What better way to leave a city is to have brunch at a local cafe. We decided to go to The Batch Cafe, which won the supreme award and best cafe from the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence 2013. The Batch offers a normal brunch menu and a small selection of counter food, and is one of a few cafes that is open till quite late in the evening. We arrived at 9am with only a few seats available. I decided to find us a seat and then place our order at the counter where you are given a number to take back to your table. The Batch is a popular cafe for both locals and visitors to the city. The decor provide a nice clean country cottage feel to it, making it a nice place to catch up with friends or relax in. There is a range of seating options available ranging from tables, benches, comfortable chairs and communal tables. The Batch provides the option for you to reserve a table if you do not wish to wait for a table/seat to become available. After confirming whether the salmon was Stewart Island Salmon, I ordered the Eggs Benedict with Salmon without any hesitation. Stewart Island salmon is something special. It has this distinct flavour that is not as creamy as the Regal King Salmon or Aoraki Salmon, making it one of my favourites. We tried to order the Blue Cod Buttie which I had known about, but that was not available until 11am. We told them that we came here specifically for this dish (which was true). The counter staff asked the chef if they could make a special order for us. They originally said ‘no’ as the blue cod that they had was for the chowder and they have yet to receive any new stock. Plus 1 ended up ordering the pancakes. Just as we sat down, one of the staff members approached us and told us that he could not let us go home unsatisfied and changed our order to the blue cod buttie. Plus 1 immediately lit up with a huge smile on his face. The wait for our meals was 20 minutes, as the cafe had become quite busy with a queue being formed.
Flat White – coffee beans by Hummingbird which is roasted in Christchurch was bitter and strong. Just what I needed for our drive to Dunedin. We were both admiring the pattern on the coffee as we both had not seen anything like this before, as you normally see the fern or a heart.
Eggs Benedict with Salmon – ‘Wow’ was my first impression. Huge serving of creamy holandise sauce which I had to scrap half off to the side. The salmon was hot smoked perfectly where it was still moist in the centre with a nice lightly smoked flavour. Served on two thick slices of sour dough, baby spinach and two perfectly poached eggs.
Blue Cod Buttie – One large blue cod fillet fried with a thin golden batter served with two lightlytoasted sour dough bread accompanied with salad and homemade lemon and caper tartare sauce. This was absolutely delicious. The light batter on the fish was crisp and golden and not too oily. The tartare sauce brought the blue cod fillet to life providing a slight tang.
Raspberry, Passionfruit and White Chocolate Brioche – I ordered a brioche to take away for my snack in the car. I was offered the option to have it heated or as is. The staff member recommended for it to be heated giving the brioche a slight gooey-ness in the centre. The brioche itself was soft and light with a good amount of raspberries and cream cheese. Plus 1 who is not normally a fan of brioche thought it was quite nice and before I had the chance to say ‘save me some’ it was all gone. I definitely recommend this place. The service is exceptional, good variety of both counter and cooked food using quality local ingredients and staff who are willing to go that extra mile to please its customers. Location: 173 Spey Street, Invercargill