117 Lambton Quay, central Wellington
Opens 7am weekdays, 9am Sat; closes 3.30pm weekdays, 2pm Sat
Granola (muesli) $13.50; Flight coffee, Libertine teas
Seize is a newish healthy-eating place two doors along from the historic old Public Trust Office building at the government end of Lambton Quay. Its clientele are young (substantially female?) professionals looking for fresh, vegetarian and GF-oriented food backed with sustainability credentials to take away or eat in. Most of it is counter food, including a salad bar, but you can also order a smoothie bowl with granola or ‘superfood granola’ (gluten free and vegan). I had the latter.
I am uncertain whether to classify the grain part of the dish as granola or muesli. It is toasted, but doesn’t clump (lack of gluten contributes to this), so I’m calling it muesli. Its base is buckwheat and this is combined with goji berries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut shred, and a small amount of spice. The whole is toasted with syrup they told me, but it is certainly not overly sweet. And as you can see from the photo the dish is drizzled with honey or syrup but this doesn’t make a big difference to the sweetness either.
You get a good helping of attractively presented fresh fruit (kwifruit, banana, pear, apple and finely cubed orange), delicate coconut yoghurt, dabs of fruit compote (not enough to really taste) and a small jug of what I assumed is soy milk. All in all, it was a pretty tasty combination. My only complaints were that there wasn’t a lot of the granola, and that the apple and pear slices were quite hard to separate without using my fingers.
I was there early on a Saturday morning and the place was empty, but I believe it can get pretty full at weekday lunchtimes. Maybe that, and the small space, is why they don’t offer comfortable seating. The low metal stools are not designed to encourage you to linger too long.
The pink wall decor is a great touch, really livening up what could be a rather dull space.
The Americano coffee was quite strong. I think I would ask for additional hot water next time.
A new style of eatery: small, sharp, clean, with an emphasis on vegetables and fruit that is a long way from the hippy-ish health food cafes of the 1970s. I’d like to visit again for lunch or a takeaway.
Reviewed January 2020.