Ohtel

66 Oriental Parade, Oriental Bay, Wellington
Opens 7am weekdays; 8am weekends
Granola $12.90; porridge $13.90; Immigrant’s Son black coffees $3.50, $4 with milk; t-leaf-T teas

Boutique hotel Ohtel has a small café/tapas bar in the entrance foyer called the Duppa Bar that serves breakfast. It is very small and wonderfully done out in modernist retro style. It is on Oriental Parade, at the south end opposite Waitangi Park, so you don’t have to go all the way round into Oriental Bay.

The granola is fairly standard fare, with small sized flakes of oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, peanuts, dried cranberries, and the hint of a ginger taste. Serving size wasn’t huge, but OK. It was topped with an excellent dollop of stewed rhubarb, and this was covered again with the usual café yoghurt: creamy but bland Zany Zeus. It was served with a good quantity of milk in a jug. Beware though, the jug isn’t a good pourer when near full and I ended up with a pool of milk on the table. The Americano coffee was fine and came with a matching jug of hot water (half full, so poured fine). My companions on another occasion had toasted banana bread and it was good.

There was nobody else there when I arrived at 10am and this has been my previous experience when I’ve popped in for a coffee. I don’t know what it would be like between 8am and 9am when hotel guests might be taking breakfast. But it’s a quiet retreat during the day.

Since writing this I had tea and a scone with a companion for afternoon tea in summer. There were quite a few people at the tables. I guess it was now peak accommodation season. The tea was quite good, though served in wide coffee cups (heat loss is why you shouldn’t do that). The tea pot was a good pourer. Tea was in a plastic tea bag. This is a problem with t-leaf-T in some of their teas. The cheese scone was OK, though not startling. However, it was a little hard to judge, as we simply asked for it to be heated but it came out squashed flat after being put in a grill.

Conclusion

The granola itself was average, though the rhubarb topping was better than what you get in most other cafés. However, the real attraction is not the food and coffee so much as the quiet, retro environment. I will be back to try the porridge.

Reviewed August 2019

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