People: Mister D Dining was founded by two veteran hospitality duos: Dan and Joanna Tosswill and Prue Barton and chef David Griffiths, who met in 2011. Prue and David are the founders of Auckland restaurant Vinnies, which they sold in 2009, and the restaurant at Craggy Range vineyard.
Place: Too often a town's best cafes are hidden down side streets, or require a special pilgrimage to some unknown suburb to enjoy. A trip to Mister D Dining requires little navigating, as it's proudly situated on one of Napier's main roads, housed inside an Art Deco-fronted building with a high industrial ceiling, featuring large sky lights that stream light through the place.
On the menu: Breakfast is a deliciously pragmatic affair; eggs, toast, porridge, baked beans and corn fritters, on their own resistant to pretension, appear in generous portions alongside artisan sausages and speciality cheeses, or are turned into confits for that little touch of Auckland.
We visited the morning after eating an eight course bee-inspired dinner (part of Hawke's Bay food festival Winter F.A.W.C), so fancied a light brunch minus any mention of hollandaise. Simple poached eggs with toast and confit Te Mata Mushrooms did the trick, and a plain bowl of porridge served in a 50s diner style bowl was almost too virtuous until its companion arrived: a tray of delightful toppings including quince compote and creme fraiche.
The sight of a D-cinnamon doughnut with holly bacon and a maple syrup syringe at the kitchen's pass was an indicator of what could have been on a hungrier morning, and signified pure indulgence.
Speaking of doughnuts, Mister D has become synonymous with them locally and further afield (thanks to Instagram), with their handmade, fill-your-own approach captivating diners since 2012. We squeezed in room for one, mostly so we could play Halloween doctor with a bright red jammy syringe.
Lunch and dinner is available too, meaning Mister D Dining is deservedly busy at all times of the day. The main menus privileges excellent wines, local, seasonal ingredients and more indulgent, fried goodness.
Decor: A vast, industrial space is made cosy through divisions like a long and inviting sofa bench that occupies the left hand wall, softening harsher edges of industrial furniture and metal light fightings. Bright turquoise and Coffee Supreme-red offer splashes of colour in the form of kitchen tiles, a 'D' marquee light and plate rims. An outdoor courtyard complete with fire and leafy trees makes for an enjoyable al fresco experience year-round.
Go tomorrow: For a laid back breakfast, a group lunch or fancier dinner. Mister D would make an excellent first date venue, the ice melted away with the novelty of a fill-your-own doughnut. That said, an excellent Hawke's Bay-proud wine list and beautiful local produce provides a sophistication syringed doughnuts belie.
47 Tennyson St
06 835 5022
Open: Daily between 7.30am-4.00pm. Thurs-Sat 7.30am-late.