Sometimes life, and life’s appointments, take you to places where you have never been before and you wonder “is there going to be something for me to eat there?”. Life unexpectedly took me to Manurewa twice in the last 2 weeks. I was hungry after the first appointment, but a quick glance at the main road of the town really worried me- nothing friendly looking there at all (although having said that I did have a nice chat buying some eggplants and fenugreek seeds at the Indian grocer, but alas nothing gluten free at the friend chicken shop). My beloved pointed out that we weren’t actually that far from the motorway and wasn’t there a cafe at the botanic gardens? Oh well, at the very least I could eat my muesli bar with a good view (it’s my emergency one at the bottom of my bag, at that stage it was looking a bit worse for wear, but I have since eaten it and it tasted pretty good). The cafe is easy to find in the main building of the gardens and yes,it does have pretty good views. As far as I can work out, you have to walk past it to get into the gardens themselves, so you can’t miss it. There was a “to be heated” and a “eat me now” cake cabinet, and nothing as labelled gluten free. I asked and the lady behind the counter didn’t know, but went and asked the chef who came out and spoke to me. There were 3 choices: kumara cakes, a baked potato, and a greek salad. Nothing really screamed morning tea (it was coming on 11), so I went for the kumara cake because at least it had a morning teaish sounding name. It was like a fancy kumara based hash brown and was quite good, if a little on the expensive side ($7.50 for 1 cake with a tiny salad).
As luck would have it, the following Tuesday I was back in Manurewa this time after lunch but without the same post-appointment problem – we headed straight for Miko Cafe. Now I would have guessed that the greater selection of food would have been available on a Friday, but no, in addition to the above 3 choices this time they also had a (labelled gluten free) rhubarb and apple cake, and an orange almond cake. Score!
I would definitely recommend Miko Cafe as being gluten free friendly, and the gardens are worth a look too while you’re down there (but go mid-week for more choice).