Cafe Melba (Ellerslie)

Cafe Melba in Ellersie is one of those “Entertainment Book” places to go. Without the book, I wouldn’t even know if the place existed. It also helps that I get some form of discount. Samples below:

Salmon Benedict – $18.70.

Steak Sandwich – $19.00.

First impression, place is good. Parking is easy to find as Ellerslie is not so busy, food taste great, staff friendly and toilet is clean. Personally, I can’t complain about this place, and worth a try if you have the Entertainment book voucher since price-wise, it is kinda on the high side 🙂

Rating = 8.5/10.

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Circus Circus

I guess I was bound to put this one up. Who wouldn’t. I’ve seen blogs outside of NZ talking about this place! It’s Circus Circus, located in the  heart of Mt Eden Village. It’s easily noticeable and parking is not hard to find. I’ve been here a few times already and tried many things – particularly breakfast-related food. Here are some of the samples:

Baked Beans with Poached Eggs ($14.90).

Panfried Field Mushrooms ($16.90).

Gourmet Beef Burger ($17.90).

Mixed Grill ($17.90).

As you can see, presentation-wise, it’s top notch. Taste-wise, I can’t complain. It’s the usual cafe-style food. I think the the price is very reasonable. The atmosphere is great with unique decor. It can be quite deceiving seeing the place from outside and think it’s small, when in fact, it’s very deep. So, don’t worry if you see lots of people, there’s plenty of space inside. I’m a big fan of baked beans, so always like to have them for breakfast. Mixed grill is always going to be my favourite because it has everything. Otherwise, you can go for smaller options.The beef burger is not too bad. Coffee is 4.90 (a bit of the high side, but good coffee).

If you have the Entertainment book – use it! You get one free meal.

Overall, great place and worth a try. Rating = 8.5/10.

Murder Burger

Another burger joint I encountered courtesy of a GrabOne voucher. I love their promos. =) Murder Burger is quite a noticeable burger joint on Ponsonby Road. I do love gourmet-ish burgers and this place appears to fit the bill.

They have various types of burgers, for e.g. beef, chicken and fish. Their website have more details on the menu items. Samples below:

Gourmet Beef Avo and Bacon- $12.90.

Gourmet Sirloin Steak Angus – $14.90.

First impression was not up to par, the serving staff (female) was quite emotionless, and not really friendly or helpful at all. Maybe that time of the month, who knows. I would strongly suggest the staff to reconsider her career path in hospitality, or her selection in jobs, perhaps less customer facing.

Regarding the food, I thought the gourmet beef avo and bacon was fantastic. Delicious! The gourmet sirloin steak angus (from the “cult burger” section) wasn’t really cult-like unfortunately. It was average.

Overall, based on this small sample size, I think Murder Burger has good burgers, you just gotta choose the right one. Price is good for the beef burger, but not worth it for the sirloin steak burger.

Rating = 7/10. Worth a try.

Urban Cafe

Sorry for the lack of posts. I have been quite lazy recently but starting to get the mood to post some reviews. Here’s one I recommend if you’re passing by Newmarket and craving for some cafe food. Urban Cafe is located on Carlton Gore Road. Thanks to an online menu, I get details and pricing.

Samples below:


Urban Classics – Corn Beef Hash Cakes, Poached Eggs, Grain Mustard Hollandaise, Spiced Bean & Avocado Salad ($17.50).

Urban Refuel – Urban Burger, Swiss Cheese, Beetroot Relish, Watercress, Chicken Pate & Fries ($17)

To be honest, I quite like both items – tasty and good presentation. The burger is heavy, so not for the light-heated and if you’re not keen on excessive protein. Pricing is reasonable. Environment is good. Coffee is not bad.

Highly recommended. If you’ve got the Entertainment book, you can get discounts. 9/10.

Citron Vert

Citron Vert is a cafe that I’ve always wanted to go. During the rainy or lazy days, I use the Link bus to work and I’ve always noticed it because it is just next to to one of the bus stops in Parnell. I can always smell the fresh (good?) coffee and people just reading / relaxing in there.

So, one Sunday morning I decided to go there and experience it. The menu appears to have a good selection and the coffee smells great. We decided to sample the burger and sandwich, pictures below:

Jamaican Chicken Burger.

Steak Sandwich.

The burger is $16 and sandwich $19.50. The coffee was around the usual prices ($3-4). I quite like the environment in there, very nice and cosy especially during a sunny day. Coffee is good. The food is also great and reasonably priced. The sandwich / burger dish had to be “separated” to properly eat it if you know what I mean. 🙂 Funny thing is that the food was made / prepared by Asians.

Anyway, I quite like the place. It’s not overpriced, decent service and good coffee 8.5/10.

Burger Fuel

This is a common sight all over Auckland these days. Burger Fuel!!! Compared to about 2 years ago, they were only available in certain places. Now they’re everywhere. It’s amazing how things change, their options used to be only $10-ish burgers and fries for about $3-ish. Now they have a variety, even burgers less than $10.

I quite enjoy a trip to Burger Fuel. I am a big fan of burgers and nothing can seriously beat them for good quality burgers. Oh… and the Kumara chips, a must try. Here’s one of the burgers sampled:

burger-fuel-flame-thrower

Flame Thrower.

burger-fuel-flame-thrower-2

Flame Thrower cut in half.

burger-fuel-kumara-chips

Kumara Fries with Aioli Dip – Small.

In terms of pricing, the Flame Thrower was $10.30 and the chips $3.80. It’s quite reasonable and can easily feed two people. The Flame Thrower is a chicken burger, but they have options for beef and vegetarian. There’s really nothing much I can say.

A must try (once) if you pass by a “branch”. Don’t get too confused with the menu, just go with the flow or try a biggie like the Bastard. Sometimes they have promotions (i.e. a value combo).

My rating for Burger Fuel (in general), an 8.5/10. I can’t complain. All good!

Degree

Degree has it all. Good deals during the week, a mixture of unique and common dishes, and to be honest, the best seafood chowder I’ve had since I began my roller-coaster life in Auckland.

During the week, Degree has specials. For example, on Tuesday Degree has dessert specials and on Thursday, it’s $10 pizzas (note: this might change). They’ve got Sky everywhere, so a good place to watch sports (not listen) because it’s too damn noisy.

Mixed stone grill.

Degree burger.

My recommendation for this place is the seafood chowder (entre) and pizza breads. The chowder is $14.50 and pizza bread $7.50. Just having those two dishes is more than enough for dinner i.e. very filling so only have entres if you have plenty of friends coming along. But yeah, Degree tempts all customers with their variety of food (and alcohol), for example stonegrills, pizzas, seafood, salad etc! It’s crazy! The beer is great and they have $5 cocktails on Thursday.

Anyway, the stone grill is the flagship product for this place. If you passed by this restaurant in the evening, you’ll see a big slab of hot metal cooking meat. The mixed stone grill is a good option because of the variety of meat and you get two sides for a stone grill dish. It costs $25.50, and goes up to $33.50 if you’re getting the 400g steak! It’s not bad, and pricing is typical for that dish. The Degree burger is a pretty standard dish. At that price ($18.50), I won’t complain as it’s very filling. But if you want good burger – try Burger Fuel!

One problem as usual, Degree is located in the Viaduct. So parking is a nightmare to find at peak times. When I do have a dinner there again, I’ll put up pics of the seafood chowder and pizza bread. A must have over there!

My rating for Degree, 8/10! I know, I know, I’ve been rating places highly recently. Maybe because I’m in a good mood. Who knows. Anyway, if you join the Degree club, I believe you can have your main meal FREE!