9 July 2012
We stop by the new and improved Verona Café for a wholesome and healthy lunch.
During the 90s, you couldn’t describe the eccentric happenings along Auckland’s Karangahape Road without mentioning Verona Café. Its scarlet walls, glittering sign and dark interior played second home to all manner of colourful characters, encouraged by the open-all-hours mantra. Verona Café has recently turned over a new leaf, with new owners – the co-founders of the Leigh Sawmill café, Annabelle Guinness and Phil Randle, giving the iconic local spot a long overdue facelift.
The all-day café serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, from a menu that’s full of wholesome, healthy and affordable options. Farmer’s market sourced and vegetarian friendly, there is a plethora of tasting plates, slow cooked dishes and eclectic options to try, as well as Leigh Sawmill Microbrewery craft beers on tap and Verona’s freshly blended juices. On our recent lunchtime visit, we made ourselves at home at one of the large, wooden tables and promptly ordered the spinach, lime and banana juice to ward off the hunger pangs while we debated the menu.
After starting with the Chinese Whispers – sesame seed coated morsels filled with kumara, haloumi and kaffir lime – we tucked into the sharing plates, with a tamarind, eggplant and three-bean ratatouille and a venison ragout, all of which were delicious. We finished off our feast with the freshly baked beetroot and chocolate cake, which disappeared far too quickly. We left feeling satisfied and with the knowledge that our five-plus-a-day had been successfully achieved in one meal.
Still as unpretentious and relaxed as the old Verona, the new and improved Verona is sure to be welcome update to the area’s gastronomic offerings, especially for those looking for a healthy food fix that doesn’t come in the form of a salad.
169 Karangahape Rd
(09) 307 0508