326 Evans Bay Parade, Hataitai, Wellington
Opens: 8am Tues to Sun; closes 5pm
Muesli $15; Allpress coffee, t-leaf-T tea
The Greta Point Café is on the drive around the bays from Evans Bay to Central Wellington. It is in the ground floor of a new apartment building next to the old Patent Slip where ships were once hauled across the road for repair and maintenance. There are big windows on all sides, but the view is mainly to the road opposite, as you are not on the sea side of the road. The menu seems to be fairly standard café fare, with house-made muesli.
The muesli was nicely presented, with fanned apple slices and a thin sail of orange above a whole banana. Grape halves lay on a bed of yoghurt and were covered in runny honey. I appreciated the trouble taken to arrange everything like this. The honey could have been drizzled over everything, but I think it was better concentrated over the grapes, giving them a glossy shine and contrasting with the more liquid and acid yoghurt below.
I would have liked the banana sliced into more bite-sized pieces though (it had about 3 or 4 slices). And the rind on the orange meant you had to eat it with your fingers. But then it wouldn’t have looked nearly as nice without, and it enabled a twist of the two halves into an angle by being joined at the top of the uncut rind.
The muesli was composed of well toasted small gains of rolled oats, with non-toasted sesame seeds, coconut shred, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and dried fruit. It had that baked taste, as though the oats were roasted with liquid of some sort. I liked that some thought had gone into separating the roasting of the oats from the coconut and sesame seeds, as they would have been overdone if thrown in together from the beginning.
I detected relatively little sugar in the milk left over at the end of my eating, suggesting there wasn’t much in the muesli. Well, except for the abundance of raisins, and dried apricots, which gave the mix a chewy consistency. As I’ve said in other reviews, why add dried fruit when you have fresh?
The yoghurt seemed rather like the cheap sort you get in supermarkets: sweetened and highly emulsified. Readers of these reviews will know I would have preferred less or no honey from a health point of view, and less banana for that matter too. But I can see the issue from a café operator’s perspective: if you have gone and peeled a banana for a dish you might as well throw the whole thing in since it won’t keep.
My Americano coffee (no filter available) was good, and there were plenty of newspapers to read. Jazz music played softly in the background and there was little ambient noise, even with the concrete floor. Mind you, during my stay from about 8.15 on a Saturday to just after 9am there were at most seven others dining (but it was during the quiet period just after New Year).
I had tea on another occasion, along with carrot cake. Halleluiah! At last, a well served cup of tea. There was a large pot of hot water, perfectly judged tea strength, a proper tea cup, not a repurposed coffee cup, and the metal pots were bright and gleaming, not the grime-coated partly broken ones you find so often elsewhere. And the pots did not dribble when pouring. I did forget to check whether the tea was tea bag or leaf tea. And despite the excellent care in presentation I’m afraid the taste was neither here nor there. T-leaf-Tea tends to be like that.
The carrot cake was interesting: a light colour rather than the usual dark, oily mix, and served with a very generous helping of whipped cream. Unusual for carrot cake, but good.
Being on the Sunday drive route, I suspect the café does well at lunch time and on weekend afternoons. It has a relatively late closing time of 5pm but the Google visitation statistics don’t show an especially high attendance towards the end of the day. Interesting that Tuesday and Wednesdays around the middle of the day have a healthy patronage. When I later I visited for the tea mid-morning in March and I’d say the patrons were mostly either ladies who lunch or retirees.
I enjoyed my visit to Greta Point. Everything felt nicely low key: the music, unobtrusive service, lack of noise. The excellent presentation of the muesli and ready availability of newspapers helped make my experience a pleasant one. As for the food itself, I would like less honey and dried fruit; and more nuts, more slices in the banana, and a more natural yoghurt.
Reviewed January 2021.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.