I mentioned in my last post that it’s very difficult to come across a good website for many coffee
shops in Auckland. Dizengoff, in Ponsonby, has no website, no Twitter and it’s Facebook presence appears to be privacy protected. Nevertheless the small coffee shop/eatery on Ponsonby Road was the busiest on a road with many good coffee shops. The Ponsonby area is easily the most enjoyable I have been to in Auckland, and seems to be the most in tune with coffee and fashion innovations in the rest of the world. You can find more Marzoccos here than on any other stretch of road in Auckland.
And there’s one in Dizengoff, where the coffee served is an Allpress espresso blend made especially for this coffee shop. This isn’t always a positive thing, and they can sometimes be the blends with less character that make it to coffee shops but this wasn’t the case with the Dizengoff espresso beans. The flat white I had was punchy and detailed, with a long tail; it developed long after swallowing. It was a good example of what you might find in an antipodean cafe in the UK.
But the coffee may not be the reason you’d first come into Dizengoff. The place is known by locals for providing simple yet interesting food. Breakfast looks like the speciality, but I had the Chicken Pasta. It sounds boring, as all the food on the menu does, but it was a real mix of flavours. The sauce reminded me more of a seafood sauce than the usual overly-tomatoey embellishment you find on most Italian-derived recipes. The mixture of spices in the food is original and you won’t regret going here for your lunch. The breakfasts looked just as good.
The greatest hint at the concept that unites the marketing void, dry-sounding menu with imaginative food and drink at Dizengoff comes from the decor. A few paintings adorn the walls, but the rest is ceramic tiles. All white. The place looks halfway between a greasy spoon and an operating theatre, and the sign hanging over the entrance resembles a disused cinema. No frills food. Just quality ingredients mixed in an original way. The concept is reminiscent of other ideas that you might find in Spitalfields or Victoria, but in Auckland it feels entirely fresh. From the outside it looks run down, and on the inside it seems trailblazing.