22 Waione St, Seaview, Petone, Lower Hutt
Opens: 7am weekdays, 8am weekends; closes 3pm & 1pm weekends
Granola (muesli) – keto, cherry coconut or sugar-free $14; Ripe coffee (incl filter), t-leaf-T tea
Small Batch is in a semi-industrial area as you approach the Hutt River bridge from the Petone end. It seems an unlikely place for a café, but with a constant stream of vehicle traffic past its door people do seem to pop in. It is an outlet for Ripe Coffee Roasters, who have two other cafes around the region: Origin in Petone’s Jackson St, which offers a very similar menu, including the same mueslis, and Hauora, a weekday-only place in the Ministry of Health building in Thorndon, which doesn’t have muesli at all.
Small Batch only offers muesli, and other items that need kitchen preparation, during the week. In the weekend it is counter food only, though I must say the cheese scones look very promising.
I had the keto muesli (listed as granola) at Origin, so decided to try the sugar-free muesli here. Sugar in muesli or granola is my pet hate, especially with supermarket versions, so I was pretty keen to see how this would pan out.
I was offered a choice of dairy or coconut yoghurt and a variety of milks to start with. I took the coconut yoghurt and soy milk. The yoghurt was quite tart, something that is rare with the coconut variety. The fruit compote included boysenberries (yum), cooked pear and blueberries. Plain and natural, and of course, not sweetened.
The muesli itself was quite seedy – pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds. Plus there were (blanched?) almonds and a smallish quantity of whole grain oats. But no dried fruit for once, which helped take sugar out of the equation. The nett effect was a plain mix that called for slow and concentrated chewing. Although there wasn’t a lot of muesli, I think this effort somehow made me still feel satisfied at the end.
This is definitely a coffee drinker’s café. Besides espresso there was a choice of cold brew, batch filter and regular filter coffee, with three varieties available for the latter and a rotating coffee blend or origin of the day. You can also buy Ripe beans and coffee-making equipment.
The décor is industrial retro and draws on the broader locality. A huge aerial photo of the Hutt Valley from the 1950s or 60s (?) occupies one wall and sections are printed under the glass tops of several tables.
And a map of the world cut into plywood features just inside the door. I’m not sure if this was repurposed from a found items or created in its entirety as imitation retro. Either way, it is cleverly done.
There are seats out front, but I’m not sure I would sit next to such a busy road with so many trucks rumbling by. Down at the beach there are Hikoikoi and McEwan parks though, so you could always take takeaway items down there (hop down Kirkaldy St to the right of Small Batch). You can play disk (aka Frisbee) golf at Hikoikoi Park.
And if, for some reason, you don’t like Small Batch, Miss Fortune’s, a spin-off from the super popular Seashore Cabaret, is also in Seaview, about 15 to 20 mins walk away at 105 Hutt Park Rd (but only open on weekdays, and only offering counter food).
Great to have a muesli that is low in sugar, and high on seeds. It was a little bland but reasonably satisfying to eat and certainly a healthy choice. You also get to chose if you want it vegan. Plus you are spoilt for choice with coffee options and my batch filter coffee was excellent. The downsides of the place are that it only offers muesli on weekdays and you pretty much need a car to get to it.
Reviewed September 2021.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.