Nestled in the heart of Kingsland, near the pie-filled Fridge and the greasy Kiwiana, is the Shaky Isles. An oasis for the wheatless luncher.
One of the less Auckland-y cafes in town, Shaky Isles is a bustling yet strangely casual scene, frequented by lively business folk, families and students alike. The café has a welcoming warmth, and the eclectic collection of chairs, spoons and crockery is a nice touch.
The service is always first-rate – casual yes, interestingly dressed yes, but helpful. Every staff member seems to know which items can be made gluten-free, and will happily make suggestions or substitutions. No back-and-forwarding to the chef makes for easy ordering.
The appropriately named dish ‘Good stuff in a sandwich’, was true to its title. Placed before me was a inelegant pile of deliciousness – we’re talking mushies, avo, tomatoes, both relish AND aioli. All this heaped generously – no, lovingly – onto gruyere covered slab of gluten-free bread.
And that bread. Oh my, that bread. As a wheatless veteran, I can safely say that this bread puts other GF breads to shame. With only the slightest of crumble, the slice was a seedy, grainy delight; my non-glutinous dining partner looked on in a bread-fuelled lust, his ciabatta shoved aside.
With such delicious bread, you could have the majority of items on the menu. Sure, the burgers wouldn’t be as burger-y, but the point is that you could.
For a more central location, Shaky Isles in Britomart offers the same menu – while I haven’t dined there yet, I once went in to ask for directions (to the train station – yes, it’s right next door) and the staff seemed nice. A good sign I think.
While I wouldn’t recommend the Kingsland Shaky Isles for a flashy corporate lunch, it makes for a perfect casual dining experience.
Two thumbs up.
Overall rating: 8 /10
- Location: 6
- Value: 7
- Service: 9
- Quality: 9
- Environment: 8
- X-Factor: 8
Shaky Isles, 492 New North Road, Kingsland