43 High St
(09) 367 6801
Monday - Friday
7am - 5pm
Saturday - Sunday
9am - 5pm
We found it by accident. We were just walking by when a dapper chap wearing a tan apron handed us a menu. A new cafe on High Street is a bit of a rarity these days, so we thought we’d better stop for lunch. You have to walk into a dim arcade to find Chuffed, at its end there was a big red door, and through that door was another place. We immediately forgot we were in the middle of the city. There was light there, soft, diffused light, and smiling faces saying hello and offering coffee and menus. We found a roomy courtyard with an open fire place for winter time.
The interior is crisp and clean, with a nice edge thanks to a number of local street artists. In the cabinet there are freshly made sandwiches and baking that’s come straight from the open kitchen. The sandwiches have delicious things in them like house smoked fish, smoked sweet corn and chicory, or poached chicken with coriander. Owners Scott McLean is a coffee geek who roasts his own Chuffed blend specifically for the cafe, but he likes to regularly offer “guest” coffee roasts from local and international roasters as well.
The menu at Chuffed is short and super. There are fresh figs served with citrus yoghurt, pistachio, balsamic and soft herbs. The crumpets are made in house, and you can have them with peanut butter and jelly or homemade ricotta and raw honey. The eggs benedict come with blood orange hollandaise and beetroot and honey cured salmon. I’ve tried the heirloom tomatoes with radish, ricotta, chicory and walnuts – fresh, vibrant, delightful – like the memory of summer, all golden-hued. The pulled shoulder of pork sandwich is made using the most divine ciabatta, it’s rich and hearty, but with the brightness of apple and chicory remoulade to make it pop.
You can tell Chuffed is run by coffee geeks. They have a giant cold drip filter that looks like its straight out of a medievel apothecary. You can also tell they’re fixated on the idea of creating a truly great cafe in the heart of the city. From our perspective, they’re on the right track. It’s like finding a little shrine to the weekend in the midst of your working week.