171 Willis St, Te Aro Wellington
Opens 7am weekdays, 8.30am Sat; closes 4pm weekdays, 3pm Sat
Granola (muesli) $11; Red Rabbit coffee; Libertine teas
Goldmine is on the corner of Dixon and Willis streets in premises formerly occupied by the high-end sex shop D-Vice and just around the corner from one of my favourite cafes, Hangar. It features a wall-sized mirror facing the windows on Willis St (not a left over from the sex shop?) which gives the illusion of the space being much bigger than it is. I think it has changed hands since I wrote this and the muesli is certainly described differently, so I’ll have to go back: watch this space.
I was offered the choice of fresh fruit or berry compote with my granola. Nice touch! And the fresh fruit was a decent service of banana, orange, apple and kiwifruit when it came. The quantity of thick, creamy yoghurt (Zany Zeus?) was generous too.
The best bit was the granola. Actually, I’m not sure whether to classify it as granola or muesli, though it is listed as granola on the menu. I’m calling it muesli because it wasn’t clumped together with a binder of oil and honey/syrup in the roasting, though it didn’t feature any oats I could see. It consisted of pumpkin seeds, chopped almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and perhaps brown sesame seeds. There was none of the ubiquitous coconut found in most granola and muesli mixes. I think the nuts and seeds were roasted, but only lightly.
There was no dried fruit, but sugar in the form of a light drizzle of honey or syrup covered everything. If you wanted a low sugar dish you could just ask for this to be skipped.
No milk was offered with the dish, but you didn’t really need it with so much yoghurt. The Americano coffee was a good size, tasted fine and was hot. The place was set up by the owner of pretty cool coffee brew bar Lamason, but I think there has been a pull back on the types of coffee on offer since opening. It was only espresso when I was there.
I had tea on another day. It was the Wellington organic brand Libertine (English Breakfast). I can’t say there was anything remarkable about it. The tea (in a tea bag) came in a good sized, iron Chinese tea pot which had about two to three cups in it. It poured well. The cup was a coffee cup, but reasonably shaped for tea. The tea wasn’t very hot. I asked for more hot water, which seemed to cause a bit of consternation. It was given to me in a strange glass sort of beaker but was definitely hot enough to perk things up.
There were about 12 or so people present at 8am on each of the weekdays I visited and this number stayed steady for the next half hour. There is plenty of space, so this number still gave me plenty of room to spread out. However, I will say that when I walk past in the mornings it never gets more people than this, including on the weekends, while the nearby Hangar and Neo are always buzzing. The counter food looked a bit cafeteria-ish, so maybe they have just not aimed high enough to match the level of discernment you find in Wellington now.
Great granola or muesli – whichever you call it – entirely nut and seed based. Choice of fresh or preserved fruit is a nice touch. Honey drizzle could be omitted if you wish. Overall, this feels like a café lacking in identity.
Reviewed October 2019.