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Big Beat Coffee & Kitchen

3 star rating 31 reviews

Restaurant location map

09 6308556

700 Dominion Road, Balmoral, Auckland

Cuisine:
  Cafe
Hours:
7 AM to 4 PM (Mon-Wed, Sat-Sun), 7 AM to 9 PM (Thu-Fri)

Photos

Reviews for Big Beat Coffee & Kitchen

3 star rating
by Samantha Minny
5 days ago

We stopped here while I was moving out of my old house. A friend of mine gave the place rave reviews but when we went inside, there was nothing on the menu that truly appealed to me. We ended up just having something to drink.
While the staff weren't rude or hostile, they weren't particularly warm and welcoming either. I felt a bit like I was inconveniencing them by just ordering something to drink. The till is squeezed into a very small space that limits open flow and movement around the cafe which is a real shame because I felt like I was being jostled around (even though there was only one other couple waiting to order) while I made my decision. 
I had a hot chocolate in the end and we sat at a table for two instead of the bigger tables that we knew would be needed for brunch soon.
The staff rushed past quite quickly to get to the outdoor seating area and spent a lot of time going back and forth. I feel putting a table in an access way was a mistake as it made us feel incredibly uneasy. The decor was lovely with big black and white prints on the wall and some beautiful greenery. The outdoor seating area looks cosy too with blankets, throws and pillows.
Unfortunately my hot chocolate was luke warm at best but I did get a chocolate fish with it so that was a nice surprise. My boyfriend had one of the bottled drinks. 
Overall I wouldn't go back to Big Beat Cafe because I didn't enjoy my first experience there and the prices are a bit high.

3 star rating
by Dondon3000
3 months ago

This is my my local when I have my son as we ride our bikes there.

Not a bad selection of counter food, I liked the corn beef sandwich and they have beer too which is not overly priced.

However the service lacking from some staff members and tables are dirty. On a quiet patch it should be cleared and prepared for another rush instead I do find them talking and eating behind the counter.

Coffee was fine nothing to rave home about. I had a stand fw in a tulip. I feel it could be hotter and a little stronger. For a double shot it didn't make the cut.

All and all it's a good standard cafe but don't expect too much

5 star rating
by Grace Hall
4 months ago

Best coffee every. single. time.

Their bacon is delicious and their eggs on toast are a pretty good start to the morning - though it's a shame it doesn't catch the early rays of sunshine. Big Beat is perfect for nipping in to grab a coffee to go and a small bite to eat.

4 star rating
by Sue B
4 months ago

Excellent breakfast & good coffee, recommended :)

3 star rating
by Christine Tidball
4 months ago

Food was lovely, but counter service was rude, I asked a simple question about a menu item and was given a very sarcastic, uncalled for, response. Makes me not want to return in a hurry.

5 star rating
by Neil B
6 months ago

great outdoor seating area, with an overly friendly cat. Interesting original brunch menu items. Clean toilets. Mix of seating locations, inside , outdoor in the sun or under umbrella, semi inside. Highly recommended for a leisurely brunch away from the annoying whine of the coffee grinder on a pleasant day

4 star rating
by Sonia Alex
7 months ago

Four of us had lunch here today. thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere outside in the beautiful garden courtyard.
Coffee and food were great too.

1 star rating
by Scott Stratford
7 months ago

$12.50 dollars for a cold burrito (Yum cold mince for lunch) Rude and unfriendly man serving (Who I would assume is the owner) I definitely do not recommend this cafe. I do not write reviews but felt I needed to from my experience in the cafe.

