If you’re looking for a place to watch summer strut its stuff while you eat in the open air, you could do a lot worse than Mission Bay. If you’re in Mission Bay to go to a café, you could do worse than Mission Bay Café.
They got off to a good start with me by having Hakanoa Hand-Made Ginger Beer. The little ginger drink that not only could, but does, has easily enough charm to provide a post on its own. Let’s just say you get a reassuringly ginger taste without the sugar that can often condescend your ability to appreciate that flavour (or hide its absence) in other brands.
Mrs Peckish and I ordered Mushroom and Parmesan Risotto Balls, with Rocket Aioli. You’ll have no trouble picking out the mushroom, which really commands your attention. Those who might have desired more bite from the Parmesan will be a little disappointed, and there’s not a whole lot of oozy risotto sensation either. Still enjoyable, and the peppery nature of the aioli works, just try to hold back a little longer than we did for the sake of the skin on the roof of your mouth.
Onto the mains. I went for beef, a scotch fillet with homemade fries, broccoli, and a mushroom sauce. It was OK for me. I have particular tastes in fries, and these were too far away from the crispy end of the spectrum to really work for me, and the beef itself unfortunately had too much sinew to chew through.
The pork however, was a completely different beast. Twice cooked pork belly with caramelised apple (which I’m sure had a cuddle with some fennel somewhere in the process) good dauphinoise potato, and hazelnut slaw. It all happily plays together in your mouth like the best of mates. If you’re there for dinner and pork’s up your alley, definitely give that a go. Mrs Peckish chose well there, and I’m lucky we always share our mains.
For dessert I went for Strawberry and Vanilla tart. There was plenty of tart, in the bakers sense, for sure, but I struggled to get much strawberry or vanilla. I was disappointed to see that the strawberry was just a sauce zagged across the top. Also be prepared for the ice-cream to be store bought, maybe Tip-Top, possibly something more generic. In this context the fresh fruit was a welcome addition. They have a range of desserts in a display case that are very tempting to the eye, but may disappoint a little for taste if your experience is the same as ours.
I didn’t have any coffee, but my in-laws shared a cup. They seemed very impressed, and might have slightly regretted having a whole cup to themselves.
No complaints with the service, they were friendly and came back regularly to check up on us.
So not bad, all in all. Pick more wisely than I and you’ll probably feel you did much better.