The new owners welcome you to come and enjoy the newness that we bring to operating Onehunga's wonderful The Library Cafe...Announced 4 months ago
Tialena said: "Best eating place I have been to, I’ve now been 6 times. The service is exceptional, well it was everytime I went. The food is great, especially the seafood pizza when they had it on the menu. Ive been with my kids and I’ve…" read more »
I haven’t been to the Library Cafe in years but was in the area so I thought I would pop in. I can see it has improved! Was refreshing to find enthusiastic staff. I enjoyed the separate smaller library area as the kids were always a bit loud, but the play area from memory looks smaller now, which I think is better, good to see they are thinking of all customers now. I was very happy with the food in the cafe I had the eggs on toast and was cooked perfectly. I think it is improving and is one of the better cafes in the area.
My wife and I were down from up north and a friend had recommended this cafe to us. When we arrived we were greeted by a young lady behind the counter and we’re told to take a seat as it was table service. It was busy but just. As we had seated ourselves the young waiter presented us with menus and water, and took our coffee order before we could ask not like some other places we have been to so that was a plus. Our coffees arrived prompt and hot another bonus. The young man again took our food order French toast and my wife had the princess special. The food was not as good as the service though which was a let down the grilled banana was cold and the muffin on the princess special had black char on the outside and still bread in the middle. The older man looked to be the manager I thought it rude that he was always texting or playing with his phone in plain view and in front of customers which I thought if he gave that much attention to the customers as he does his phone this place might not have as many bad reviews.So overall very enjoyable just make sure you don’t go when there are children it can get very noisy. I commend the barista (Asian man) the young waiter with the blue shirt and the blond lady at the counter definitely assets to the cafe. We will definitely be back when we come down to Auckland again.
A friend and I went to The Library Cafe on the weekend with our children. It is now under new ownership and the service was terrible! I thought it was a child friendly restaurant, but they don’t have a kids brunch menu, so we had to pay adult prices for kids meals. They’ve reduced the size of the kids area inside as well. The wait staff were useless (we had to ask them if we could order after about 20mins of no one asking us), the coffee was burnt, kids fluffy’s took over 20min to arrive. They also forgot one of the meals and then they brought it out stone cold.
We used to love going there, it’s such a shame that it’s now run so poorly.
Me and my friend went in there for lunch few weeks back and it was awful. There was a guy walking around clearing tables when people were still eating… he was rude to customers. I presume he is the owner with no people or customer service skills. I’m sure the food wasn’t organic as it was advertised to be. We went last year and the service was so much better. I wouldn’t be surprised if it stays open for much longer. Doesn’t seem as busy as it used to be and as I see its not open for dinner at weekends no more. If you want good service go elsewhere.
If you want a place just for mothers to bring their children to the play area, that’s what you will attract. It comes with the noise and screaming. There is a park further down the road. Can’t enjoy a meal in peace.
Well… where does one start?
I am a regular customer at the cafe, soon to be not any more! The wait for a coffee is sometimes up to 20min + (and that is for a paying customer!) Most cafes will offer water to its customers, they don’t.. unless London is working (must add, I feel sorry for the staff there, not having the tools or training to complete their tasks, which comes from management)
Sitting outside (at a table with a broken umbrella) I was waiting for some breakfast (wee treat!) I had ordered the Eggs Benedict with Bacon, when it finally came (after waiting over 30 minutes, must note.. there was no one else waiting for food) it arrived!!! Nom Nom time!!
NO it was not… it was what the bloody hell is this pile of sh*t on my plate??? The sauce which was supposed to be Hollandaise wasn’t, it was what I could describe as what something which frogs had been mating in, full of lumps of looked like semolina! and small green & black things… as for the Muffin that it was supposed to be on it wasn’t, it was a Bagel…
When I asked as to the story behind the poor sauce, I was told “that is supposed to be like that” hmmmm… The eggs were hard, the one redeeming thing was there was Bacon!
I am sorry guys, the place sucks now, the upkeep of things are not being maintained, the food is disgusting….
Why are you still open?
