This year’s Jim Beam Homegrown was a wild day of booze, bands, bar-spitting and banter. I think everybody, even people who didn’t attend, felt the forceful brunt of a full ‘11 hours’ worth of drinking’ hangover the next day. Which is where I have to send my blessing and thanks to whomever invented the delicious and astoundingly convenient weekend meal, brunch (turns out brunch originated in the 19th century to bring relief to ‘Saturday party-goers’ – and we are still VERY relieved to this day). Enough about this history of brunch (just Wikipedia it) – and onto my very own brunch adventure, at wellington’s own Maranui Café.
When I say the words Maranui Café, I would say about 10 people in earshot would perk up and say ‘Brunch?!?!’. Yes. It’s really that famous in Wellington for their impeccable brunch fare, and after dragging myself there last Sunday – I’m now tummy-triggered for brunch when somebody mentions Maranui too (Damn – I’m hungry now). The last time I came here, was about 8 years ago, which was waaay too young to appreciate the fantastic flavours and sensational skill. So, waking up Sunday morning, tired, hungry and decaffeinated – Maranui was my beckoning call.
We arrived there, and to my surprise the place was jam-packed and there were still 2 parties eagerly waiting their turn at a table in front of us – luckily, this gave us time to choose our meals – unluckily, this just made the wait for food long (what can they say, Maranui is what the people WANT!). At long last we got seated inside the bustling abode, and to avoid adding any extra time onto the 40-minute-food-wait, ordered INSTANTLY. 2 white coffees on the rocks (with a little sugar *wink face*), a portion of their finest buttermilk stacked pancakes, and a victory breakfast – with the real victory being able to get a seat in this place amirite!
Let’s just say they weren’t lying about the 40-minute wait, as I think my stomach had actually started to eat itself by the time the food came. But also, let’s just say people are not lying when they say that Maranui has the best lunch food FULL STOP. When I got that stack of thiccc buttermilk pancakes placed in front of me, my stomach filled with butterflies – the good kind of course!
Imagine this: a 3-stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes with a big dollop of tangy mascarpone cream, berry compote drizzled all over each stack with fresh bananas sandwiched between the layers, and some of their house-made muesli to add a little crunch to the dish. Never have I ever thought I could apply the lyric ‘Drippin’ with Finesse’ to a dish, but I’ll be damned, because this one was it. I can’t apply this lyric to the taste though, because literally NO song lyric could sum up just how incredible these sour, sweet, fruity, savoury, and spiced flavours burst on my palette. The victory breakfast was also a victorious affair, with literally every good part of a classic fry-up being made vegetarian, with some added sides including fresh guacamole, tangy pesto, and a mexicano take on the classic baked bean – a bite of these all together with the poached eggs, grilled tomato and shroomies was a flavour-match made in heaven!
Let’s sum this all up into one easy equation; Fabulous location with spectacular views + super kind & attentive staff + food that I could dream about forever = an unquestionable 9/10 on the CCL scale. I know I’ve been awarding some big numbers out recently, but since starting up 2 years ago – Wellington has really upped their brunch business into something quite exciting for us foodies, you never know when the next eggs bene is going to pop up!
The question is – where should I go next? Let me know in the comments, flick me an email, or hit me up on my gram to let me know where I should crawl to next.