The Store, Britomart – Auckland, New Zealand

I have to admit, in the past the very breakfast/brunch focused menu at The Store hasn’t been able to entice me – but as today that was exactly what we were looking for, it ticked the box.

Nestled in between Sass & Bide and Lululemon, this is a yummy mummy haunt and a good choice for a Britomart refuel. Owned by the Hip Group, the same proprietors as Metro Top 50 joint Ortolana that sits barely 50 metres away, you might notice similarities in the stablemates’ ethos and menus – The Store is just slightly more ‘café’ like. Both use the same organic/’from our own farm’ produce, both focus on hipster-rustic dishes and both have a gnocchi dish on the menu – having just tried Ortolana’s version a few days back, I figured I may as well see how the sibling’s version stacked up.

Seating is all outdoors in the front area (I’m a little unsure what they do in winter?) and some tables have chairs, some stools – all chairs would have been a tad more comfortable. Service was well, a tad perplexing at times – our waitress didn’t know what a muffin was and for our guests who wanted to order a muffin/pastry from the counter, she wasn’t much help letting them know the selection available and they pretty much just had to take whatever she had remembered was available that day. We were also revisited every minute or so for our order while deciding, and delivered the wrong drinks (this order was taken by another staff member). Probably not the greatest first impression.

On to our order – coffee, fine, nothing to write home about. My fresh orange juice certainly tasted fresh if not a little more watery than the norm. We ordered the Chorizo, scrambled egg, tomato vinaigrette, crème fraiche, and the Agria gnocchi, poached egg, ricotta, hazelnuts with added pancetta. The gnocchi was not fried and crispy like the Ortlolana version, but potentially more enjoyable as a dish on the whole – the ricotta and hazelnuts made for a delicious slightly sweet combo as did the poached egg and pancetta. Both went very well with the gnocchi and everything mixed up all together was delicious too. Sadly our other dish didn’t live up to the gnocchi’s standards – the chorizo unpleasantly heavy going and smoky, the eggs under seasoned and the accompanying sauces not too pleasant. The dish was a tad sour on the whole, I wouldn’t order this again.

You could do much worse for a brunch spot, and certainly the menu is creative and offers something a little different. Pretty hit and miss when it came to service and food however – I’d say head on across the path to Ortolana where they seem to have things running a little more smoothly.

The Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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