In the middle of Auckland city, bright spaces filled with light and greenery are few and far between. But sitting among a few other lovely cafes which populate Graham Street is Major Sprout – the latest offering from the team behind Dear Jervois. The eatery opened late 2015, boasting a lovely interior adorned with plants and lit by a wall of windows (helped along by a couple of gorgeous light sculptures) making for a welcome break to the concrete monotony of the surrounding buildings. Even more enticing is their menu, offering a series of thoughtful brunch and lunch options which are all a little more interesting than your average.
Served on potato rosti with sauteed spinach and either house-cured bacon or smoked salmon, their delicious eggs benedict comes topped with an intriguing green hollandaise. If you're not against the idea of a dessert-inspired breakfast, their buttermilk pancakes with luscious figs, plums, vanilla mascarpone and a crunchy nut crumble are hard to resist. Their Acai Bowl of puffed quinoa is topped with lashings of seasonal fruit, and their savoury build-your-own-breakfast option (with The Midnight Baker's Freedom Loaf as a centre-point) is great if you feel like a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Up on their marble-tiled counter, you'll find a cabinet full of treats from The Raw Kitchen as well as sandwiches, rolls and baking to suit those on the run.
Heading towards lunch, their mushroom and gnocchi dish is super satisfying, comprised of pickled and pan-fried mushrooms alongside truffled potato gnocchi and topped off with a very softly poached egg (poached at 62°C). Their Bi Bim Bap is another stand-out – quinoa rice is piled high with tasty sauteed vegetables, a tofu crumble, chilli jam and kimchi (our photograph is from when it was previously served on noodles). Other options include Coffee-Rubbed Skirt Steak, which comes with shallots, lotus crisps, pecorino and pumpkin, while in the cup you'll find Flight Coffee as well as a host of fresh smoothie options if you're in the mood for something brighter.
With such a well-thought-out menu and space, Major Sprout is a cafe we're sure to come back to again and again. We've done so already actually: for peaceful early breakfasts before the bustle of a weekday, and as somewhere to relax mid-morning during a snail-paced weekend.