Jun 11, 2014 Cafes
Words: Catherine McGregor. Photos: Ken Downie.
It’s incongruously situated, to say the least. Hanging off the end of a strip mall, deep in the heart of Albany’s business-park zone, Black and Gold is a corner of Grey Lynn seemingly swept up, Wizard of Oz-style, and deposited 20 km north. Outside planters full of herbs and kale (natch) line the floor-to-ceiling windows. Inside, it’s all recycled wood, stylishly battered metalwork and hipster favourites Phoenix and Metronomy on the stereo.
Open since early April, Black and Gold is the new venture from David Huang and Kayoko Nakamura, both formerly at Espresso Workshop (David was a co-owner). The couple have been North Shore residents for a few years now, settling first in Glenfield before gradually moving north. “When we got to Albany a year ago,” says David, “there was nowhere for us to get a coffee” – a major problem for a two-time Auckland Barista Champion. “There are so many people who work around here, who hang out in Ponsonby or Britomart on their days off, and who are used to certain level of quality. That’s what we wanted to provide.”
Sustainability is a watchword. The couple used recycled materials wherever possible, and the space is full of characterful bric a brac sourced from TradeMe. Wooden toy trains work as table tidys, tiny flowers peep out of old science-class pipettes, and a selection from David’s vast coffee paraphernalia collection dots the room.
They use free range eggs, chicken, pork and cured-pork products, and food waste is taken back to the couple’s property nearby to be used as chicken feed and compost. Eventually they hope to serve the results – organic eggs and vegetables – back in the cafe (cue a rousing chorus of “The Circle of Life”).
Chef Gavin Suter’s menu is fresh, inventive and colourful. Halloumi comes with sautéed rainbow chard and jewel-like roast beetroot; double baked French toast is topped with “cinnamon banana crush”, poached pear and mascarpone. At lunch, he serves warming slow-cooked meat dishes like pulled pork ragout with potato gnocchi or “fall-apart” beef cheek with tomato bruschetta. Nothing’s more than $20. Cabinet food includes fat sandwiches and some really impressive baking, most of it gluten free.
Unsurprisingly, given their backgrounds, David and Kayoko are keen evangelists for the delights of non-espresso coffee. They serve single origin coffees using Hario syphons, V60 drippers, and batch brew using the industry-leading Technivorm Moccamaster. Their espresso blend is the chocolaty Brazilian by Supreme, who supply all Black and Gold’s coffee. David’s keen to start roasting his own beans – there’s plenty of space for a roaster – but that’s on the wish-list, as is weekend opening: for now, they’re open Monday to Friday only, 7am to 4pm.
Update 18/02/15: Black & Gold is now open Saturdays, 8am – 4.30pm.
1/33 Triton Drive, Rosedale, Auckland. Black and Gold on Facebook.