I love how the lesser known suburbs are now getting a breath of revival, and offering more options to those not in the central city. This place is already bustling with energy and patrons, I predict that finding a table will be quite difficult in the weekends as locals and non locals alike surge toward this picturesque setting.
The interior is bright and airy with floral blooms adorning the tables, and plenty of art and fashion books to peruse as you consume your morning brew. Bear in mind that the walls of this cafe is doesn’t absorb noise very well and you’ll probably be shouting your conversations to your neighbour to hear yourself over the echoes of other diners.
I ordered a Chai Latte ($6.00) which was well made (they use Hakanoa Chai which is the perfect blend of sweetness and spice) but I thought was overpriced compared to other cafes using the same brand at larger servings too.
My dining companion ordered a Honey, Lemon & Ginger tea, the perfect winter warmer.
For brunch, I opted for the Smoked Salmon Salad ($19.00) which instantly caught my attention at its description on the menu and surprised me with its stunning presentation.
It was beautifully presented like a Korean bibimbap dish showcasing the individual components for you to mix in together yourself. Carrots, cucumber, radish, ginger, smoked salmon marinaded in beetroot, prawn crackers, and peanuts came together together in a classic South east Asian combination. However, it was missing a bit of complexity in the dish- what you see is exactly what you get and it is something one can easily make in a rush for an everyday lunch where shredding the vegetables is the hardest part of the process.
My dining companion ordered the Eggs Benedict with Mushrooms ($18.00).
Hello Friends + Allies nailed the classic cafe staple with generous sloshings of buttery rich hollandaise sauce and perfectly poached eggs. Again, it was picture perfect and very “gram-worthy”.
Service was friendly but rather haphazard, we stood awkwardly inside for a while before assuming it must be a pay-at-the-counter-first style cafe (to which we got redirected to a table) and from there, it was hard to catch the eye of the wait staff when wanting to order. There is a range of impressive and delectable looking treats at the counter (pictured above) though so I do recommend checking them out to have with your meal. While this place did not blow me away, it is a beautiful cafe you’ll want to round up your friends for and fill your camera album with photos of.
Hello Friends + Allies | 95 Great South Rd, Epsom | facebook