Aside from a brief (4-day!) stint in the capital city in February, my Summer Away From Wellington has been carrying on steadily. If you follow me on Twitter you might have read about my travels to the States and Brazil*, but I haven't been as good about posting updates from the road here on the blog. But! Worry not, dear readers (if there are any of you left!) - in less than two weeks I make my return to Wellington. And with Florence back from Vietnam, for the first time in months, both of this blog's co-authors will be in the same place at the same time, so coverage of our favourite eating experiences should resume as per usual!
As much as I've enjoyed travelling around, I can't wait to get back to my own kitchen, my favourite haunts and, fingers crossed, the tail end of the summer sunshine. OK, so technically it's autumn, but Metservice tells me there's still plenty of sun left in the forecast. Before it runs out, I want to share one of my new favourite places to bask in the sun, Kreuzberg Summer Cafe.
I've only been there a handful of times, but this outdoor cafe, located at the top of Cuba St in a former car yard, has that perfect Wellington-summer laid-back vibe that made me fall in love instantly.
Food and drinks are served out of a caravan, the cafe seating is on brightly painted picnic tables (a second caravan provides "indoor" seating), and the coffee comes in colourfully mismatched vintage cups and saucers.
The flat white ($3.50) was superb - the flavour and strength of the People's Coffee espresso held its own against the almost sweet creaminess of the milk - this is one coffee that definitely doesn't need added sugar, folks.
I had the yellow sunshine burger ($9.50): haloumi, caramelised onion, mayonnaise and fresh veggies in between tender Turkish bread. I'm such a fan of haloumi that I might be a bit biased, but this may well rank among the top 3 burgers I've had over the past year. The salty greasiness of the cheese was well-matched by the onions and mayo, but the bit that pulled it all together, in my opinion, was the cool crunch of the cucumber. Outstanding.
Wanting to try some of the sweeter options, I chose a mini caramel slice ($1). This bite-sized portion is a genius idea; I mean, way to break down the barriers to temptation (it's only a little slice...)! The slice itself was tasty but I found the caramel filling more russian fudge-y than caramelly. I'm still undecided as to whether that really detracts from its quality, though.
The blueberry muffin ($3.50) teetered on the oily side, but I'd take that over an over-dry muffin any day. It was soft, sweet and had that characteristic blueberry-muffin-batter vanilla-y taste - a definite plus.
Kreuzberg is the kind of place that I expect will come to define "Wellington on a good day" over the years. It seems to be actively becoming part of the eclectic Cuba St scene, hosting live music and the Cuba St Night Market on Fridays. It's vegetarian-friendly, the coffee is fair trade and much of the food & drink come from local and/or organic suppliers. On a sunny afternoon in Wellington, Kreuzberg may just well be the place to be.
Kreuzberg Summer Cafe
Cnr Cuba & Webb St
Open 7 days, 7:30am-sunset
*For those of you who are interested, I'm posting photo highlights from Brazil, NYC and Chicago here