The only redeeming factor of this place was the man who greeted and served us. He was helpful and attentive. The food however was bad! The pork belly was not pork belly. It was microwaved pork medallion at best which was still cold in the middle. The food we received didn’t match the descriptions on the menu. Bread was stale. Pork ribs weren’t cooked long and slow enough. Portion sizes were appropriate but we didn’t want to finish as it was flavourless and unappetising. I hope for the servers sake that the new owners get rid of the microwave and hire a chef.
This place robbed me of my sanity and $40
Simply put – too terrible a place to come to. Horrible coffee, decidedly old bread (even hard to cut). Oh and the noise level is something I will never ever forget. If that is the noise level with 9 kids and 3 mothers in the NEXT ROOM! phew!
To NZHerald I say this “You guys have got it so very very wrong when you voted this a must dine place” recently. Many many good places in Auckland missed out. The saddest thing is I have since come across 3 other people who have experienced close to the same thing including very indifferent staff.
I will never ever set foot in this place again. I have encouraged those who told me of their terrible experiences to write in to forums such as MenuMania.
A definite brick-bat to New Zealand Herald for a very dishonest and extremely one-sided review of this place.
Came here with my partner for lunch after reading a pleasant review in the NZ Herald.
Really wanted to like it. Left disappointed.
Aside from it being an ornate and historical venue with friendly staff, it was a pretty meh and expensive experience. Partner had the Full Library breakfast and commented that the sad pieces of food were carefully spread out on a huge plate ie. this makes NOT a big breakfast at $19.50! He also asked for an extra of Hollandaise and it arrived looking a very dark yellow colour and thick, gloopy and tasteless. Meanwhile, I had ordered the lunch special of $20 which was advertised as Mussels served with a Salsa Sauce with House Beer/Wine. I swapped the drinks for a tomato juice…which was obviously not fresh. The mussels arrived, overcooked, and worse, the salsa sauce turned out to be sweet chilli sauce!!!!!! I thought maybe my order was wrong but a quick peek at the neighbouring table that ordered the same special confirmed this “un-salsa” sauce. In the end, we paid about $55 for our mains, 2 coffees (bitter and burnt), & 2 juices (orange and tomato, both obviously not fresh). $55!!! Later that evening, we had a 3 course delicious meal at an Asian restaurant for slightly less!
Don’t get me wrong: I’m willing to pay but the quality has got to match the price and not just the ambience alone. Over the past couple of years, Auckland has seen a rise in new outstanding CASUAL eateries from first class chefs (eg. Al Brown’s Depot/Fed, Mike Van de Elzen’s Foodtruck) where you can relax, eat great non-fussy foods with decent proportions and you don’t pay through your nose for it! At most, these places cost about $10 more than your cafe prices but it’s oh-so-worth it! Cafes and eateries like The Library Cafe that overcharge and underestimate the culinary intelligence of their customers will really need to step it up…
A rather disappointing experience. 4 of us used a buy one get one free offer. The mains were basic- the stew (just cubes of meat in a sauce – no veg)was served in a bowl with a small dish of mash on the side. A good taste but poor presentation. The eye fillet looked good but was tough and tasteless – possibly had been frozen ? The pork ribs were good and eagerly shared. The biggest disappointment was the slow roasted pork belly. It came on a small circle of mashed potato surrounded by a jus, but it was a single finger of pork belly, curled round to fit on top of the potato. We queried if it was entree size, but no, this was a full portion. And there were LOADS of little fruit flies in the dining room too !
I took my mother for high tea for her birthday (paying full price, not a voucher!!!) and was so disappointed.
Service was absolutely terrible…. our drink orders were not taken for well over five minutes and then our drinks took 20 minutes to arrive. Stayed chatting for over 30 minutes after we finished eating and our table was not cleared nor were we offered another hot drink!!
Will not be back and would not advise others to go if this is the level of service provided to customers!
I love this place, especially for breakfast! Large sizes, tastes like real food! (great ingredients) Toddler platter is perfect for my son and yummy! Not cheap, but I don’t mind paying for the quality. I had a prawn dish for lunch another time and it was not very enjoyable. (still in shells, not a great salad) But I guess it depends on what you choose. Will be going back many times again. Great little play area for kids.
Went to a high tea here with a group of girls. The staff was sweet and attentive, I can’t fault them there.
