IN BRIEF

A daytime café that delves deliciously deeper than the norm.

WHY CHOOSE THIS RESTAURANT?

More substantial than the usual toasties or scrambles, you’ll find a small but clever menu in a casual café setting delivered by a slick and dedicated young team.

ABOUT THE CHEF

Born in South Korea and raised in New Zealand, head chef Ian Hwang started early and with a traditional French focus, working with Auckland chef Jean-Phillipe Kerstenne. He went on to short stints in several fine diners before heading off to Europe to develop his skills further. His days at Deep are followed by long nights in his home test kitchen researching and developing new dishes.

ABOUT THE FOOD

The Deep Cheeseburger with its housemade patties, caramelised onions and chef’s secret sauce is well worth the drive across the bridge (if you are not a local) and the intriguing French toast with seasonal fruits, truffle mascarpone and a drizzling of fluid strawberry gel gives a sweet/savoury twist to the classic. But it is Hwang’s delicate and pretty plates that make this café unique. Brightly cured salmon nestles within a circle of deep-green watercress emulsion, beside a terrifically textured pea, almond and asparagus salad and is served with a house-made grapefruit soda that just works at every level on a summery day. The mandatory smashed avocado is artfully arranged on dark rye alongside smoky burnt broccoli, with the obligatory soft-poached egg perched on top and a bulgur wheat, quinoa, tofu and pickled daikon salad is bound with an umami-rich miso dressing and peppered with fresh edible petals.

ABOUT THE TEAM

Head barista and manager Danny Lee runs a relaxed and welcoming space and shares Hwang’s vision to create a contemporary café offering unique food and quality coffee that is deeply delicious. These young hospo employees are definitely worth watching.

NOTEWORTHY FACTORS

Treat yourself to the luxe signature coffee with housemade vanilla custard milk served over ice and topped with espresso cream, and if you are not sure what to order, the Deep balsamic mushrooms with horseradish crème fraîche are best sellers on the current menu.