Antipodean, a New Zealand café on Upper Station Street, has been causing a bit of buzz in the PoHo area since its opening – and as Sassy’s resident Kiwi, I threw my hand up to see what the fuss was about! The ‘NZ factor’ is something a lot of businesses like to forge an association with (whether or not they are, in fact, the real deal!) and I’ve often made references to the cool café scene in my hometown, Auckland… so the thought of having a café in the same vein just down the road was an exciting prospect.
My husband Ash and I swung by Antipodean for a coffee and quick bite to eat on a Sunday morning. I was an immediate fan of the light and breezy décor sprinkled with Kiwi trinkets. The place was humming; all of the tables inside were full and there was a line outside the door for coffee (a good sign, indeed!). We found a couple of free bar leaners and made ourselves comfy alongside the counter – this ended up being quite cool as we could see what was going on inside the open kitchen.
Good cabinet food is hard to come by in Hong Kong (at least when it comes to a decent fresh selection). All the treats on Antipodean’s counter – like muffins, slices and pastries – are baked fresh on-site; this not only makes the place smell delicious, but it’s also a nice, authentic touch. I wasn’t overly hungry so only needed something light to nibble on to accompany my latte. The Louise Slice (an old school Kiwi favourite made from a thin cake base and topped with berry jam and coconut meringue) trumped the berry yoghurt muffin (although it was a tough choice), and more than delivered in the taste department – sweet and light, this was the real deal. Ash gave his cheddar and Prosciutto muffin a big thumbs up too!
Back to the coffee, and the reason why there was a line out the door – Antipodean uses Allpress Espresso, a Kiwi coffee brand with a range of sensational blends that is made only with top-quality Arabica beans. My latte and Ash’s flat white were both top-notch and as a result, Antipodean has since become our go-to takeaway coffee spot. While the coffees are well poured, unfortunately Antipodean doesn’t currently use New Zealand milk (apparently it’s way too expensive). Having said that, they do use FRENZ free-range eggs and organic flour, imported from the Motherland.
To be honest, I’ve heard mixed reviews about Antipodean’s wider food offerings from my friends who have dined in. While I haven’t explored the menu extensively myself yet, there’s a decent selection at a range of price points; from quick fix bites (priced between $30-55) like NZ Marmite (not the same as UK Marmite, guys!) on toast, baked beans and toasted sandwiches, to more brunch-type eats like pancakes or the full English breakfast (a whopping $185).
All in all, I’m a fan of Antipodean. I think the place is starting to find its groove and has already managed to establish a loyal customer base with its consistently good coffee. If you haven’t paid the place a visit yet, hop to it!
ANTIPODEAN Cafe 3 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong