2 Grey Street, Wellington central
Opens 7am Mon to Fri, 9am weekend; closes late
Bircher muesli, $17; Supreme coffee, T-2 tea
Two Grey Bar and Brasserie is named after the street address, right on the corner of Grey and Featherston streets. For many years it was Arizona, a Tex-Mex eatery. It is owned by the Hotel Intercontinental, though they have an in-house eatery, Chameleon Restaurant, so I’m not sure how Two Grey fits in, except to say that Chameleon has been mostly closed during the various alert levels under Covid-19. The hotel also has its Lobby Lounge, which is a pleasant place to while away the time with a cup of tea or coffee pretending to be a wealthy traveller.
The dish I’m reviewing is described on the menu as ‘warm bircher muesli’ with banana and seasonal fruits, chia seed, coconut yoghurt, cinnamon and peanut butter. As you can see, it has more fruit that you could wish for (and I have indeed often wished for more fruit with muesli at other eateries). But I’m not sure that you could truthfully describe watermelon or strawberries as ‘seasonal’; that is, in season in September. I guess they have come from Queensland. And pineapples don’t seem to be in season anywhere in the Pacific or Australia.
In the centre of the fruit you can see dollops of chai pudding, crunchy peanut butter and fairly runny yoghurt. There is a sprinkling of cacao nibs over the top of these too.
Beneath all this is the bircher. I’m not sure what the point of it being warm is when you have so much fresh fruit to work your way through to get to it first. However, it is a very deliciously dense mix of ingredients when you do encounter it. I didn’t really detect the cinnamon, but it contained peanuts, almonds, linseeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, macadamia nuts, sultanas, finely chopped apple, and blueberries. I’m pleased it wasn’t sweetened up with apple juice or anything.
Overall, there were a lot of components in this bowl. So many that it is difficult to describe how they all worked; and in such volume that it took me a long time to eat the the dish. I am reminded of a similar situation at Petone’s Comes and Goes café. I feel that the pineapple didn’t really add anything, and putting it with muesli or granola is a bit like adding it to pizza. Makes sense if you are living somewhere with pineapple in abundance, but otherwise it is just out of place.
My companion had avocado smash. The avocado and salsa were considered good, but the toast a bit soft and the eggs very runny (which is a question of taste). Our coffees (flat white and an Americano) both came in ample quantity in Supreme mugs and were good.
I find Two Grey a curious kind of place. I guess that’s because it functions as a bar in the evenings. So there are tables with stools and two big screen TVs playing (playing what at breakfast time, I didn’t bother to check). The eatery brands itself as rather upmarket, and this fits with its hotel connection, but with the stools in the middle and the two TVs, it has a somewhat pub-like feeling. The best seats are in a semi-enclosed area facing Featherston St away from the bar section, but these are quickly snapped up, even with the fairly sparse patronage at breakfast time on a weekday.
A very complex and rich combination of ingredients in this muesli, making for a substantial and healthy meal. It is relatively expensive but you get what you pay for (and in fact I was undercharged at $15, which would make it a bargain if this was the correct price). Best to grab one of the soft seats in the section facing Featherston St.
Reviewed September 2020.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.