Lately it feels as though I've been away from Wellington more than I've been home, and I've been no stranger to the airport. While I used to be one of those people the airlines probably loathe, always running late and checking in at the very last minute, over the past few trips I've been making a habit of arriving with time to spare and having breakfast at Mojo's Wellington airport cafe.
With both a downstairs area in the main terminal serving counter food and coffee, and an upstairs lounge where you can enjoy cooked meals, it's certainly a lot more relaxing than rushing through check-in and security. This past Easter Sunday was no exception: E and I arrived in plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast before our flight to Christchurch.
E's brioche French toast with bacon & maple syrup ($14) was pretty much everything you could ask from a French toast. The brioche slices held their own against the eggy batter, perfectly soft yet still sturdy, and the maple syrup and crispy bacon provided that sweet-savoury hit that fuels my French toast obsession. After a few bites of this, I was almost regretting not ordering it for myself...
Almost, because if there's one thing that I love more than French toast for breakfast it's anything covered in a good hollandaise sauce. And as soon as I dug into my eggs benedict with spinach ($12), I knew I'd made the right choice.
Two poached eggs perched daintily atop a bed of spinach and toasted English muffin halves. With a generous (but not excessive) serving of hollandaise sauce and a sprinkling of chopped chives, this was a luscious Sunday morning treat. Although I found the spinach somewhat bland, this was countered by the lemony zing of the hollandaise, and the eggs were cooked beautifully.
Because there was still a bit of time before our flight, and because the colourful sprinkles had caught my eye, I headed downstairs to the counter to get myself a Belgian biscuit ($3.50). A layer of jam was sandwiched between two buttery, faintly spiced biscuits, topped with a smear of icing and gorgeously bright hundreds and thousands. Who says you can't have dessert after breakfast?
For coffee we had a flat white ($3.80) each. We're both normally fans of Mojo coffee, but this one seemed like it had been left out for a bit before being served, the froth somewhat weak and dissipated. Perhaps they were understaffed due to it being Easter, as I've had better on previous visits.
For an extra dash of caffeine before the flight, I ordered a piccolo ($3) after my meal. It was somewhat slow in coming out, but the strong coffee flavour tempered with a bit of milk satisfactorily fulfilled my lingering caffeine needs.
Mojo already has a strong presence on the Wellington coffee scene, with several cafes all over town (each with its own slightly different character). Although I usually frequent their cafe on Kent Terrace, I'm most grateful for their airport location. Finally, a good option for airport food and coffee.* I'm starting to change my mind on the notion that one should spend as little time as possible in airport terminals.
View Gusty Gourmet in a larger map**
04 831 1231
Open from 4:30am till late - perfect for those early international flights
*Although Wishbone isn't bad, and isn't badly placed either, with its seating area overlooking the runway...
**4:35PM: updated to add map.