Zomer Equals Summer
Zomer (officially Zomer Café & Beach Club) radiates a laid-back beachside atmosphere. Staff are friendly and helpful, seats outside maximise the morning sun, and the interior is warm and inviting.
“We like customers to relax while they are here,” says manager Rachel Allen. In a similar vein, chef Yuha Kim describes the food as 'home-made style', even comfort food. But it’s comfort food with a twist; blending Dutch influence (Zomer is Dutch for summer) with light tangy Asian flavours to deliver a menu that delivers on summer’s promise of freshness and full flavour.
The combination of the location, the warm welcome and the consistently good food attracts a regular coterie of locals, whether for a morning coffee or their daily breakfast fix. It’s never too busy for Rachel to recognise and welcome regulars by name, and to be able to place their orders almost before they’ve decided they’ll have their favourite again (Zomer omelette, layered garlic bacon…).
Other popular dishes include Smashed Avocado (with toasted citrus focaccia, candied walnuts, chilli, spring onion and pomegranate dressing), Halloumi Salad (complete with kumara chips, lemon yoghurt, pumpkin seeds and passionfruit dressing) and Chicken Salad (dressed up with crispy cavolo nero, candied almonds and achiote dressing).
Yuha and her team prepare all food fresh every day, with a 6.30am start in the kitchen to prep ready for the first customers. She also bakes cabinet food daily, indulging her love of pastry-chefing with delicious cakes, slices and muffins, and melt-in-the-mouth cheese scones. With a day’s notice, she also delights in creating one-off cakes and cabinet food for private or corporate functions.
Zomer’s function business is growing, with local businesses placing regular take-out orders, private functions, and the local BNI group meeting weekly at the café for breakfast. “We can cater for up to 45,” says Rachel, “and we offer reduced choice menus for either breakfast or evening meals.”
Yuha is already planning Zomer’s winter menu. With a firm eye on the latest food trends and feedback from customers, she’s working on an Indonesian/Dutch-influenced menu that continues to feature fresh, tasty food with plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. For now, it’s hot and sunny, the beach beckons at the bottom of the street, and there’s nothing better than sitting in the morning sun enjoying a taste of Zomer before or after that morning walk.
Zomer Café, 4 The Strand, Takapuna
By Christine Young. See the article over at Channel Magazine online.