100 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington
Porridge $14.50 with fruit, Muesli $14.50; L’affare coffee, t-Leaf-T tea
Word of Mouth café is on the plaza opposite the National Library. It used to be the only good eatery in the area but is now rivaled by the Library’s own café.
This place can be busy first thing, before people head off to work. It is situated in the government precinct, so you don’t get a whole lot of thirty-somethings with laptops using the place to meet and work; unlike, say, Prefab, on the other side of town. Word of Mouth patrons have real offices to go to and they are expected to be there. I suspect the place experiences another surge around morning tea time, and certainly at lunchtime.
When I had muesli (called granola on the menu) here a year ago there was a choice for both muesli and porridge of whether you had them with fruit. This option seems to have disappeared for muesli but it still applies to the porridge. Naturally I chose the more expensive ‘with fresh fruit’ version.
As you can see, that is exactly what I got, no more or less. Porridge with some fresh fruit on the top. No nuts, yoghurt, sugar, honey or another other embellishments. It was quite a purist sort of dish in this sense and a pretty healthy one as a result. I dislike the compulsion so many eateries have to add sugar or honey to porridge. Yet faced with something so minimalist as this I felt it was just a bit too spartan. Maybe some nuts on top, or served with cream, would have made it more interesting?
The porridge itself was quite thick and chewy, though made from regular rolled oats. There certainly was plenty of it and I didn’t finish the bowl.
The Americano coffee was OK, if a little strong, and served in a regular cup. Apparently the cheese scones here are very good, but they are only offered on Mondays after 10am and occasionally on other random weekdays.
Note that the place is not open in the weekends.
I appreciated how uncompromised this porridge was. Fresh fruit and porridge, plain and simple. Yet I still hankered after some sort of extra ingredient. Nevertheless, I like the fact that this porridge is served, as it stakes out a position on the matrix of porridge varieties available around town.
Reviewed July 2020.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.