119 Dixon St, Te Aro, Wellington
Opens 8am daily; closes 3pm (post-Covid hours)
Porridge $14, replaced with granola in summer; Flight coffee (incl filter and cold); Tea Drop (black teas) and Libertine (herbal and green) teas
Hangar has a place in my heart. It was there that I was introduced to the pleasure of filter coffee by a friendly and helpful barista. I suddenly understood that the cappuccinos I had been drinking for so long conveyed little of the subtle tastes of coffee. And the delicious and amazing looking muesli I was served (not photographed unfortunately) made me think that maybe I should start sampling café mueslis.
It is spring as I write and you would expect with the new season’s menu that porridge would be swapped with muesli. Instead, the porridge I reviewed here in June (see below) has been replaced with a new version. But that’s fine, because this is pretty good porridge I’m pleased to say, even better perhaps.
Both old and new porridge dishes came in a shallow dish. This could be a recipe for going cold quickly, but the bowls had clearly been well pre-heated and the porridge stayed warm down to the last spoonful.
The new porridge was creamy but not so much as the old one. There was plenty of small, whole-grain rolled oats to chew on. But the porridge wasn’t so much the feature for this dish, and more its base, a foil for the fruit toppings. These included berry compote with well cooked strawberries, blackberries (I think) and blueberries. It came with lots of sweet juice that created ponds over the top of the porridge. This was over the top of a more viscous passionfruit syrup. A splodge of yoghurt was thinly dusted with nutmeg.
Now for the old porridge. I’m covering it here too because it was interesting, and they might always bring it back. It was cooked with milk and cream and was very rich, but pleasantly so. On the top was an apple and rhubarb compote that was neither too sour nor sweet, and beneath this quite tart and runny yoghurt. And there was a sprinkling of cinnamon over the porridge. The menu did describe it as spiced porridge, but the dusting of cinnamon was so light that it barely warranted being called this.
I had great service on the second occasion I visited. There were no newspapers to read, but the waitress went out and bought me one to read. And the the last cup of the currently promoted Monteverde (Colombia) batch filter coffee I ordered turned out to have been delivered to another customer, so I was given a gratis cup of Parami single origin from Timor-Leste while a new batch of the Monteverde was brewed. The Parami was quite fruity, and so perhaps not the best foil for this particular porridge, but delicious nevertheless, and may be my future coffee of choice.
Patronage seems good in this post-Covid lockdown period, with the place about a third or even half full on weekday mornings but packed out around midday in the weekend. I always wonder if Hangar gets spill-over from the hotel opposite in the mornings as guest seek something better than a standard hotel breakfast.
The new porridge presents very attractively, with the red of the compote juice contrasting with the yellow of the passionfruit and its black seeds. And the yellow daisies are a finishing touch that lift the appearance from nice to wow! As far as taste goes, the whole is fairly liquid, sweet and fruity. A plus at Hangar is always great filter coffee and free sparkling water.
Reviewed June & October 2020.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.