Britomart's Oaken is beautiful to look at – as soon as you sit down, you'll feel you want to stay all day. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner menus alongside a well-curated wine and craft beer list, it seems the team behind the eatery wouldn't mind if you did. While the desserts and artisan-inspired cocktails on their evening menu sound rather dreamy, we visited for lunch and had a hard enough time choosing between flavoursome-sounding sandwiches, salads and the plethora of egg dishes that appear on their brunch menu. The first arrival was a lusciously creamy roast pineapple, burnt butter and mint lassi as well as coffee – you have the choice of People's, Allpress and Eighthirty.
We also tried the cold-smoked salmon with shaved cauliflower, yoghurt, citrus geranium atop poached eggs, served with warm sourdough. Like the all the dishes that followed, it was delicately plated and provided a beautiful combination of fresh flavours and textures. The minced mushrooms on toast with soft-boiled egg, sunflower seeds and pickled onion was an lovely, elegant take on a dish that's often far too rich. Two salads were also ordered: farro with aioli, brown rice syrup, mushrooms, fennel and parsely stalk and, the stand-out dish, sticky pork belly with black caramel, chilli, peanut, mint, noodles and radish.
Decorated with gorgeous artwork and floristry, Oaken's stunning interior is matched by the obvious care taken to create food and drink menus where no detail is forgotten. The eatery has cosy booths and larger tables lit by generous windows, as well as the option to sit by the pass, or at high stools around the bar. A visit for an early morning breakfast or late-night cocktail is sure to be a delightful one – with an inventive menu that changes depending on what quality produce is available, there's always sure to be a delicious reason to return.
130 Quay Street
Monday to Friday: 7am–late