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24 Oct 2014
Wellington legends Steve Gianoutsos and Martin Bosley have teamed up to open Poneke - Mojo’s flagship cafe, located in the beautiful new development on Clyde Quay. What a view!
Poneke (meaning Port Nicholson) is the crème de la crème of the Mojo cafes. Open early 'til late, it seems to attract an array of fitness junkies, apartment dwellers, tourists, corporates and foodies alike.
On entry, you are immediately fuelled by the aroma of great coffee and food and the buzzing atmosphere. I loved the private area at the back - good for remote workers/bloggers to concentrate, while still comforted by stylish surroundings.
My lovely waitress Georgie, quickly became my bestie as we talked about her French and my Italian heritage and our love for food, wine and travel. We spent forever and a day talking about the menu, and of course I had to know the name of every single delectable treat (made by the in-house French Patissier, naturellement), sitting on the counter. The huge selection sure was impressive.
Unfortunately Martin Bosley was out so we couldn't meet. No doubt, being the Seafood Connoisseur, he had gone to source the fresh ‘catch of the day’. However the delightful Head Chef Vincent met to chat with me and share their exciting plans for the future.
This is still early days but I'm impressed already. I asked Vincent what stood out for him about Poneke and he immediately responded, “the team, the passion and the fact that everyone loves what they do”. The secret to success.
I’m a sucker for breakfast and tapas and the menu featured all kinds of delectable delights such as meatballs, sticky ribs, pork belly, lamb, fish, oysters, pizza and a daily changing salad. Every dish was described so deliciously it sent me further into a quandary, but guys this is a good sign.
I settled for the 12 hour beef cheek (prepped in advance) mince on toast. Talk about melt in your mouth material! This was served with a poached egg and sourdough toast however I substituted with a green salad. What a good choice this was as this was no ordinary salad. The vinaigrette was divine and I had to for the recipe. The secret was the added ricotta. Of course it was.
I got to taste my friend’s sautéed mushrooms with lemon feta sorrel pesto on toasted baguette, and the combo of citrus and herb flavours was amazingly refreshing.
The servings weren’t big and I could have eaten mine again. However instead of being piggy, the soaked prune custard tart was calling my name and it resonated nicely, followed by (how could I not?) a Mojo latte. Besides coffees, you can have gourmet teas, smoothies, juices, or choose yourself a little somethin' somethin' from the fantastic wine selection.
Not even a cold, blustery wet day could keep the hardy Wellingtonians away from this foodie magnet. These boys have definitely got their mojo on, as this will is a stand-out from all the other Mojo cafes. I’ma comin’ back for more!
Written by guest blogger, Denise Menara