High Tea was a real shame of a high tea. Finger sandwiches, while fresh, were basically tasteless. Sausage rolls were cold and burnt….and served with sweet chili? What??Cold pumpkin puree on a spoon resembled baby food. The sweets seemed like frozen pre packaged things that were bought in bulk and thawed out, aside from the presumed cheesecake bit I picked up that ended up being actual cheese! With raspberry jam on top, none the less. Odd.
Company made for a nice afternoon, but I definitely would not recommend this high tea as I would be quite embarrassed taking guests there.
I went to The Library Café as part of a voucher High Tea with a friend. I have been to at least 7 different venues for High Tea in Auckland and this was the absolute worst.
They seemed to think that High Tea meant cutting a sweet slice into tiny squares and serving up sausage rolls that were cold and burnt, mini mince pies (High Tea?) and bland sandwiches. The worst was that they served scones with fake cream on them (from a can) and there was no jam on the scones. We had to ask for it. Serving tea in a coffee mug is not really great either. Looking around the room we could see others having High Tea and they seemed to have different items on their plate to us (although everyone had the bad sausage rolls). There were also all these fruit flies buzzing around (in winter) which made us wonder what was going on in the kitchen.
If you are selling a ‘High Tea’ you should at least do your homework and learn of the origins and the type of food expected. Don’t jump on the bandwagon and offer something that it isn’t – and this is definitely not High Tea.
The only saving grace was the fact that the staff were very lovely and professional.
I had purchased ‘High Tea’ Voucher for two. The website looked very inviting both menu and venue.
We added two extra people @ full price of $32.50 each.
I was 5 minutes late for the 2.30pm booking (trying to find a park), but my 3 relatives had been served with the food and the bubbly had been poured before I came in! They had asked the waitstaff to wait a minute! The ‘hot’ savouries were very dried out and the ‘sweets’ very ordinary. The sandwiches were fresh but very basic. Was very disappointed with the standard of fare especially when paying full price. You can get much better quality for the same price elsewhere. We felt we being rushed after half an hour, although it wasn’t busy. Such a shame for a lovely old building. Very disappointed.
After reading the mixed reviews I decided to try the Library Cafe anyway. I came here for Mothers Day with my 6 month old son, husband, Mum and Mother and Father-in-law. We had a great experience.
The interior (set in the old library) is stylish, the staff were friendly and the service was very good. The food was good – my big breakfast was hot (unlike another reviewers on this site) and Mum had ‘the best seafood chowder’ she’s tasted. It is a funky cafe, family friendly and a nice place to relax on a Sunday morning. I would definitely go back.
The marketing of this cafe is also very good- the website and menu design are stylish and providing vouchers (to encourage us to return) on leaving the cafe was a great idea. The Library Cafe certainly delivered for us, on what was a busy day of the year.
Just had the big breakfast here a.k.a. The Full Library. It was such a disappointment, I had to stop by the dairy to get something that would remove the taste from my mouth. The sausage and mushrooms were slightly burnt, and cold for some reason. The toast was served with a stick of butter, but since they had already slopped the eggs on top of the toast it kinda seemed pointless. The hash browns were the sort you would get from Countdown. My wife’s corn fritters were undercooked, yet somehow they were also burnt, she also got two burnt slithers of bacon for an additional $4.50. My daughter’s sandwich meal consisted a dry toasted sandwich with a lot of other dry stuff: dried banana pieces, pretzels, 2x thinly sliced (dry) apple.
I just read they have a new chef. The last time I dined here was late in 2012 and back then I had a more positive dining experience.
I’m compelled to write about the excellent meal I had last night. Ok, I bought a deal voucher and was coming back reluctantly after an average experience last year but I was so pleasantly surprised! The wait-staff were helpful and friendly, knowledgeable and paying attention to the customers. Basically perfect service! Our meals were equally excellent. Two eye fillet mains, cooked perfectly and dessert which we shared which was a huge step up from the usual approach of counter food served on a plate. Thanks for a really unexpectedly great dining experience.
