Ahhh brunch; the beautiful spot where breakfast and lunch mingle. The perfect occasion for the late risers, the Saturday night ‘dusties’ or the family gathering at that relaxed time that seems to suit all generations. An occasion perfected by New Yorkers, and introduced to the rest of the world by the likes of Sex and the City, the weekend brunch is undefined by reason or time, panning from mid-morning through to late lunch with the help of a few ongoing Bloody Marys.
As we like to do, New Zealand has thrown its own spin on brunch over the years, adapting it to Kiwi preferences so it was about time we had a team of New York-style brunch experts show us how it’s truly done. If you haven’t heard of AvroKO Hospitality Group, definitely give them a stalk on the gram. They are the owners, pioneers and designers of a string of award-winning restaurants and bars in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and London and have since added Auckland to their impressive resume with the introduction of Liquorette, Ghost Donkey, Poni Room and now, Saxon and Parole.
Saxon and Parole is a New York SteakHouse and the sister restaurant to the original in New York. The team has taken a collaborative approach in bringing the two cultures together, which has been perfectly executed by AvroKO Executive Chef Brad Farmerie and New Zealand Executive Chef Logan Coath. Using the base menu from New York as a blueprint, they have combined the New York classics with fresh local New Zealand ingredients to create a brunch menu true to New York, crafted for New Zealand taste buds.
Fried Chicken Stuffed Waffles: Yes that’s right, a waffle stuffed with chicken and drizzled with maple herb and cherry braised butter. Fried chicken pieces are folded into the waffle batter, made with duck fat butter and buttermilk and topped with … wait for it … more fried chicken!
Tea Smoked Salmon: A chunky steak of smoked Big Glory Bay salmon, two eggs perfectly poached, smothered in a creamy yuzu hollandaise on a bed of spinach and grilled sourdough. With provenance truly at the heart of the menu, their sourdough is sourced from Dusty Apron, the team that started Amano (so you know it’s good) and the salmon is from Big Glory Bay, which the team visited prior to launch to get to know the story behind their suppliers and to familiarise themselves with where their ingredients are sourced.
Smores: Get your Instagram out for this one. This smoky, theatrical dessert is their signature sweet treat and one that’s not to be missed. Charred marshmallows with homemade graham crackers and chocolate pudding, sitting in the smoky swirl that releases when the jar is opened.
Donuts: Another classic that delivers New York authenticity to the menu. Fresh, fluffy cinnamon-covered donuts ready to be dunked in your choice of crème anglaise or chocolate sauce, or in my opinion a double dip of both!
Bloody Mary: No New York brunch is complete without a Bloody Mary. Punchy double pours add a kick to the ‘Classic’ with garlic infused vodka, the ‘Caesar’ with star anise and fennel infused vodka or the ‘Maria’ with Altos Plata tequila. But the team at Saxon Parole take their Bloody Mary one step further by welcoming guests to the bar to create their own, with an assortment of creative and customisable bases, modifiers and garnishes.
Saxon and Parole is easily a weekly staple beyond the morning brunch and it’s clear that they have taken this into consideration when designing the layout. The space offers different dining experiences for different days of the week. Casual bar dining for the early week dine and dash, intimate booths for the romantic Friday date night, and of course the tables that line the floor to ceiling windows for the weekend morning brunch.
Saxon and Parole is the perfect way to set the Sunday mood. A true American brunch paired with Auckland’s sparkling harbour as its backdrop, Saxon and Parole goes to the top of the list of best brunch spots in the City of Sails.
Hours: Mon – Fri 12pm – 10:30pm, Sat – Sun 10am – 10:30pm
Address: Commercial Bay Level 2/172 Quay Street, Auckland