Gastronomically speaking, Wellington is a world leader. We have more cafés, bars and restaurants per head than even New York. Staying abreast of the new openings in town is like chasing your culinary tail. It is fair to say Wellingtonians are spoilt for choice.
Traversing the CBD for work appointments makes me promiscuous with cafes since there are are so many options in near where I am working. I know people who frequent certain cafés because of their loyalty to the coffee served. I am less discerning about the coffee although a bit of a pedant when it comes to eggs for breakfast.
Aside from breakfast being the most important meal of the day, it is critical for me when I work in town as lunch time appointments are most popular with my clientele although there is no eating involved during these professional gigs. By stoking the appetite early I can make it through the day with just a quick drink and a few snacks whilst I’m on the run.
Last week I was running workshops off the beaten track from my usual café and figured it would be a safe bet to find an alternative breakfast joint. My betting and lotto record speaks volumes for my ability to pick winners. After 3 consecutive days of below par breakfasts its clear that when you set a gastronomic standard its hard to appreciate anything less.
My unofficial and unintended taste test challenge for two poached eggs on toast (I know, the devil’s food) reveals that all eggs are not equal and neither is the poaching of eggs and serving of toast. It was a shock to find that so many reputable Wellington cafes were getting a simple morning kick-starter so badly wrong.
I felt cheated and a cheater. That’s what gustatory promiscuousness does for you.
For the same price or less, my regular café dishes up its poached eggs on 5-grain toast (wholegrain assuages my wheat eating guilt) like no other can. The eggs are poached to perfection. The eggs sit pert on the toast and ooze creamy yolks at a light touch. Others seem to over cook or under cook the eggs and the toast has been so inconsequential it makes breaching the no-wheat eating regime feel like a one-night stand.
It’s not like I am on first name terms with the hosts in my regular café. As far as I can tell, they treat me the same as everyone else when it comes to taking and serving my order. It’s more that I am loyal to them because they serve the perfect morning gastronomy for me.