170–172 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington
Opens 8am daily; closes late Tues to Sat, 3pm Sun & Mon
Bircher muesli $14; Supreme coffee, t-Leaf-T tea

The long-running Wellington institution known for reliably good food, Olive Restaurant, only do bircher muesli in the cereal line, but its good stuff.

There was no-one dining when I arrived at 8.15 on a Saturday morning so I picked a window table in the side room that looked onto Cuba St and grabbed a paper. The coffee came well before the muesli so was a bit cold by the time I was ready to eat, but that was a lesson for me to always ask for the two to come together.

Unlike the bircher at CQ Hotel, there was a variety of fresh fruit (banana, kiwi fruit, orange, apple, pear) on top, as well as a dollop of yoghurt and a berry compote. Having decided to cut back on my sugar consumption, I could have done without the honey drizzle though. Why can’t I choose whether I have honey or not? Cafés don’t put sugar in the coffee or tea – that’s your choice – so why not with muesli?

I’ve also had a cheese, spinach and chilli scone and English breakfast tea at Olive. The scone was excellent. If there was any chilli in the scone it certainly wasn’t dominant. The tea was in a pyramid tea bag (plastic?) in a small metal pot (not so good for heat loss) with a missing lid button and brewed about right (not too strong or weak).

Olive seems to fill up fairly quickly from 8am whether weekday or weekend, so best to get in early. The side room shown above tends to be preferred by patrons, especially its front window, as the tables in the main room are in a thoroughfare from the door to the counter. But there is also a pleasant garden out the back with more seating than I’ve shown in the photo below.


Excellent bircher, coffee OK, good scones, nice surroundings.

Reviewed June 2019

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