Elements – Lyall Bay, Wellington


4 of 5 stars

Reviewed by FiFi – July 2019

The Place:

Nearly 100 years ago this building housed a library, post office, chemist and butcher.  The once divided shops have been opened up and tastefully morphed into a large cafe.  There is ample seating inside and a few outside.  There is quite a bit of cabinet food to chose from, salads, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free , free-range eggs, honey from their family farm, herbs grown at home and locally sourced ingredients.  There are three Bene options to chose from and two further ones you could build from the menu.  The Florentine (with spinach and buckwheat toast),  the Montreal (with salmon and buckwheat toast) and the Potato and Bacon hash (with braised red cabbage and bacon).  Additionally there is the eggs on toast with ciabatta, add bacon and add hollandaise and bingo you have the traditional Benedict (with bacon).  There is also the Avocado on buckwheat toast, sun-dried tomatoes, carrot puree, walnuts, olives and basil.  Just add an egg and hollandaise and you have another variation.    Sides range from $2 to $8.  The atmosphere here is very relaxing.

The Service:

We were welcomed in with open arms even though we had not booked a table.  The place was packed yet they managed to squeeze our party of 7 in with ease.  The staff that served us were engaging and treated us like family.

The Presentation:

You could tell that effort and thought had gone in the presentation of the 3 dishes.  The pottery plates were a good foundation to build the layering of the ingredients exposing some of the textures and colours of the ingredients.  The sprinkle of greenery on top as the token bit of garnish showed that there were levels of attempt to uplift the overall look of the meals.  

  • The Florentine, Montreal and Potato & Bacon Hash – the meals were absolutely delicious.  We all thoroughly enjoyed them.
  • The Eggs – the free-range eggs were runny and warm.  They were poached perfectly.
  • The Bacon – the bacon on the hash was was tasty but there could have been a bit more.  
  • The Salmon – the house smoked salmon was simply divine.  
  • The avocado – there was not a lot of it but it was nutty and buttery.
  • The Hash brown – was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside
  • The Potato hash – this was especially yummy and the potato was hot and crunchy.
  • The Cabbage – the braised red cabbage was lightly fried.  Its colour and taste added a unique depth to the dish.
  • The Spinach – was ever so slightly cooked and was tender and sweet.
  • The Hollandaise – the house-made sauce was rich in flavour.  There needed to be a tad more though.
  • The Bread – the buckwheat toast added a dense and full flavour and brought the dishes together

 Would We Go Again?

The company was great, the atmosphere was modern and welcoming and the food was fantastic.  So yes we would go again.


Style: 6/10 – Classic.

Taste: 8/10 – all our meals were fantastic.

Originality: 8/10 – The Potato and bacon hash was a nice option.

Value: 7/10 – the Benes were reasonably priced at $17 . The Florentine (spinach) was $16, the Potato and bacon hash (bacon) was $18 and the Montreal (salmon) was $19.  The other options – eggs on toast with ciabatta, add bacon and add hollandaise will set you back $18 and the Avocado on buckwheat toast, sun-dried tomatoes, carrot puree, walnuts, olives and basil, add an egg and hollandaise will set you back $21.  Sides range from $2 to $8. 

Eggs: 8/10 – they were really good.

Overall score: 8/10

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