A taste of… The Shack, corner of Bow Street and Wainui Road, Raglan.

We'd heard… they serve free-range eggs and meats, make almost everything in-house, and where possible source their food ethically and locally. They've also got a big range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dishes.

We started with… the Full 'n Proper (pork belly, bacon, potato waffle, poached eggs, baked beans, sourdough - $21) and The Roti (chicken, potato, bacon, cheese, aioli, tomato chutney in a hand-rolled roti - $19), and finished with a custard-filled donut ($5).

The full brekkie did not only look great, every element on the plate was a treat. The eggs were perfectly poached, the chunky beans home-made and the bacon crunchy. The sourdough bread was so excellent, that the one slice just didn't seem enough though.

The Roti's chicken was tender and perfectly seasoned. The whole dish was like yesterday's roast chicken and potatoes rolled into a roti, smothered in cheese and aioli and finished with some crunchy slices of bacon. It was scrumptious.

If you'd had a big night out or you've already been out surfing in the morning and need something substantial the roti should be your choice. We weren't meant to have something sweet but the donuts on the counter looked too good to pass. And it did not disappoint! Crispy on the outside and filled with enough thick, finger-licking good custard to make every bite perfect.

The service was… quick, friendly and efficient. We went on a very busy public holiday but we had our drinks in no time and we could see the food just flying out of the kitchen.

The vibe was… cosmopolitan. With its high ceilings, big windows and upside down hanging flower pots The Shack would fit right into Auckland, Berlin or San Francisco. The walls double as an gallery for local artists. The crowd is a mixture of local surfers, trendy city slickers visiting here for the long weekend and families.

If you go… try one of their vege bowls and do some good. 50 cents from each one goes to KASM (Kiwis against Seabed Mining). No time for a sit down brunch because you want to catch the waves? The Shack also offers packed lunches and some great counter food.

But try to avoid... if you come with a big pram (like us) be prepared to sit (or park up) outside. The tables inside are too close together. The Shack provides high chairs and a changing table though.

Rating: 5 out of 5


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