Friday, April 6, 2012

Ragazzi Cafe --Takapuna

Some areas of NZ have it all. Imagine a beautiful whitish-sanded beach with a drop-dead backdrop of an ex volcanic island rising from the sea in the distance; a place where there is safe swimming and dogs are allowed to roam off the leash with the friendly beach goers. Well that place is Takapuna beach; only about ten minutes drive from the Auckland CBD. Takapuna was a city in its own right decades ago, then merges with the North Shore City and finally it is now part of the Auckland Super city of 1.5 million people, large for us in NZ.
The old fashioned shopping precinct directly behind the beach, with a backdrop of modern high- rise, is home to a multitude of cafes and eateries, Ragazzi Café amongst them. I would put it at the lower to mid-priced ones, so I was curious to see what we would get for our money. There were four of us, including of course, Perdy. To make surer she had expended some of her pent up energy, we let her loose on the kilometre long beach first. Dogs are allowed at all times once daylight savings has ended, but even in the height of summer, they are allowed on the morning and evenings. I think that the large expat British dog loving segment of the population of this area has been able to retain that precious right, through their political aptitude. Great--- Perdy was welcome and she immediately made her presence felt. She rushed away off the lead and chased the ball I had carefully thrown, narrowly missing the heads of the hundreds of other walkers and their dogs.
Perdy chased the ball, but was quickly distracted by the choice of other dogs to sniff and chase. It was doggie heaven for her. Back to the café. The waiter made Perdy welcome and brought her a huge bowl of water. She settled down under the table and watched the people and waited patiently for our orders to come, knowing full well that my hand would be slipping down under the table with little titbits for her.
We had to wait a while, figuring that they may have been a bit short staffed, but it didn’t matter. The coffee was superb—double shots of course. My sister’s omelette with gluten free bread (the fruity sort—maybe for Easter) was very generously filled and she commented that it was amongst the best she had had, especially given the very reasonable price. I had the big breakfast, with all the trimmings. My excuse was that Perdy would help me eat it. We sent back the eggs that Rio had asked to be well done. We did warn them that when he says well done--- that means they should be able to bounce. I guess the cook didn’t want to send something past other diners that resembled something that came from the bin. To their credit, they said that next time we came—just warn them, so that they could be emotionally prepared--- because even the retuned eggs were still not as he likes them--- he’s weird though---shit--- I hope he doesn’t read this.
 I have to say that the service was excellent and very friendly. I think that the area must somehow rub off on the staff--- it must feel like they are on perpetual holiday. People who go there look happy and on a day like today, when the sun is shining--- well--- it would be hard to be a grumpy bugger.
We will go back again. Good value for money.
Ragazzi Cafe and bar.                                                   

Takapuna Beach with Rangitoto Island in the background