During a recent trip to Wellington I got together with some friends at the Spruce Goose for a spot of brunch. This trendy eatery – which was close to our Air BnB and Wellington Airport – was ideal for a mid-morning get together and was kind enough to accommodate 11 of us without a booking. Here’s the lowdown:
Where is it?
Cnr Moa Point Rd & Cochrane St, Lyall Bay, Wellington City.
Sun-Thu: 7am – 12midnight & Fri-Sat: 7am – 2am
What is The Spruce Goose?
The Spruce Goose is a family-friendly eatery overlooking the blue waters of Lyall Bay. In it’s former life the building was a tired, relocated airport terminal. Now, it has been transformed into a contemporary and trendy cafe that boasts panoramic views of the bay and is decked out in retro furniture with funky interior flourishes.
Who to go with?
Spruce Goose is an ideal spot for a cup of coffee with friends or a casual meal with the family. While we were there we saw plenty of young mums enjoying brunch and lots of busy workers grabbing light lunches to go.
The brunch menu is packed with tempting dishes ‘on toast’ and lots of breakfast classics. Many of these items would appeal to healthy eaters and vegetarians, but there was enough choice on offer to please most tastes. Some of the plates we ordered included:
Smashed Avocado on Toast $16
Sweet Peas, Beetroot Relish and Toasted Walnuts on Toast + a side order of Halloumi $8.
This dish was light and flavoursome and I certainly couldn’t complain about the generous portion size. I’m a bit of a halloumi fiend, so when I saw that a side of it could be ordered for $8, I couldn’t resist. That may sound a little steep, but I received three large and deliciously cooked pieces and the cheese really brought the dish together. The beetroot relish was flavoursome and you can’t go wrong with a nice big helping of smashed avocado.
Homemade Beef Burger $21
With Smoked Cheese, Bacon, BBQ Sauce & Fries
Again, this dish was very generously sized. The burger was tender and the chips were plentiful. While this wasn’t the best burger we had during our time in Wellington (see my Burger Liquor review) it was mighty tasty and the quality was good.
Spruce Goose Waffles $18
With Vanilla Mascarpone, Banana, Bacon & Maple Syrup
For those of you with a sweet-tooth who are watching your waistlines, the Spruce Goose waffles are light enough to stop you from feeling too guilty about your brunch time choices. Apparently, the waffle batter had a really nice consistency and the toppings were not overly sweet. Yum!
Atmosphere & Service
The Spruce Goose has a really chilled atmosphere and you can’t deny that the view of Lyall Bay is quite lovely. Likewise, during my visit I thought that the young team of staff were polite and prompt. I did have to pop over to the counter a couple of times to order another drink, but this wasn’t really an issue as our table was understandably quite large.
I can’t really imagine the restaurant on an evening, as it certainly has a very brunchy vibe to it. However, having said that, I have read some fairly good reviews for it’s evening meals and I would be intrigued to see how it’s bright and airy interior translates to a nighttime.
What’s the damage?
I’ve read a lot of comments about Spruce Goose being overpriced. However, I can only say how I found it and to be honest I thought it was pretty consistent with other local restaurant prices. While I wouldn’t be able to afford to eat there every day, I don’t think any of the brunch/lunchtime menu was overpriced. You can expect to pay anywhere from $16 – $27 for a decently sized lunch and a hot drink (the former being very reasonable in my opinion!). Dinnertime is understandably a little bit dearer, but once again I experienced Spruce Goose at brunch and thought it was worth every penny!
As someone who isn’t a local, it’s difficult to know what Spruce Goose is like year-round. During my visit I thought that the selection on offer was fab and I found the general ambience to be fun and laid back. Vegetarians will no doubt find plenty of tempting dishes on offer and if you’re looking for a place to get together with friends or family you won’t go far wrong with this quirky eatery! www.sprucegoose.net.nz