1 star rating
by Christine Marsh
8 months ago

We have lived around the corner from this cafe for 14 years and were really excited when Paul came in and did up the toilets and made the outdoor setting look so beautiful.
Unfortunately, after frequenting this cafe many many times, I give up.
I find the food to be flavourless (or oversalted - in the case of the hash). But sadly, it's the service that I cant bear. The owner has an overly complicated till, which is consistently making mistakes, and means that no-one ever looks at you. I could live with this, but prefer my new local - Orvieto, where they actually say hello using my name! I'm a big cafe fan, and buy my lunch most days, and my kids lunch most weekends.
The owner is way too precious with his beautiful cafe - you actually feel uncomfortable in there with kids. I personally dont believe the guy likes kids. Well, at least he's never smiled at mine!!
He may be intelligent - but Paul the owner needs to get the hell out of the cafe, and let the beautiful young people do what they do best!! Make you feel good about yourself.
Too late for me though - I don't believe the owner deserves another opportunity to put things right with me, I'll just take my business elsewhere

5 star rating
by Julian McCarthy
8 months ago

The Big Beat is terrific - what a beautiful garden setting out the back - plenty of room , incredibly relaxing, & terrific coffee !

To the earlier review that complained about the owner's manner, - I say: the owner is actually a very intelligent, and witty character, - he isnt out the front, pouring overblown & insincere greetings to everyone who walks in the door, but puts in the hard work out the back, and is indeed an interesting and engaging person to talk to.

This place is a refreshing change from some of the 'seal breeding colony' scenarios that pass for cafes in Auckland.

We, and several of our friends love it !

5 star rating
by Chloe Jurgens
10 months ago

Big Beat is our semi-local and we love it.

having now been at least a dozen times, I find it unbelievable that this cafe could get any less than 4 stars.
We have tried a number of things from both the breakfast and lunch menu - my partner is addicted to the eggs benedict, so struggles not to get that every time we go. The eggs benedict (and florentine) are definitely one of the better in Auckland.
the coffee is great, the portion sizes are generous and the food fresh, inventive and well made. The beer garden is going to be great for summer, and can't wait for a cheeky vino outside.

As a point for improvement, I could definitely say that sometimes the service could be more friendly, but having lived in London for a number of years anything in NZ is better than the friendliest service there!

5 star rating
by Sarah Fletch
11 months ago

I absolutely love Big Beat!
It has taken the place of my local (even though it's slightly a bit out of the way).
The staff are brilliant and it always a lovely experience going in!
Also, because I often had kids in tow, the outdoor area is perfect! and the kids love being able to run about.

2 star rating
by Victor Ward
Oct 27, 2013

Stopped by for coffee, and to be honest, it was pretty terrible. They use single espresso shots (flat whites should always be double, in my opinion) and I suspect mine was underextracted (really bad), which resulted in a very weak, milky drink and a very bland taste (even with a hint of rustiness; like their espresso machine has a water filter issue?) If you're in Balmoral and need to stop for coffee, don't - head up to Cereal Killa instead. Not to knock the guy who served me, but if my coffee was his usual standard, Big Beat needs to hire a skilled, experienced barista who knows what he's doing if they want to step it up a bit.

5 star rating
by Deb Clarke
Oct 10, 2013

I am a daily visitor to Big Beat and am so glad to finally have a decent Cafe in Balmoral.
I have read all the above reviews with surprise as I have always found the staff, the food and in particular the coffee, great!!!
All I can suggest is that maybe you have caught a bad day but its sad if you won't give them a second chance or talk to Paul and his staff to reach a satisfactory resolve.
They are only human and things can go wrong, especially when busy!
Above all, they fill my coffee addiction every single day!!!!!!!!!!

5 star rating
by Steve Thomson
Aug 28, 2013

Great coffee, food and service.
Hoping that it will get a license for evenings soon. A nice little wine bar thing in the evenings would go down well there.
On a nice day the outdoor area at the back is very pleasant and
especially good if you have three kids in tow like us.

1 star rating
by H B
Aug 25, 2013

I signed up to this site purely so I can vent my disgust at our experience at Big Beat.

It's our local and there aren't many cafes in the area but after a few bad experiences I will never be going back.

The main problem is the rudeness of who I assume is the owner - an older, bald man. Why work in hospitality when you obviously dislike people? He is offhand, unfriendly, unwelcoming and his attitude trickles down through the rest of the staff.

