Fields Cafe (North Shore City, New Zealand)
If you have been to Albany‘s Commercial District in North Shore and saw a large imposing concrete and glass block building in the middle of the field without any establishments beside it then this is our restaurant for today. That is what caught our attention that is why we are here today. Several months ago as we were driving along Appian Way this is what we saw and since then I was wondering what is that place, that moment I felt I was warped to Norway or any Scandinavian countries because the building looks like one of those you see on those places, trendy, minimalistic and very aesthetic. Before this visit we already tried to go there but we were there around 4:00PM and they were closed, door sign says they close at 3:30PM so we never managed to go in until today.
We came here early morning after the Easter Mass at our church, that mass started at 5:30 in the morning as we are trying to bring to New Zealand the Filipino tradition called “Salubong“. Salubong basically is a Filipino Easter tradition that has been observed in the country for a long time, the word means “meeting”, and it re-enacts meeting of Jesus Christ and His mother, Mary after His resurrection. The mass roughly ended around 7:30 AM so after this was the perfect time to have breakfast with our friends who were with us during the mass.
Fields Cafe was just minutes away from the church, but we had a small fellowship after the mass, so we basically left several minutes just after 8:00 AM. We arrived at the place around 8:15 AM and yet again it was closed, luckily, they open at 8:30 AM so we waited, we were actually the first customers of the day. We sat outside as the sun shines and it was a perfect day, the waiter then gave us the menu which looked really good and I like most of what they offer.
There are many good items on the menu and its quite hard to pick one but there was one item that struck me, they call it “Can’t Decide”, it’s really a good name specially for those people like me who can’t decide what to pick, basically it contained bits and pieces from most of the menu items. Minutes later we had decided what to get but before that happened, we grabbed some drinks first.
We tried different types of drinks, where I grabbed my usual Long Black (NZ$4.20) together with my wife’s Hot Chocolate (NZ$4.70), my daughter who loves matcha grabbed an Iced Matcha Latte (NZ$7.50) and finally a Berry Fields Smoothie (NZ$9.00) made with mixed berries maple and oat milk.
The coffee was good, it was smooth but with good strength to it, nice full-bodied roast but forgot to ask what bean it was. The Ice Matcha Latte looks impressive, it was topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel and the Berry Fields Smoothie was quite decent too, it was topped with freeze dried berries and dried coconut flakes.
The drinks arrived quite quick, so I suggest if you want to enjoy it with you breakfast, either order all at once or let the server know you want them all together.
For breakfast, since I got my eye on that Can’t Decide (NZ$26.00) I grabbed one of them. Basically it’s a mish mash of Bacon, pork & jalapeno sausage, mushroom, vine tomato, rosti, smashed avocado, chia pudding, poached egg and a kumara sourdough which was served on a wooden chopping block. It was served with a vibrant fuchsia sauce which I reckon is made with beetroot. Remember that pink hollandaise that we had at the Catalina Cafe? That reminded me of that place when I saw my order, don’t know what’s with the vibrant unnatural looking sauces that come with your food nowadays, is that a thing in the culinary world?
Next item was this Truffle Mushroom Gnocchi (NZ$24.00), yes, it’s gnocchi for breakfast and it is made with their House-made potato gnocchi, mushroom medley, caramelised onion, cashew cream, almond spinach pesto and parmesan topped with salad leaves. Plating was nice and it looks very enticing.
We also had some Smashed Avocado (NZ$19.50), again with that vibrant sauce where the kumara sourdough is generously topped with smashed avocadoes, vine tomatoes, feta whip, red quinoa, beetroot yoghurt and poached egg. Definitely one of the best-looking smashed avocadoes we ever ordered.
Then we had this massive Fields Beef Burger (NZ$24.00) where it came with chunky Double beef patties, caramelised onion, bacon jam, smoked cheese, jalapeno, crispy shallots and lettuce served on a brioche burger bun, it also came with a small amount of fries on the side which I find unusual as burgers here usually come with a good serving of it. But as we devour this burger, it makes sense as its quite hefty, size was quite big if a full order fries came with it, you would definitely have a lot of left over.
Finally for our sweet order we grabbed this Banoffee Frenchie (NZ$18.50) served with additional bacon (NZ$6.00). Basically it is a Chocolate French Toast served with Banana fritters, espresso mascarpone and caramel sauce, there is also caramel popcorn on the side. Definitely something for the ones who likes it sweet.
Most if not all of the dishes is you notice can win the beauty contest but how was the taste? Well the food was good, definitely above average compared to the other breakfast offered in most of the cafes here. Eggs were poached perfectly, breads were toasted the right way, everything was well seasoned and definitely well presented. All elements on each dish blends well to make the whole meal where every flavour and texture involved was well thought of. Yes the food was great but the prices was quite steep, you will instantly notice it with the additional bacon for NZ$6.00, so for me the price was too much to justify the food, but if it’s a couple of dollars cheaper then this place is a steal.
Other than that, this place is located in a nice quiet spot with ample parking and a huge playground beside it so it’s good if you have kids with you. The place is clean, it was sleek, and the interior design was very appealing, like I said, I felt I was in a Scandinavian country when I dined in here. Staff were friendly, very attentive and served with a smile, overall the atmosphere was great. Should I recommended it? Well if you have the extra moolah, yes go for it but if you want some bang for your buck then there are other places near this that you can have that meal but don’t expect for the same atmosphere as what this place have to offer.
Address: 4 Appian Way, Albany, Auckland 0632, New Zealand