Tucked down the far end of Ponsonby, away from the classic smashed avo and activewear crowds is a wee St Mary’s Bay cafe known for its delicious food and great service. And this is exactly what we got. We arrived around 10:30 am on a Sunday morning and the place was buzzing with people and a constant hum of chatter echoing throughout the cafe. We were promptly greeted, looked after and coffees followed not long after. This is another good sign that we were in for an absolute treat. Despite the warning for a wait on food, we hardly noticed (which could be due to the in-depth catch-up with a friend visiting from Wellington about work, life, weddings and everything in between).
Having done a cheeky Instagram stalk beforehand I knew the food would be incredible. I had the Power Salad which, while not what I had expected, hit the spot perfectly! Yum. The halloumi was beautifully cooked, the mushrooms were garlicky and tender, and the poached egg were PERFECTLY done, which in itself was a joy! They didn’t skimp on the avocado too – I got a perfect half. The seasoning was on point and flavours all spot on! My friend got the Red Flannel Hash which was pretty good as well, and again she commented on the poached eggs. I think these guys know a thing or two about Auckland’s love affair with poached eggs and how they can make or break a brunch. Regardless, it was good to see they nailed the basics, the flavours and the seasoning. We both agreed it was a solid, trustworthy brunch option with no frills and edible flowers like we see so often popping up on Instagram. This, in my opinion, is an actual relief!
The cabinet food (while appealing, we avoided the temptation), was filled with savoury treats and baked good for the sweet tooth afterwards – there was a salted caramel sticky date pudding which was severely twisting my arm! The cabinet lunch options would be perfect for people on-the-go and included freshly prepared sandwiches and salads for a healthy lunch. The location was away from the hustle and bustle of Ponsonby Road, easy to get a park and still close enough that it’s not miles away from home. Overall, would absolutely recommend Mary’s to a fellow friend or anyone looking for no-frills, great service and delicious food at a reasonable price…It almost sounds too good to be true!
The only thing slightly lacking would the decor which could have been a bit more lively. Oh, I’ve even added service as a rating category after a few shocking experiences at places I’m yet to review…