My first impression of Highwater Eatery wasn’t the best. My colleagues and I were working at the Wellington Food Show and looking for a good breakfast before a long day. We arrived 10 minutes before they opened – we thought they opened at 8am every day – and asked if we could sit inside, away from the wind and cold. After an icy reception we were told that, even though they open at 8.30am, the kitchen wouldn’t be ready until 9am. Feeling unwelcome, we left and had breakfast around the corner at Pickle & Pie.
Luckily, I’m a firm believer in second chances [read: the menu looked too good to pass up]. It was another wet, cold and windy day – if you’re from Wellington you know they’re often in autumn – and I was looking for somewhere to hide away and plough through some work.
Highwater Eatery wasn’t unpleasantly busy, and I already knew what I wanted to order, so I bagged myself a small table and set up my laptop. My waitress was the unforced type of friendly you’d hope for in a new café. My flat white was good – I wouldn’t write home about it, but it was decent enough to keep sleepiness at bay.
As I mentioned earlier, I already knew what I was going to order. I chose the baba ganoush, poached eggs, walnuts, crispy shallots with rye bread – I was intrigued to see how all these components would work together. As I was dining alone, I wanted to try something else from the menu. The Leek, Cheddar and Lovage Croquette with gentlemen’s relish quickly caught my eye. A slightly unusual breakfast choice, but one that justified ordering a meal and a hefty side.
Now I’m a bit of a fussy, spoilt industry brat, so I don’t say this lightly… The meal was delicious. I devoured the lot within minutes of it landing on the table. The baba ganoush was thick and creamy with a rich, almost blue cheese taste. It was no surprise that it worked so well with both the walnuts and crispy shallots. The poachies were so perfect that, when I punctured the whites, they spurted golden, runny yolks over the baba ganoush and rye bread. I didn’t expect the egg to complete the dish, but as I mentioned earlier – it was delicious.
The croquette was nestled alongside, and it was a plump little thing. Golden and crispy on the outside and silky, cheesy and moreish on the inside. It was devilishly good. The gentlemen’s relish added tang and a slight sweetness, elevating the croquette and creating a superior side.
Highwater Eatery and I may have had a rocky start, but I believe this may be the start of a great relationship. Whether you’re a resident of the Windy City or just passing through, I’d recommend stopping. But maybe just wait until 8.30am.
54 Cuba Street,
Tuesday: 7.30am - 4pm
Wednesday - Friday: 7.30am - late
Saturday: 8.30am - late
Sunday: 8.30am - 4pm