Among a sea of suits and busy Auckland commuters, you'll discover a brand new brunch spot.
Pollen, sitting proudly on Shortland Street, provides a glimmer of rose gold hope to the Vero Centre's bankers, lawyers and corporate commanders, in an area otherwise devoid of bountiful brunch options. On a Wednesday morning, the space is buzzing with corporate cafe-goers and city dwellers, dining in, grabbing a coffee, talking shop and perusing the cabinet.
The offerings here are refreshingly diverse. Try as you might, you won't find a stale muffin in sight. Instead, here you'll find full, pillowy and glistening doughnuts and cupcakes iced with lashings of cream cheese frosting and dressed with edible flowers.
The eat-in menu doesn't cease to disappoint, offering hearty brunch classics and reimagined breakfast fare. We opt for the Grain and Seed Toast with Avocado, Pickled Beetroot, Almonds and Toasted Seeds – a subtle, sweet and wholesome serving that's as visual as it is delicious.
Pollen's simplicity and success is testament to the team behind it – this is the brainchild of Jonny McKesson of Scratch Bakers and 3 Beans coffee. They've consciously refined the basics, so the rest is really just background noise.
For the hungry, there's the Jerk Pulled Pork Benny, doused in hollandaise or the Beef Brisket and Smoked Porter Pie. For those in transit or en route to the office, the smoothie menu is equally as plentiful, packed with hearty wholefoods and chia seeds, coconut milk, hazelnut butter and greens.
The interior fit out, from the glossy marble fixtures to the bauble copper-toned lights hanging overhead, mirror Pollen's stance on clean, classic fare – don't gild the lily.
So whether your early morning meeting calls for something a little more substantial or you find yourself city-side and hungry for something new, Pollen is well worth it – if you possess the patience to stalk out a park in Auckland's CBD.
55 Shortland Street,
Opening hours: Monday–Friday, 7am until 4pm
For the hungry, there's the Jerk Pulled Pork Benny, doused in hollandaise or the Beef Brisket and Smoked Porter Pie.