maybe they don’t do tea so well.
There wasn’t anyone at all in the place when I turned up at about 7.50am, but people gradually drifted in, and an hour later I counted about seven, so roughly half-full. It’s not a big place, though you can sit outside on a good day. The patrons looked like they were all locals: entirely Pākehā, well-off, in casual but clean clothes, and no young people aside from a couple of pre-schoolers. No hipsters or post-punks. It’s a long way from the hustle and bustle of my home turf of inner city Cuba St, and I could never afford to live here, but it’s nice to visit.
Very healthy muesli on account of low sugar. All the same, with such a volume of oats it is a bit carb dense. Perhaps it would benefit moving in the paleo direction a little. Some sunflower seeds after all, and a few other seeds, like chia or linseed say. As for the environment, it was extremely pleasant and stress-free.
Reviewed April 2021.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.