The food is also poor, the bread is stale and cheap, the tomatoes were old and to top it off, it's all over-priced.

Seriously, I hope the owner / manager reads these bad reviews and does something to fix his place because it's awful as it is.

UPDATE. The owner sent me this message below. Case in point that his customer service skills are terrible. The reason I didn't complain in person is because he is a horrible in person.
--
"I'm sorry for your unfortunate experience you had . But we have no idea what you are on about as it is unclear but if you were not happy we would have liked you to have said something there and then as complaining on social media does not address the incident with lack of facts BIGBEAT"

5 star rating
by Kathleen M
Jul 08, 2013

I've been to Big Beat a few times now and just love the brown sugar scones and the great coffee. My new favourite on the menu is the spice rubbed aubergine. It is unbeatable! I love the flavour combination - it comes with red quinoa, hummus, herb feta and toasted pita. I've had it twice now and it was really nice to have a glass of Alan Scott Pinot Gris with it the second time round. There's no doubt I'll be ordering it again on my next visit.

1 star rating
by Maxine Foster
Jun 11, 2013

I ordered a cupcake and a Bacon and egg pie, take away to share with my son....it was $14...the cup cake was dry and tasteless also I could tell that they had burnt the top of it. The icing was bad, there was no taste to it but butter and it was supposed to be a chocolate cup cake. The Bacon and egg pie was ok but the top of it was so over cooked the egg was hard like a thick plastic. There's no way you could drag me back there and for $14 I expect to taste the chocolate in a chocolate cup cake....

5 star rating
by Phillipa Gordon
May 29, 2013

I have visited Big Beat Cafe regularly for the last few months and have always found the staff friendly and welcoming. The food has been great, from the hot hearty soups or the delicious risotto. One of my favorites are the date and brown sugar scones. The coffee is consistently good.
The garden area is a great addition to the cafe.

Will definitely continue to be a regular customer, this is a wonderful addition to the neighbourhood.

3 star rating
by John Todd
May 15, 2013

have been in on other occasions for a scone and coffee, nothing to write home about scone very dry and crumbly but fresh , need to get new recipies
Coffee was okay
But had a breakfast of scrambled egs on toast the other morning
What i recieved was two pieces of toast with a smattering of a grey sludge in the middle of one of the pieces of toast
I didnt eaty it as it looked like sludge , all stringy , how the hell can you muck up scrambled eggs, get them of a grey colour and a string consistency , what happened to yellow fluffy scrambled eggs
When I commented to staff behind the counter they couldnt have cared less
wouldnt return
the owner needs to take stock of what is happening around him and stop being more interested in other things , otherwise he will not survive
Read all the other reviews

1 star rating
by Jarrod
Apr 21, 2013

This Cafe has absolutely nothing to offer! Shocking service, shocking prices and the atmosphere is dull. The prices that they ask ($18.50 for Eggs Benedict), where you have to order your meal at the counter yourself. We had 6 people for breakfast and all eggs were overcooked, cheap fatty bacon, cold potatoe fritters not to mention the service of a fast food outlet. You would be crazy or lost to even bother going to this place. BAD BAD BAD

2 star rating
by Julie Phelps
Apr 19, 2013

My local cafe but i'm unlikley to go back. I've found the food very nice, but the service is off. The young guys don't seem to know how to treat the customer. And its all rather too self service for a nice cafe.

Get some better staff and this place will rock.

1 star rating
by Ashleigh
Mar 27, 2013

After moving to the area, I drove by Big Beat a few times and looked forward to trying it out.
I visited this morning for the first time (for a takeaway coffee only), and found the guy at the counter unwelcoming. There was no smile and no greeting. I thought he may be having a bad day, but after reading the other reviews, I see that it's a usual occurence here.
Oh, and $4.50 for a SMALL latte is a rip-off.
Really nice-looking cafe, but I will look for another local.

