Place: Open from 7am until late, Cali is a new all-day eatery in Auckland's Newmarket with an expansive and tasty selection of four menus, that caused us to ask for "just another minute" to choose something for lunch (more than once). Its location means it's bound to be a hit with Nuffield Street shoppers who've worked up an appetite making their way along the suburb's most stylish strip.
People: Cali's owner, Kate Pragnell, has created a broad menu inspired by time spent in Los Angeles and Malibu, making the bright eatery the perfect stop if you're planning an Auckland 'staycation' during the summer months. The head chef, Eric J Lee, has put his twist on a host of familiar dishes, while the staff are a cohesive team of friendly faces, who'll make sure you're well looked after during your visit.
On the menu: Cali has breakfast, lunch, dinner grazing, kids and drinks menus – no time of day is neglected. We visited for lunch and had a tough time deciding between their selection of sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, and pizzettas. I ended up going for the fish and chips (mostly as a way of trying the hand-cut fries our Food Editor Claire had recommended) while my friend went for the Korean spicy chicken tacos. Both portions were generous without being over-the-top and – more importantly – were incredibly tasty.
We also had coffee (Supreme) and I was tempted in by their selection of smoothies – choosing a 'healthy' chocolate option which was satisfying without being too indulgent. While much of the menu is bright, fresh and health-focussed you can just as easily pick up something warming or hearty. As I just discovered on their Instagram, they also make doughnuts, which is a very convincing reason to return in itself.
Decor: Cali is spacious, with an array of seating options, depending on whether you feel like sitting by the windows and their gorgeous plants, leaves dripping from above, on a bigger table with friends, tucked away in the corner with your laptop, or on the cushioned benches of the central tables. The eatery's brand of light, bright interior seems to be cropping up across Auckland, thanks to designers Kirsty Mitchell and Rebecca Walker who have been asked to decorate many of the city's recent openings.
Go tomorrow: For a fresh healthy breakfast, or a stop-off between shops at lunchtime, a drink after work or a relaxed and delicious dinner; Cali has all bases covered.
23-27 Nuffield Street
Monday to Sunday: 7am – late