Beetroot Rice Porridge from Kokako (on the left) Odettes Eatery (on the right)

Stay in-season with the cafes delivering delectable new autumn dishes

Keeping in step with the season applies not only to fashion but food too. And considering that supplies of the dreamiest, creamiest, most versatile fruit, avocado, are becoming limited (unless you’re willing to take out a second mortgage) it’s time you found some alternatives for brunch. Cafes in Auckland are aware that in the absence of ‘smashed avo’ their new autumn dishes have big shoes to fill, so they’ve gone above and beyond to create some delectable, seasonal dishes that more than satisfy our cravings.

Butternut squash on toast from Williams Eatery
The butternut squash seems to have taken the place of the beloved avocado at Williams Eatery. The seeded grain toast with toppings is renowned for its simple yet stunning flavours and the autumn edition consists of a thick slather of fresh yet decadent labneh, grapes which lend the dish sweet juiciness and creamy smashed butternut squash which is enhanced with a drizzle of spicy chilli oil. The starchy vegetable has also made its way onto the housemade ricotta tortellini dish which is complemented by crunchy walnuts and sweet dates which add caramelised flavour.

Ricotta tortellini with butternut, walnuts and dates from Williams Eatery (on the left) Smashed pumpkin on rye from Honey Bones (on the right)

Smashed pumpkin from Honey Bones
Although this is not new to the Honey Bones menu, it has become a staple for the cafe and a strong favourite brunch for many of us at The Denizen. The slices of rustic rye bread are coated with whipped feta and piled on with smooth pumpkin mash. To lend an extra crunchy texture, the toast is sprinkled with sweet candied walnuts, savoury dukkah and salty crispy kale. The dish is completed with grated manchego cheese to give the pumpkin a slight tang while emphasising the tartness of the feta.

Caramelised figs, honeycomb, fresh cheese and rocket bagel from Miann Morningside
From a cabinet stocked with pastries, cakes, macarons, sandwiches to a chocolate factory situated right next door, it seems there isn’t anything Miann in Morningside can’t do. Well, the Morningside hub has taken it up a notch with its new menu by combining its housemade toppings with bagels from none other than Best Ugly. Our favourite is the combination of fresh cheese and rocket with caramelised figs and honeycomb to make a uniquely delicious, sweet and savoury bite.

Humdinger bagel from Best Ugly Bagels (on the left) Caramelised figs, honeycomb, fresh cheese and rocket bagel from Miann Morningside (on the right)

Humdinger bagel from Best Ugly Bagels
Speaking of Best Ugly Bagels, one of its most popular bagels — T.A.B (tomato, avocado & basil) has taken a break from the mainboard. However, as the saying goes, ‘when one door closes another one opens,’ and Best Ugly are opening some delicious doors this season. The Humdinger is back and as great as we remember. Housemade hummus is spread on thick onto a toasted bagel. Fresh slices of tomatoes are gently placed on top with a sprinkle of creamy feta, smoky za’atar, fragrant basil leaves and lemon and fennel oil.

Seasonal fruit with feijoa granita from Odettes Eatery
Feijoa season is upon us and we must make the most of this short yet sweet moment. Odettes Eatery is constantly changing its menu depending on the seasonal availability of ingredients and they have decided to get extra inventive this year. The slices of seasonal fruit lie on top of a bed of refreshing feijoa granita, crunchy buckwheat before a final touch of labneh flake and mint come into the equation, adding a sophisticated element to the dish.

Autumn spiced waffle from Kokako Cafe
Autumn-specific food doesn’t necessarily require rare fruits such as figs and feijoas to be seasonal. Introducing new scents and spicy aromas can also make a dish feel distinctly autumnal, which is exactly what Kokako Cafe has done with its new spiced waffles dish. Kokako has earned a reputation for serving some of the best waffles in town and it takes people by surprise that they’re in fact, vegan. The waffles are topped poached quince which has been infusing with earl grey and paired with coconut yoghurt to lend a decadent creaminess. The final few touches of candied pistachios and coconut caramel provide the perfect amount of sweetness to the plate. If you’re a sweet tooth seeking something with slightly more nutritional value, Kokako’s new beetroot rice porridge served with rosewater coconut whip also goes down a treat.

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