Address: 191 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden Ph: (09) 638 9377 Open: 7 days, 6am-3pm Cost: $42.50 for two
SET UP & SITE
Marllie's occupies the space that used to house Onslow Bar and Eatery, occupying a prime corner spot on the city end of Dominion Rd. The new owners, Mark and Billie - hence the name - had cafes in Matakana and Papamoa. They've renovated the space, turning the once-dark interior into an inviting, light-filled, modern cafe. There are a few unmarked parking spaces outside, but watch you don't park in a space allocated to a neighbouring business.
SUSTENANCE & SWILL
The menu concentrates on family-friendly, standard cafe fare - which was fine by me - but they've been given colourful names - so there's the Open Cluck and Oink (toasted Turkish pide topped with grilled chicken, bacon, bruschetta and feta, $21); Kiwi As Mince (beef mince with bacon, poached egg, rosti and sourdough, $19); and the Not Quite Burger Burger (a burger with toasted bread instead of a bun, $21). There's a kids' menu too - the boiled eggs (Tin Soldiers - $7) which come in brightly coloured egg cups. There's a range of counter food too - including frittatas, macaroni cheese, wraps, muffins and sandwiches. Our coffee order came quickly - they do decaf - and it was great, right up there with my other favourite coffee spot in Mt Eden, Olly's. I had the grilled chicken salad ($20) and my brunch date the flapjacks - pancakes with caramelised banana, bacon, maple syrup and icecream ($12). I was hoping they'd be as memorable as the coffee; they weren't.
SERVICE & OTHER STUFF
Behind the counter, Billie was friendly and welcoming and proved quite the barista. This is a great place to grab a coffee (we had two) on the way to the game or after kids' sport. The verdict? Style and thought have gone into the fitout, there is brilliant service and great coffee (Hummingbird beans); the food, however, is pretty ordinary.