Brunch review: Kreem suffers teething troubles

Greg Fleming,
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Publish Date
Wednesday, 15 March 2017, 5:04PM


Kreem had been open less than a week when I visited and it was busy - no surprise really as West Auckland's starved of good cafes and this certainly looked good. Sitting on a purpose-built site just off Lincoln Rd, Kreem has its own bakery and a good range of deli food. Kreem's a cafe franchise with seven other cafes in Auckland. Its fit-out is good - done in a casual SoCal style - vases of flowers and cookbooks on big roll-away tables, a terrace and open, airy layout, Ray Charles on the sound system - really it's all a bit like Meryl Streep's cafe in It's Complicated - I'm not sure there are many other cafes in West Auckland with Himalayan pink salt on the tables.


Coffee was fine, served in large cups. They use their own blend of Ethiopian beans. The counter food looked good - wraps, sandwiches, salads, homemade lemon pepper schnitzel with salad ($12.90) - and a dazzling array of cakes and pastries - including Italian sugar donuts ($4) and plum and almond brioche ($4.50). Sadly the menu's pretty standard - your usual range of eggs, mushrooms and muesli but there's a Middle-Eastern influence apparent in the pan-fried snapper and zesty Israeli salad ($26) and "shashuka" - although mis-spelling a dish on the menu doesn't augur well - ($14), which I went for - eggs in a spicy tomato sauce with feta, coriander and warm flat bread. Ima's in Fort St does a wonderful shakshuka but Kreem's was no match - sauce not spicy enough, eggs overcooked. Drinks-wise, knock yourself out: smoothies - mango, chia and coconut water (is that still a thing?), banana oats and trim milk ($8.50) and all the usual frappes, teas and coffees - even filter.

Shashuka from Kreem Cafe. Photo / Greg Bowker


Kreem needs to up its game here too - but it is early days. There were plenty of wait staff but often they were wandering around with plates in their hands reading table numbers (it's quite a large space). The coffee came quickly but I had to ask twice for my shakshuka and neighbouring tables were either delivered the wrong order or kept waiting. Stylish, and pretty good coffee - but the food and service let it down.