Taihape treasure

Coffee with a smile

Taihape hasn’t got a lot going for it – even less after last evening’s machete attack on a lone police officer.

Taihape is about mid-way between Wellington and Taupo. A stop there for coffee or a bite to eat and a chance to stretch the legs during the four hour car trip is always welcome. Until last week, we’d been disappointed with the quality of cafes.

The Brown Sugar cafe used to be good – it isn’t any longer. (We stopped for a coffee at the Brown Sugar cafe just south of Otaki – run by the same family as the one in Taihape. It’s boring … the food is lacklustre, the coffee watery and the service slow. It also can’t decide whether it’s a gift shop or a cafe. In short – Brown Sugar isn’t as sweet as it used to be.)

In Taihape we decided to take our chances with a cafe along the main road – Soul Cafe. It looked busy – always a good sign! Unassuming decor and the cabinets stocked with a wide variety of food.

“Eat me, eat me!”, said a fine looking savoury scone.

Mmmm cheese, onion and bacon – it was fantastic – very light and very tasty. The accompanying long black was great as was my partner’s flat white. His sausage roll not only looked delicious in the cabinet, it more than delivered on taste and texture. Lovely buttery pastry with a delicious moist filling. Without a doubt it was home-made rather than supermarket frozen. We were both really impressed with the service from a lovely young girl on the counter – polite, friendly and enthusiastic.

On our return journey today we had no hesitation in revisiting the Soul Cafe. The blackboard menu had look incredibly tempting last Monday and we were keen to try something from it. The cabinet was full with great looking savoury and sweet treats – very difficult to choose. So ‘he who hadn’t had any breakfast’ chose the  Farmers mince on toast from the blackboard, while I (who had had breakfast) went for a rhubarb muffin. Coffee for two as usual!

The service again was fantastic – welcoming, friendly and super-efficient – and the food beautiful. A very generous portion of delicious mince on two slices of crusty toast, and a light muffin with a bit of crunch on the top and full of rhubarb. Great coffee too…had to have two each just to check that the first wasn’t an accident!

And – very well appointed and clean restrooms as well!

So folks, the message is: if you’re passing through Taihape – Soul Cafe is the place to go! It’s a Taihape treasure …

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