The Oatery is an eatery after my heart – and the spirit of this site – for it concentrates on oat based dishes. It opened in the Left Bank, off Cuba Mall in December 2021. Before then it operated as a caravan at the Harbourside fruit and vegetable market.
The Oatery serves quite a few varieties of porridge but there is also granola, bircher muesli and various things served on toast. The granola is, I assume, the same as the Oatery’s own packaged variety (see later). And here it is served with stewed rhubarb, freeze-dried raspberries, coconut yoghurt and lemon curd. Plus a plant-based milk – oat milk I think.
As for the granola itself, it was a bit difficult to uncover to get a clear idea of the ingredients. From what I could see, there were toasted oats with almonds, walnuts and pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Plus one or two raisins, buckwheat and coconut flakes. The oats clumped together in small pieces, so they must have been mixed with a sugar-based binder, but the overall sugar level was barely noticeable (aided by the small quantity of dried fruit in the mix.) A spicy taste was present but not dominant.
I had an other version of the granola bowl just six months earlier. Same granola I think, but this had chopped strawberries and bananas as the fresh fruit, some raspberry chia jam, Greek yoghurt and quite a lot of crunchy peanut butter. I like peanut butter with porridge, but I’m not sure it added anything much to the granola. It was hard to swallow in large spoonfuls but at least with porridge you have plenty of warm, semi-liquid oats to help it on its way. With dry granola, not so much. So, while everything else was great, I felt that the peanut butter then (or maybe just the volume of it) was a negative.
The detailed photograph of the granola above was actually from that earlier version. The recent one appeared to have exactly the same ingredients, but not as many chunky pieces of walnut or almond and a higher proportion of oats overall. It seemed like a finer grained version.
The Americano coffee with the current granola was just fine, and served in a mug, the way I think it should be.
However, the tea I had on the earlier occasion was very disappointing. It was leaf tea, but it’s probably the first time I’ve been served tea in a café without a teapot. And in a mug. Fine having it at home like this, but not what I expect when going out. It was also quite strong. Had there been a tea pot I could have asked for extra hot water to dilute it down before I finished pouring, but the only option with a mug would have been to pour the excess tea on the ground!
The space is very tiny, with just a few stool-height seats along a bench on one wall and two chairs in front of a lower bench at the window. There are books and magazines to read under the side bench, plus toys in a basket for kids, but no newspapers (understandable I guess for such a small operation). It is a bit less claustrophobic outside, in the airy, covered-over Left Bank where there are two or three round tables and a large, long one with bench seats.
You can buy granola packaged from the café at Moore Wilsons (in the Fresh section), at Auckland’s Farro Fresh, or on The Oatery website. Their website also has some interesting recipes (under ‘journal’) for oat dishes, including delicious sounding fried banana and tahini porridge as well as a ‘porridge bread’.
I’m a big fan of the porridge and bircher muesli offered by the Oatery, and the spicy granola is pretty good too. The offerings change now and then, which is no bad thing, and I’m glad they got rid of the peanut butter on granola.
The coffee is fine, but that tea experience was disappointing. I’m not sure if that was just a bad day, but it makes me wary of ordering tea there again.
Really, the only drawback to The Oatery is that it is a tiny space, with not too many comforts, and if you are eating outside you will be limited by the seasons.
Reviewed February and September 2022.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.