Saturday, June 2, 2012

Theatre Cafe

Karangahape Road is famous in Auckland for having awesome bars, quirky cafes and dodgy people. Despite hearing many adventures (or misadventures) from my friends, I had rarely wandered up to K'rd myself for fear of meeting "ladies from the night" (re: dodgy people), but mostly because I didn't want to walk up the massive hill which led to it.

The cafe was once the entrance to Mercury Theatre
Now that I've started working in town (and literally 5 minutes away from K'rd), the big hill is no longer an issue and I have found the most fantastic little shops and cafes. 

One of my greatest finds is Theatre, which is a little cafe tucked neatly in between my regular sushi place and what I think is a tattooist shop. I had often found the urge to enter but my fear of being seen eating along had stopped me from venturing within.

My curiosity eventually got the better of me and, let me just say, that this was one of the best decisions I have made this month. Upon entering Theatre, I was immediately overwhelmed by the amazing staircase and ceiling. As the name hints, this cafe was once a theatre and, throughout its life, has seen many transformations from a fruit shop, to a mediocre burger joint before having its ceiling lovingly restored to become Theatre cafe.   

Brain Focus - $6.50 and Banana Smoothie - $6.50
We started off with a couple of drinks while we waited. Feeling a little tired I chose the Brain Focus with the hopes that it would help me concentrate later in the afternoon. This was the perfect concoction of beetroot, carrot, orange and spinach juice which isn't as strange as it sounds, and very very refreshing.

Jason went with his usual banana smoothie and was pleasantly surprised with the drizzle of Manuka honey down the side of the glass which was "simply delightful."

Tuatara Ale Grilled Steak - $17.50, Potato Rosti (side) - $4.50
We had both decided that steak would be the perfect lunch and there is nothing better than steak marinated in ale! This hearty dish was very satisfying and totally hit the spot. The steak was perfectly cooked and cut into bit size pieces, served on super crunchy ciabatta with roast tomato, salad and a punchy horseradish cream. The portion size was very generous with a decent amount of steak (in contrast to other cafes that appear to try and fill you up on bread or fries).

Hakanoa Ginger Latte - $4.50
Berry Smoothie - $6.50
I was so impressed with Theatre cafe (and stoked that it is only a 5 minute walk from work) that I persuaded a friend from work to come with me the following week! This time, I chose a ginger latte as we had just spent the rainy morning out on site while she went with a berry smoothie with the special Manuka honey drizzle.

Grilled Cajun Chicken - $17.50
I ordered the cajun chicken which came with toasted ciabatta, salad and honey roasted carrots and kumara. Again, the portion size was very generous with what seemed like at least a quarter of a perfectly cooked and succulent chicken, with a strong cumin flavour and the perfect amount of spice.

I am absolutely ecstatic that this little gem is so close to work and I can't wait to find another excuse to come back. If you want to admire this fabulous building and enjoy some fantastic food, come to 256 Karangahape Road, Auckland. 


  1. The servings really are enormous! :o And I like the smoothie with the honey drizzle down the sides! Very striking :)

  2. I love the look of the place! And the food looks great! all I have is a Subway near my work :(

  3. How handy it's so close! I love the look of the smoothie, yummo!