5 star rating
by Anna Walker
Mar 06, 2013

This is a local gem on Dominion Road. The coffee is consistently great, the menu great (especially love the date and brown sugar scones, shredded chicken salad, spanish eggs and eggs bene on a hash) and without doubt the best outdoor area I've come across in AKL so far. We've had many a morning gathering or weekend brunch in the sun while the kids are entertained with the coloring books and pencils.

Surprised by the other reviews as I've heard nothing but great things from all of the other locals I know who go here!!

The owner also went out of his way to make my birthday lunch there a special occasion with lots of little touches to the table and the cake we had.

I say support this great local!

1 star rating
by Janice Miller
Mar 03, 2013

We live locally and were very pleased when this cafe opened with new name and new owners.
Our excitement was very short lived. After receiving poor service, we gave them the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe they were having an off day.
Yesterday we made the mistake of returning, very rude service, we were made to feel as if we had a problem when we asked questions. I don't know why we didn't just walk out then. It went from bad to worse. Waited an hour for bacon and eggs and a salad. Both were tasteless and way over priced. Definitely won't be returning.

1 star rating
by Dee Grant
Feb 21, 2013

I have been to Big Beat four times, and the service is consistently bad. The staff are uninterested and rude, and every time I go there my coffee order either gets forgotten or mucked up. Its a shame, because despite the terrible service, the coffee is the best in the area, but after four failed attempts, it's time for me to move on. It has become a talking point in my house, with all my flatmates experiencing the same. I can't comment on the food, as I haven't eaten there, but I will not be returning until the culture at Big Beat has changed.

1 star rating
by Lou
Feb 01, 2013

We have visited Big Beat on 3 occasions now. The setting is fantastic, the food very average but the service appauling. On each visit they ave forgotten our coffees. The staff are very young, inexperienced and have too casual an approach. Such a shame as this part of Dominion Rd is crying out for a classy cafe. Big Beat certainly falls very short of the mark and is terribly disappointing

1 star rating
by Hannah Shaw
Jan 16, 2013

I went to Big Beat for lunch with a friend after it was newly renovated, but don't let the nice decor and lovely courtyard fool you!

If you are going to charge these kinds of prices the food needs to be up to the standard. The menu is very over ambitious for an average chef. And when they got our order wrong we got told it was a miscommunication on our part and charged to get our original order.

I gave this cafe a 2nd go against my better judgement! I ordered something which when it came was uneatable and when I asked to change my order was told that is what I ordered there was nothing they could do.

The coffee is ok but the customer service and crappy food make this place a big miss!!

2 star rating
by Lucia Goode
Jan 13, 2013

I recently came to Big Beat for breakfast. I ordered the Eggs Benedict for $18.50. For a price that high I expect something delicious... I was quite disappointed. The potato rosti was not crispy and tasty but soggy and lumpy. The mushrooms were bland and flavorless and it was all just thrown on the plate. The cafes renovations however are very good (The Sierra that used to be in the same location was horrible) and the coffee is very good... however if they are going to keep their prices that high they need to do some serious thinking about giving people what they pay for. This was my second Big Beat experience and the first time I had a dirty cup and a pie that had been heated in the microwave so the pastry went soggy instead of crisp and beautiful... as Big Beat is a new cafe I hope they improve.

5 star rating
by Valentino Sigurdson
Jan 02, 2013

Big beat is one of the best cafes in the Mt Eden region, the coffee is on point (the baristas are exceptionally skilled and do justice to supreme coffee), they have tasty and fresh cabinet food, and an awesome healthy modern menu.

The courtyard is wonderfully done and the staff is very friendly.

The only downside is finding parking on a busy Sunday afternoon but don't let this stop you from visiting this place.

1 star rating
by Stacey Head
Dec 17, 2012

Coffee was bad, food was bad and service was even worse. Not interested in keeping happy customers.
When we complained about a meal we were told that was what we ordered and that was that - however when they also mucked up one of our orders it seemed it was our fault for not ordering properly.
Disappointing all round and won't be back.