They say good things take time, and this philosophy is exemplified at new Waiheke Island daytime eatery Akitō. A verb that means to do things slowly in te reo Māori, when applied in this context Akitō fits with owners Shantala Tengblad and Simon McNeish’s approach to cooking and their food practices.
“When something is prepared with time, it’s prepared with love and attention,” they say, and this manifests at Akitō partially through utilising techniques like pickling, preserving and fermentation.
While the menu isn’t strictly vegan, Tengblad and McNeish have categorised their Oneroa-based cafe as ‘plant-focused’, meaning fresh produce and vegetables are championed with an emphasis on free range animal products when they’re used. This is in dishes such as the Akitō omelette with mushrooms, kale, kasundi & mozzarella, or the Harissa beans with haloumi, pickled onions, folded eggs and toasted sourdough.
Elsewhere on the menu, diners will find unique and inventive twists on typical brunch and lunch fare — we’re particularly drawn to the turmeric spiced cauliflower pared with smashed avocado, dukkah, sauerkraut, sumac and lime on sourdough; and a jackfruit dahl with roast vegetables, coconut black rice, coriander & buckwheat dosa.
Waffles also make an appearance, in the form of a gluten-free gingerbread variety with spiced apple, maple ginger syrup and coconut yoghurt, and Flight Coffee is on hand to provide a caffeine hit, while a selection of appealing vegan smoothies are made in-house.
Above and beyond the food itself, Tengblad and McNeish are aiming to take a re-generative direction with Akitō, prioritising circular practices with minimal food-waste and eschewing the use of plastic wherever possible.
With this holistic viewpoint, a distinctive menu and prime location, Akitō is an enticing new addition to Waiheke Island’s varied dining offering.
Monday — Sunday: 8:00am to 3:00pm
153 Ocean View Road, Oneroa,
Waiheke Island 1081