"Eggs Bene" (pronouced eggs-benny) also know as Eggs Benedict has become the backbone food menu item for New Zealand cafes. It's currently ranked a firm 2nd-most-popular cafe item, close behind the revered Flat White coffee. It's the go-to brunch option for the discerning kiwi.
Brunch is a classic kiwi past time. Amazing cafes try and offer inventive new food options and yet most people opt for choosing the "Eggs Bene". It's considered the default and safe option. 90% of the time you can't go wrong and the chef loves making them all morning. You'll get something bloody tasty and it'll help with the Speight's hangover. We recommend pairing one with a good Flat White.
You could go for the big breakfast but that doesn't have hollandaise. Or perhaps you might finally try something new and get that interesting special? Nah, fuck that. Get the eggs bene. You know it tastes good.
As soon as the order arrives, you'll immediately be content with it. Praises and exclamations of food envy will bestowed upon you. Perhaps a cheeky instagram for everyone to see? Yeah why not. It's the classic. Who doesn't like an eggs bene? Especially when it's doused in extra hollandaise.
Your fork firmly clasps the perfectly toasted english muffin in it's place. Slight resistance is felt just before your knife pierces the delicate poached egg. A rush hits your face as the yolk streams out and mixes with that golden sauce of kings.
This is it. You have made the right choice. Today will be a good day.
A notification appears on your phone. It's been a short few seconds and the social approval has already flooded in. Suddenly, more endorphins flow from your pituitary gland and a second rush hits you.
Time is a blur. The next 5 minutes vanish into a haze of creamy, eggy goodness.
You take a final sip of your slightly cold flat white. Reality snaps back in.
You are sitting before an empty plate. The background sounds of cafe friendly drum & bass start to fade back in. Hardening yellow swirls are all that remain of this orgy of pleasure. The salty, eggy goodness folds into your mind's oblivion as the flavour of bitter coffee resets your palette.
Yes, this was it. This was the right choice.
The Mystery. The Star.
Eggs Benedict is common around the world, however in New Zealand it has taken on a life of it's own. In order to be a real kiwi cafe, you must offer a version of an Eggs Benedict dish until at least midday.
The classic version consists of two halves of an English muffin topped with a poached egg, bacon or ham, and hollandaise sauce. This common version is available in 30% of cafes in the country. The remaining 70% offer re-imagined variations that includes things like rosti, salmon, sourdough, haloumi, mushrooms, avocado, flowers, and more.
New Zealand has a rich and young cafe culture. Each cafe is trying to gain their share of the market and offering a unique twist on a global classic is one certain way to achieve success. However, cafes attempt a unique twist for nearly every food item. This leaves the customer with bewildering set of options.
A cafe's longevity is tied directly it's Flat Whites and Eggs Benes. If either one is ratshit, they'll go out of business fairly quickly.
The Eggs Bene is available at most cafes throughout the nation. To truly experience kiwi culture, grab a "flattie & bene", crack open the store copy of The Listener, and feel that hangover melt away.