We have been here quite a few times over the past few years and love that it is kid friendly and the service is pretty good. However, we think this will be the last time… the food has gone downhill. We were drawn in by the no surcharge over Easter but were seriously let down by the food. We had a custard tart and a cheesecake. The cheesecake was ok but the custard tart was rubbery, not sweet- quite bitter and had that awful “been in the fridge too long” taste. We asked for it to be replaced (much as we hate doing that) and the waitress was very good about it. We had a Brownie instead. We should have stuck with the custard tart- the brownie was like a raw pudding and had these sticky but gritty white chunky bits- I’m scared to think what they were… My 2 year old even spat it out. We left it on the plate and shared our cheesecake! The coffee- not so good and the fluffy was filled to the top with milk and a little foam on top- not a fluffy.
All in all this place needs to revisit its quality and TASTE their own food!
I live locally and go here only because of play area for kids and no other reason. The counter food is always stale, I have returned items a number of times and had them replaced with something equally as dry. It has so much potential to be a great place with humming atmosphere, music would be a start but it’s always a last resort option.
My husband and I visited this cafe for lunch today, as we had been before and had been impressed with the food.
Today was a bit of a let down. While the service was good (we were promptly shown to our table and given a bottle of water with two glasses, and were able to order not long after that), we felt the food was overpriced and lacking in quality. There was less on the menu than when we last visited, so after a bit of uncertainty about what to order, we both settled on the venison burger (which came with fries).
The venison was fine, but was inside a standard white bun. The lettuce in the bun was wilted, the cucumber was not fresh, and the fries that came with the burger were extremely greasy. The aioli that was provided as a dipping sauce for the fries was too oily. My water glass had that egg-like smell which happens when glasses are wiped with dirty dishcloths. If today is anything to go by, this cafe is becoming less quality-focused, while still charging the same high prices.
While the environment is nice, the food is what really matters, and we were not too happy with our meal.
Omg! It was positively unexpected experience!! The food was unbelievable and tasted exquisite and divine.The staffs were awesome and with variety choices of food menu to choose from it was great to have a changed view on the cafe and was a splendid experience.Is the cafe under new management or new chef either way it was fabulous and fantastic tasting food. Compliments to the team. Truly recommended. 10/10
How on earth did Metro Magazine vote this cafe into the top 50?
There is nothing good about this place.
Firstly the atmosphere is strange – like you’re at an old fashioned Bed and Breakfast (but not in a good way). No music…a couple of books….there’s a TV on the wall, computers in weird spots.
The service is equally as strange.
I had the BLT on the worst bagel I’ve ever eaten. It was drowning in aoli and grease.
The coffee – average – with a dirty teaspoon.
A bad experience all round. I highly recommend not going there.
I wish I had read these online reviews before I tried the Library Cafe. Having decided to take my Mum and son out for brunch, and Mum having seen what she said had been a decent write up in the Herald about this place, we headed there for our brunch.
Yes it is a nice building, but as the other reviewers say, it definitely could do with some ambiance. Aside from that, the food is overpriced for what presents as very basic fare coupled with hopeless service. Other than showing us to our table and eventually delivering our food, that was all we saw of the wait staff.
We waited at least 15 minutes for someone to come and take our order until it seemed no one would arrive, and we joined arriving and existing customers in the queue at the counter to order the meals. Whether it was intended to operate that way, I have no idea. But if they had told us that was the situation from the outset we could have decided what we wanted when we were lining up in the queue to be seated to start with.
I dine out regularly and am happy to pay more when the food and service warrant it. But in this case, the food was average (and in the case of a couple of the items simply inedible) and the service almost non-existent. It wasn’t worth it and I will not be back.
Just wanted to write a quick thank you to the staff at the Library Cafe who are always so welcoming! I recently met with a friend there, we were able to have a great catch up over a delicious lunch and coffee while my very active nearly 2 yr old happily bounced his heart out on their trampoline and then raced up and down the slide!
A friend also recently told me how impressed she was as when it was time for her to leave (with three kids) it was pouring with rain. A staff member offered to hold her baby while she took the buggy/older kids etc and brought the car closer! She said it made her day and was so appreciative. Thanks for going the extra mile for us frazzled mums who cherish our time out
Went there for working lunch with a number of other professionals. Very good food and service
We came here for lunch to celebrate some family birthdays with three small children and a baby. It was recommended due to the fact that it was child friendly and also catered for vegetarians/ diabetics/ allergies etc.
