Carrie Steele tries out a rehashed Japanese café in Takapuna, and discovers that it’s now all vegetarian, part-vegan, gluten free, and delicious.
IT ALWAYS STRIKES me how buoyed up it makes me feel when I visit an eatery that doesn’t make me feel like a second class citizen. Today was a good day – we paid a visit to the newly re-vamped Mimosa café, and came away all smiles.
Although I walk past this café on a daily basis, it’s never shouted anything special that would indicate it might be any different to the countless others here in my home town of Takapuna, none of which really offer much if anything to the vegan customer.
Last week however, I noticed a big ‘GF’ in the window of Mimosa, announcing they catered to gluten free diners. Interesting, I thought, a timely and clever idea sure to score quite a few new customers. Imagine my delight then, when on closer inspection the blackboard listed a number of vegan offerings. I mentioned this to hubby who was keen to pay Mimosa a visit as soon as possible, ever the willing accomplice whenever I want to try any new food establishment. Last night, after I dished up a particularly mediocre dinner, he announced we were going to Mimosa for lunch today. Great idea, clearly my own ‘vegan chef’ skills needed a re-boot, and what better way to re-charge my batteries than a taster of what’s on offer at Mimosa, whose website announces they have “transformed to a vegetarian café”, and that “the head chef is a vegan cooking specialist.”
Great news! We weren’t disappointed. I don’t know what Mimosa was like previously, but it’s now a little gem, decorated with cool ‘70s vintage arts and furniture and a great menu (which I note even includes take-away lunchboxes). With a focus on organic ingredients and gluten free dishes, and loads on the menu for vegan diners to choose from as well, this place is definitely something to shout about. I hadx a vegan version of the ‘Mimosa Bowl’, which meant leaving out the cheddar cheese and sour cream, but it was still delicious: tasty cooked-up red beans, sliced olives, chopped avocado and coriander leaves served on brown rice. Hubby enjoyed his Japanese Style Vegetable Curry served on brown rice, with green salad.
The dishes weren’t huge, but they were probably just the right size for lunch, and left us room to sample a couple of sweet treats. We shared a slice of pumpkin pie and a raw apricot cookie from the enticing sweets cabinet. The cookie was delicious, but the pumpkin pie – amazing! Just the right amount of sweetness in the pumpkin and the thinnest biscuit base. I have to mention the green tea too, not just the cuteness of the individual pots and cups, but the tea was superb. If only those pots were a little larger for a tea-guzzler like myself. Next time I might be cheeky and ask for a refill of hot water for my pot, if I’m lingering over another sweet treat.
A few other basics to mention: our lunch today was $48, so this is not a cheap café, but neither should it be. The food shouts ‘healthy’ and ‘quality’, the staff are great, the service friendly and quick and it’s in the middle of Takapuna, three minutes’ walk from the beach. The café is not large, so I can imagine that it’s going to be difficult to get a seat at times, because I just know that this place is going to take off like a rocket. Mimosa has a small courtyard area at the rear, but currently it doesn’t meet the standard of the interior of the café. I suspect though, that the intuitive team who run Mimosa will soon recognise that they can fill more space and put some further effort into upgrading what will no doubt be useful extra seating to accommodate a growing number of customers.
Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, or just hungry, it’s worth paying a visit to my beautiful backyard to enjoy brunch, lunch, or just afternoon tea at Mimosa. I love this place already. CARRIE STEELE
Mimosa Café, 460 Lake Road, Takapuna.