2 Lochy St, Petone, Lower Hutt
Opens: 7.30am weekdays; 9am weekend. Closes 3.30pm
Muesli $14.50, Revive coffee; t-leaf T tea
Revive Espresso Company is a coffee roastery with a café attached in a light industrial area of Petone close to the Bunnings hardware warehouse. It is quite hard to spot behind lush, dense greenery, but it is a least right on a corner – of Lochy and Nevis St – and there is a bus stop right outside. And it is pretty popular in the weekends, and indeed for much of the week, so clearly people find it alright.
The muesli (they call it granola, but there is no clumping of ingredients) is listed on the menu as ‘Ginger and macadamia granola (vegan), coconut mandarin chia, seasonal poached fruit’. So the vegan bit is achieved by replacing yoghurt with a chia pudding made with (presumably) coconut milk. Mandarins are in there somewhere, but they must be pureed, as I didn’t spot them. You don’t get milk with the dish but I had to ask for some once I had soaked up the chia pudding, as there isn’t enough to wet all the muesli.
The poached fruit consisted of three sticks of rhubarb and three slices of pear. Both were excellent: firm, not sugary, and with a hint of spice or fragrance (I thought I could detect rose water with the rhubarb for a moment, but I must have scooped up flower petal at the same time). I liked the fact that the pear was cut into longitudinal pieces, so you didn’t have the problem of trying to chop up a half pear with a spoon, as I’ve complained about at some other eateries.
The muesli itself consisted of roasted whole grain oats, coconut shred, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, whole and broken macadamia nuts and two whole brazil nuts. The only dried fruit was a relatively small quantity of some raisins and what might have been blueberries. The ginger mentioned on the menu was only present as a single, preserved lump. Overall it was quite a dry mix, so low in sugar and oil. I’d rate this component, the poached fruit, the chia pudding, and the attractive sprinkling of freeze-dried raspberries and flowers over the top all as truly excellent.
However… underneath the muesli was a substantial pool of maple syrup. This just added a sickly sweet ingredient to whatever got caught up in the spoon when I dug down towards the bottom. I came away with that ‘eaten too much sugar’ slightly sick feeling that took a couple of hours to subside.
I turned up right on the dot of 9am on a Saturday, so was able to get some photos of the place more or less deserted. By 9.15 there were about ten people present and close to 10am it was three-quarters full. There was some innocuous café music playing quite loud in background all this time, in what is a fairly acoustically lively space, though when the place filled up there didn’t seem the din of voices you get in so many of our cafés converted from industrial spaces. Maybe that was because it accommodated fewer people than the otherwise comparable eateries of Prefab and L’affare in Wellington?
I took a cheese scone home with me. It was suitably cheesy, if a little bit too salty for me. I’d rate it 7/10. The coffee, by the way, was pretty good, though no filter is offered. That’s a bit behind the trend for coffee roastery cafés these days.
Top marks for everything in this muesli were almost completely wiped out by one simple ingredient – the syrup. The good thing is that now I have warned you, you could order the same dish and ask for no syrup. Interesting that it is not listed in the menu ingredients. Overall, quality food and coffee can be had in this semi-industrial space.
Reviewed October 2020.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.