This post actually dates back a few weeks. I've kind of been waiting to write it up, since I haven't been eating out as much lately as (a) my schedule has been jam-packed, (b) with Christmas around the corner I've been trying to be more careful with my spending, and (c) my usual trusty dining companions E and Florence have left windy old Wellington for the summer, to snow-ridden Chicago and bustling Hanoi (okay, so I haven't been to Hanoi ever, so I basically just made it up, but Hanoi bustles in my mind, alright?) ... not that I'm jealous or resentful at being left behind in Wellington or anything!
So after our camping trip, E and I went to return the rental car and stopped in Thorndon for some breakfast on the way. Last time we hired a car we stopped at another French cafe, Le Marche Francais, this time Bordeaux... am I starting to develop strange habits as I grow older? Hmm.
My eggs benedict came with a thick slice of ham, finely chopped spinach on top of grilled brioche slices. The eggs were poached just how I like them - yolks still runny, but just starting to thicken - and the spinach gave the dish an added dimension that isn't normally found on your average hollandaise-drenched bacon and eggs on toast. Plus, all the greens on the plate made me feel like I was actually eating something somewhat healthy. And the little side container of hollandaise sauce was an extra touch that will please those looking to cut back on their egg yolk-butter consumption. (I, for one, can't count myself in that group... I love hollandaise!) The only reservation I had with this was that the toasted brioche tasted a little dry- next time, I'll ask for butter.
E had the french toast with banana and bacon - a standard dish in many breakfast spots, but this one was sinfully good. Poor E... I'm pretty sure I snuck more bites than he actually got to eat! While the softened, almost-caramelised banana and the savoury, smoky bacon complemented each other beautifully, the real thing that made this french toast stand over others in my mind was the bread.
Moist, dense and chewy, studded with bits of chocolate (I'm not kidding!), it soaked up the eggy batter and maple syrup (also thoughtfully provided in a side cup) spectacularly.
This time I departed from my usual flat white and ordered a cappucino ($3.50), which arrived loaded with cocoa powder (my guilty pleasure - the more, the better!) and a thick layer of foam.
E stuck with a flat white ($3.50). The coffees weren't bad, but I thought they could have been a bit stronger.
Unfortunately I lost the little paper on which I jotted down the dishes' prices, but a quick look at my bank statement tells me that our total was $31 for 2 people, including coffee. That's pretty acceptable considering the seemingly ubiquitous trend of breakfast prices creeping up all over the city. They also have delicious fresh-baked bread (I'm a fan of their baguettes, which often find their way, ends nibbled off, into my cupboard), an extensive display of pastries, and they seem to do crepes as well. Plus there's ample (pay and display) parking along Thorndon Quay. I hadn't had a meal at Bordeaux in years before this trip but I'm glad to have revisited it - we weren't disappointed.
Bordeaux Bakery & Brasserie
220 Thorndon Quay
(P.S. I've been thinking about getting onto Twitter - have already set up an account, but am a little slow to get into these things, and a little apprehensive as to how it will all work out... keep an eye out for further announcements, though!)