Stuff reviews Tamahere's decadent Punnet Cafe

Image: Huevos Rancheros from Punnet Cafe, Tamahere.

A taste of… Punnet Cafe, 337 Newell Rd, Tamahere.

We'd heard… That Punnet Cafe is essentially the focal point of Tamahere, a wealthy suburb of lifestylers on the edge of Hamilton that is eagerly awaiting a more established centre for their community. It's not high walls but no.8 wire that guards wealth here, and Punnet reflects its neighbours well. 

We ordered… Huevos rancheros ($25.50), two eggs on top of a thick, toasted tortilla, with a layer of crushed (and cooked) black beans and cheese in between. Ringed with capsicum salsa and topped with "cashew sour cream".


The "Royale", or salmon eggs benedict from Punnet Cafe, Tamahere.

As with any Mexican dish, this pretty plate of food quickly devolved into a mixed-texture mush - and it was fantastic. I'm still unsure if there were actually cashews in the cream, which happily was subtle in taste.

The photographer ordered the Royale ($24.50), a dressed up eggs benedict dish. The kumara and herb rosti was a bit stringy and chewy, perhaps undercooked, and the wilted greens were "a soggy mess". Crunchy spinach would have been more ideal, he said. But the salmon and the eggs: perfection.

The coffee (long black, $4.00) went down quick and easy.

I'm often wary of cafes of this calibre; it seems a rule of thumb is the more expensive the food, the less you get on the plate. This was not the case at Punnet.

The service… Accommodating and helpful, certainly no complaints here.

The vibe… Plonked on a strawberry farm, Punnet has a firm grasp on the country cafe look and is decked out with faded wood furniture, exposed brick and recycled windows. There's big barn doors and a space for the kids to run around.

The country-chic decor is on the verge of being contrived, but you can't fault the considerable attention to detail.

If you go… Make an occasion out of it. For most, this won't be a week-day lunchtime haunt, but an opportunity to splurge for a birthday or anniversary. And take your time, breakfast is served all day.

Rating out of 5: 4

Original article by Stuff.


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