It’s about time I updated you on my travels and latest cake finds in New Zealand which is where I am currently living. After spending ten busy months on a farm with limited culinary delights nearby, plus another few months on the road, I have finally taken residence in an actual “city” (city by New Zealand standards, more of a town in the eyes of us Brits!). I’ve been in Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty for nearly three weeks now. I’ve worked ten consecutive days at a kiwi fruit packhouse where I watch kiwi fruit fall into a box at lightning speed, quickly close the lid, move the box along so an empty box can take its place and try my best from letting a million kiwis fall onto the floor. It’s an experience to say the least. Spending over ten hours a day standing up has really taken its toll and I have been looking forward to a day off since I started.
Now what to do on my day off? Go for coffee and cake of course! Like always, I’ve done my fair share of research in eateries around town. Mount Maunganui is my usual coffee hangout but I wanted to see what Tauranga has to offer. Love Rosie Bakery has good reviews online and appeared to be “my kind of place“, specialising in freshly baked cakes. Tucked away off the busy main road on 9th Avenue, Love Rosie Bakery was busy when I arrived on a Saturday afternoon. There’s no food menu, just a selection of sweet and savoury goods from the counter and a homemade soup. The lack of what you would call a “proper” menu didn’t bother me one bit because there was plenty to choose from, although I do enjoy the usual smashed avo and eggs for weekend brunch.
I had already indulged in breakfast and a cheeky mid-morning samosa at Tauranga’s Farmers Market so I was just here for the cake. With so many on offer it was difficult to choose. I liked the sound of the banana and spelt salted caramel cake but the spelt part put me off. The word spelt screams healthy and for me, healthy and cake do not mix well. The lemon curd sponge also looked delightful and the ginger loaf too, a big fan of ginger me. It all looked so tempting and as always I overstayed my indecisive pondering at the counter. I spotted a pecan caramel slice which looked a little too sweet but I suddenly had an urge for pecans so that was that. I also ordered a Hakanoa handmade sweet spicy ginger latte to satisfy my ginger craving.
I was given a plastic toy horse as my “number” and sat down at one of the high benches along the side of the cafe. Plastic animals in replacement of table numbers seems to be all the rage at the moment with popular Little and Friday cafe in Auckland adopting the same approach. The interior of Love Rosie Bakery is certainly on the small scale but they’ve utilised the space well by just having one large table in the middle and a few around the edge of the room. It does get a bit busy up there near the counter with people like me struggling with their indecision’s but it didn’t feel like a mad house like some of my favourite cafes in Mount Maunganui do on a weekend. Although I hate high stools, counter seating enables me to sit alone and spend the whole afternoon blogging without feeling like I’m taking up a valuable table.
My cake and drink arrived within good time and both adequately presented with the cake having a dollop of yoghurt which is the norm here in New Zealand. Forget cream or custard, yogurt (usually natural) comes with everything. The ginger latte tasted exactly like the ginger latte from Wharf Road, my favourite cafe in Coromandel Town. They must use the same brand of syrup which I believe is homemade. Gone are my Melbourne days where I drank chai and ginger lattes made fresh with a selection of spices. Kiwi coffee culture hasn’t quite reached this stage yet and syrup is the way to go here.
Despite the use of fresh natural spices the ginger latte was very nice indeed. I forgot about the promise to myself I made that I would no longer order ginger latte when having a cake too. A milky sugar syrup drink plus cake is just too much even for the sweetest of tooths like me.
The pecan caramel slice was scrumptious and consisted of a shortcrust pastry base topped with caramel with shreds of coconut through it and a generous number of pecans. Yum! Yes, I never learn and I soon became induced in an almighty sugar-overload coma. I needed something to awaken me and what better excuse to try the Altezano Brothers Coffee which are the beans of choice at Love Rosie. After a vibrant but smooth long black I was back in the game and continued happily blogging away.
The service at Love Rosie was friendly although the young girl did go to take my plate away when I had a couple of crumbs left. Embarrassingly I told her I hadn’t finished even though there was maybe only enough crumbs to feed a baby sparrow. Waste not want not. Looking out at the rain and thinking about my washing on the line outside I was nearly driven to another cake but no, enough was enough. At least for today anyway. Will I return to Love Rosie Bakery? Of course, although there’s plenty of other cafes in the area I must check out too. A good coffee and cake keeps the doctor away and I am ready for another week of hard graft before my upcoming vaycay.
Living life, loving Tauranga,