SET UP & SITE
It's a sprawling, exotic corner site on the ground floor of a flash new apartment building on the outskirts of the commercial area of Mt Maunganui. The sun is pouring in, and the doors open out to the pavement and a lovely shaded outside dining area. There are plants dripping from an industrial strength steel ceiling grid. There are plenty of tables — standard and booth style — which is just as well, judging by the queues from around 10.30am. Once the Mount consisted of the strip of cafes and shops near the main beach. But it's booming and spreading.
SUSTENANCE & SWILL
First we order coffee — Kokako — two long blacks, one soy flat white. It's rich and creamy. Then we take turns heading up to the counter to read the menu. I keep getting distracted by the contents of the cabinet, which is filled with so many dizzying options I feel I might pass out. I really thought the muffin had had its day, but there they are still: salted caramel muffins. Banoffee pie muffin. Wild. If the bran muffin is Donny Osmond, Mixture's muffins are Liberace. We are still in the breakfast zone, but you can have a chicken (free-range) salad if you like, weirdo. There are sweet slices and savoury pies, but I'm in for eggs. They use free-range here. Bravo. I choose the omelette with bacon and cheese ($18) and Jane has the salmon version. Geoff picks the daunting Big Mix Breakfast ($22), which has pretty much everything, as you can imagine, plus a gorgeous potato rosti, made on the premises. Omelettes are generally considered a test of culinary skill, and it's true — you cannot screw them up and get away with it. Everyone will know. Mine was faultless. Presented beautifully, with pickled yellow courgette and micro greens, and cooked to perfection. The verdict, according to the locals and the three at our table, is this place is a winner.
SERVICE & OTHER STUFF
My sister rings ahead, to book a table for Sunday at 9.30am. The woman on the phone says of course we can reserve a table. Look forward to seeing you. Totally charming. We arrive, and she shows us to a corner table, which is perfectly positioned for scoping the place. There's no table service, but they let us have a tab and pay at the end — which is great when there are more than two of you and you're inclined to add to your order as the morning progresses. They are on to it, delightful people.