57 Fort St
Monday - Friday
8am - late
Saturday - Sunday
12pm - late
In five years of running Gather & Hunt, Brian Campbell is one Auckland chef who has consistently brought magic into our lives. You may have stumbled across his work previously at Britomart’s Milse, which he set up with Hip Group, leaving at the end of 2014 to embark upon his own path. My favourite Brian Campbell moment to date was when he created an edible dessert table, twenty metres long, in the Civic Wintergarden for The Ballet Banquet. He never fails to make me feel like a kid again.
It was apt then that on my first visit to his new patisserie and cafe, Miann, I rode my bike. I highly recommend it – cycling along Tamaki Drive as the sun sets, winding along the shared paths onto suddenly lovely Fort St, sitting outside on a balmy summer evening sharing desserts like works of art.
Brian and Roselle Campbell’s close-knit crew are well-versed on the menu, which changes weekly. It looks simple, but each ingredient listed is presented in the most surprising of ways; an apricot sorbet ball is filled with delicate cream cheese mousse and paired with nectarine and date puree. A coconut pannacotta is topped with fig icecream, framed by poached peaches, raspberries, granita and toasted buckwheat. Brian’s desserts cover the spectrum from delicate and light to very very rich. Perhaps the most surprising thing about them is that they’re often not as sweet as you might think. Brian lets seasonal produce become the hero, finding unique ways to complement each flavour.
The a la carte menu is only one aspect of what’s on offer at Miann. The cabinet is the true heart and soul of the place, filled with the beautiful candy-coloured gateaux. There is a rainbow of sorbet sticks, handmade bonbons and chocolates that look like jewels, and delicately crisp macarons in flavours like raspberry jelly and peaches and cream. Shrubbs, a housemade fruit drink with a subtle, refreshing addition of apple cider vinegar, are a lovely companion to these desserts.
In the morning, there is a light breakfast selection that’s not quite sweet enough to be classified as dessert, alongside coffee from local roasters eighthirty. One wall of the restaurant is covered with row upon row of goodies to take home, dragees in every colour and flavour, housemade marshmallow, cookies and bars of valrhona chocolate.
Every holiday from Easter to Valentines means special edition treats that make perfect gifts. Miann is Auckland’s own sweet wonderland, and it is a must visit – world class desserts on a back street of our CBD, how lucky we are to have it.