Lunch Letdowns near Levin

Yesterday I tried out Whispers Cafe in Levin. I had a hot chocolate, with fish and chips. I’d have to say the meal was fine, but somehow it didn’t work. The hot chocolate was fine, and I’d have one again. The Pan Fried Crumbed Fish served with garden salad, fries & homemade Tartare sauce was all essentially good, but somehow it didn’t work. I couldn’t finish the meal because it was cloying. Even though I squeezed the lemon wedge (complete with sticker!) over the fish and there was a dressing on the salad and radish in the salad, the meal needed ‘zing’: something sharp and tasty to make it work. Next time I visit I’ll try something different from the menu.

Fish and chips at Whispers Cafe.

Fish and chips at Whispers Cafe.

Today we took the dogs on an outing and decided on lunch at Murrayfield Cafe, halfway between Levin and Shannon, which has outdoor seating and a cute petting zoo. I was hoping for a Thai curry. When we arrived we discovered they wouldn’t allow us to have the dogs at the outdoor tables. It was too hot to leave the dogs in the car, so we drove further afield.

Highway 57 Bakery and Cafe is in Shannon. It has a pleasant courtyard (dogs allowed) and we’ve stopped there before for coffee. I didn’t really want fish and chips a second day in a row, but that was the item on the menu I least didn’t want. It also came with a salad, and I again chose a hot chocolate. Deb ordered an omelette. Deb found the omelette too greasy and didn’t finish her meal. My hot chocolate was OK I guess. The crumbs on my fish had a very odd taste and the fish itself wasn’t great. The chips were OK, and the tomato sauce was fine. How anyone can wreck a plain old salad is beyond me, but it was not something I wanted to eat. All in all, the best thing about that lunch was the garden.

Fish and chips at Highway 57.

Fish and chips at Highway 57.

After lunch we strolled with the dogs over to the memorial garden by the railway station. That was a brief but pleasant walk. There was a candle-shaped memorial with just one name on it in the centre of the garden. It was dedicated to a young lad who fought in the Boer War and was killed at age 20. The other stone at the entrance had multiple names on it and was a standard war memorial.

Miraz Jordan @Miraz