107 Customhouse Quay, central Wellington
Opens 7am weekdays, 9am Saturdays; closes late. Fully closed Sunday
Granola $14; porridge $16; Immigrant’s Son coffee, t-leaf T tea
Pravda Café & Grill is an upmarket eatery open late that is also popular with office workers around breakfast time during the week. It was in fact crowded at 8.10 on a weekday when I went there and I had to accept a less than ideal seat near the entrance. Same on a lunchtime, when I was told that all the fancier upstairs tables were booked. And it only opens at 9.30 on Saturday during the weekend, so plan your visit time carefully.
It took a while for my granola to be served, but then the place was busy. The granola contained a lot of coconut shred and sat on a bed of yoghurt that had been swirled around the plate. It was topped with an attractive arrangement of fresh fruit (banana, apple, pear). Honey was drizzled over the whole. The total effect looked nice, but the serving size was a little on the small size. On the other hand, it was accompanied by ample milk.
Version 2: I came back a second time four months later to try the porridge and my companion ordered the granola. So the above photo is what it looked like on this occasion. Pretty much the same but with pear swapped out for orange. And more honey drizzled. The effect was pronounced far too sweet, and this by someone less sensitive to over sugaring than me I think. The granola itself was said to be good, but the fruit rather mundane.
I’ve also been back twice to try the cheese scones, which Pravda claims are ‘world famous in Wellington’. See my Pravda porridge review for my opinion.
The coffee was less well presented. It was an Americano (no filter available) served with extra hot water in a cup. It tasted good but I was disappointed in the way the coffee had slopped over the top and onto the saucer. If this had occurred during the pouring then a simple wipe of the cup and a new saucer would have dealt with it. Of course, the spill makes no difference to the taste, yet it does leave an impression that sticks in the mind. Pravda and spilt coffee will always go together for me now.
In case you were wondering, pravda means ‘truth’ in Russian and according to the eatery’s website, refers to its dishes being ‘produce-led’. So not directly named after the Russian newspaper. The high ceiling, marble, and dark wood of the interior – features inherited from the 1930 neo-Georgian building – do have an Eastern European/Russian feel though, so perhaps that made them think Russian for the name. You can certainly imagine yourself in a spy movie here.
Nicely presented, good tasting granola, but portion a bit small. Finding the right time to visit is tricky.
Reviewed June 2019.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.