Allow us to start with a disclaimer. East Tamaki/Highbrook is not our usual stomping ground. Nevertheless, we’ve had it on good authority that the east Auckland district was a little short on quality cafes, so its no wonder when reputable new eatery Woolfy’s opened, it caused less of a stir and more of a stampede.
Luring in locals who know what’s good for them, the vibrant locale ticks the boxes for being delicious, aesthetically appealing, and considered. Conceived by Scout owner Roger Liu, the name is a colloquial take on a forebear of the nearby Fisher House, i.e. Sir Woolf Fisher, the New Zealand businessman and philanthropist who co-founded Fisher & Paykel. (Liu asked the family if they could use him as a namesake, they happily agreed.)
Set within a new development, much of which is yet to be tenanted, the design philosophy — articulated by design firm Material Creative, built by QPC with metalwork down by PowerSurge — reflects not only the mechanical-industrial history of the area, but also its horsey heritage, with the use of leather and steel, too. The bright branding, in a distinctive sunshine yellow, is the work of Design Diary and is meant to serve as a welcoming and comforting beacon of hospitality.
A steel food truck of sorts is a characterful centrepiece within the space. It is from here that Kokako coffee streams from a copper espresso machine and candy floss is served to children on the weekend. If coffee isn’t your thing, choose a humour-tickling ‘Let that Man Go’ (get-it?) mango smoothie, or another of their lol-inducing fruit blends.
The menu is organic and free range where possible, designed by Head chef, Sharron Maulgue (Scout, Nomad, Food Truck Garage). The ‘home style fried chicken’ is their most popular dish — chicken strips served on a corn fritter with slaw and chipotle aioli — but is perhaps superseded by the outlandish aesthetic of the brioche french toast which features what looks to be an upside-down ice cream cone with berry mascarpone. Crowd favourites aside, we couldn’t help our taste buds being swept away by a low carb laksa substituted using daikon and zucchini noodles, fried tofu and incredibly tasty laksa broth.
Above everything that Woolfy’s has going for it — it’s already jam-packed with locals who smell great coffee from a mile away — it is the enthusiasm of the eatery’s staff and owners that leaves you walking away with a smile on your dial.
Visit Woolfy’s Facebook page here.
Monday to Friday, 7am-4pm
Sundays (opening soon)