If Parnell no longer strikes you as a thriving hot-spot with bountiful brunch options, you’re not alone. Once the proud host to a glittering line-up of popular city-fringe eateries, somewhere along the line, Parnell’s main drag got left behind. Enter, Winona Forever.
Every bit as vibrant and nostalgic as the name might suggest, Winona is singlehandedly reeling back in Auckland’s brunch crowd for seconds. The brain child of hospitality heroine Fran Mazza –the acclaimed pastry chef at the helm of Hello Friends and Allies and the newly minted Little Sister – the menu here is plentiful, to say the least.
Sweetly dusted pastries and flaky filo treats adorn the front cabinet, competing for your attention, while the copper-toned fixtures and open-plan interior beckons those wandering up Parnell Rise. There’s the Beetroot-cured Salmon, White Fish Crème Fraîche and Salmon Caviar to appease to those with a taste for savoury, while the Eton Mess Brioche French Toast, topped with Piped Meringues and Raspberry Gin Compote is very nearly too pretty to eat, glittering with cinnamon dust, puffed up with fresh cream and dripping with fresh, juicy raspberries.
It’s Winona’s big debut and barely approaching noon, as potential diners begin to form a line roadside, eager to secure a table and see what all the fuss is about. Winona’s fabulously bright fit-out, from the hanging plants to the studded pop-colour chairs, welcome you in and invite you to stay awhile.
We may have only just become acquainted with Parnell’s newest dining destination, but we’re quite convinced we’ll be singing her praises forevermore.
By Ashley Ropati