In fact the menu was not that clear on the special requirements – I think it is best to just ask if you want something changed to suit you.
The menu was simple cafe meals – nothing outstanding. My ‘smoked fish pie’ was more like a seafood chowder, but tasty. The kids meals were fantastic – little cut up pieces of ham, cheese, fruit with crackers and hummus – the littlies ate them all up. My sister said it was the best kids meals she had seen out.
The indoor playground was quite small for how many kids were playing there and the room was very noisy, but when we asked if the kids could play outside we were told no – it was too wet, even though it had stopped raining.
The man who served us was very friendly and welcoming – we saw him later handing out marshmellows to the kids in the playground. However the three or four women waitresses barely had a smile between them.
We were going to stay on for a sweet or a cake, but nothing in the cabinet looked appealing and on top of that no one took our plates away for over half an hour.
Overall, I think the Library Cafe is on to a good thing but just needs to get a few basics right to be excellent.
UPDATE: I came here again the following Sunday for brunch and endured the same poor service – getting orders wrong, missing one person altogether etc. It is just a shame that poor service can let down what should be an excellent cafe.
UPDATE 2: I have had some email discussion with the owner of the Library Cafe who is serious about making improvements to this place. I am impressed that the cafe has taken on the feedback and I am looking forward to visiting again soon to check it out.
I am not normally one to complain….. BUT today the only thing I found inspiring about our meal and the service was that it inspired my internal critic to come to the surface.
We recently moved house and are in search of a new local for our weekend brunch. After waking up to rumbling tummies we googled 5 different cafes menus and decided that the Library Cafe appealed to us most. Big mistake!
We arrived and were greeted by not one but three rather incompetent staff that each asked us on three separate occasions whether or not we wished to be seated. It felt more like they were herding sheep than greeting customers. When we finally were seated we were perched on the end of a table for 10 (there were only 2 of us) when there were obviously more suitable options available.
For such a beautiful old building this place has so much potential but yet it seemed to lack any ambience. It would be nice if there was some background music or something to create some atmosphere. I know it is ‘The Library Cafe’ but we certainly weren’t in there to do sustained silent reading!
Soon after we sat down they came to take our order. My partner ordered the big breakfast and myself 5 sides consisting of toasted ciabatta, wilted spinach, bacon, hash browns and hollandaise. Anyone would have thought I was ordering in a different language as I had to carefully explain to the waiter on more than one occasion what it was that I wanted. Is it really that hard? My partner also ordered a coffee and I helped myself to a Charlies Feijoa Lemonade out of the fridge in the foyer. Thank you Mark Ellis – your juice was the highlight of my dining experience.
Soon after the waiter approached me to ask how it was I wanted my eggs cooked. Eggs? I didn’t order any eggs. This was then followed by a child juice box that we had apparently ordered being delivered to our table. I know my partner might be bald and his head does resemble that of a rather large baby but surely this was obviously not for us.
After 10 or so minutes our meals arrived. After sounding so amazing on the menu we were rather disappointed with what landed in front of us. My partners big breakfast was supposed to be served with TOASTED ciabatta. The ciabatta in his plate was about as toasted as you would get from drinking water on a Friday night e.g not toasted at all. This in turn turned into something resembling the soggy bread you might see floating around the duck pond at Western Springs. The mushrooms on his plate looked like that had been sauteed in wallpaper paste and had a complete lack of seasoning.
Now my man likes his food and it is not often he doesn’t clean his plate but he ate maybe half of is meal and pushed it aside stating that ‘I could have cooked something tastier at home’.
Now for my meal….. Well firstly, they forgot the spinach so I was presented with a plate of ciabatta, bacon, hash brown and hollandaise. I’m a girl and i like my greens so I pinched the spinach from my partners plate which was good as by the time they returned with $4 side of spinach I was half way through my meal. I guess they felt bad as it was a generous serve which compensated for the fact that the amount of hollandaise was so incredibly meagre.
However, I thought that their hash browns may just be there redeeming feature. They came out looking all homemade and crispy and I was salivating at the sight of them. Unfortunately, when I cut into them they were cold had no taste and were more like a mash that had been molded into squares and fried. To make them edible I had to add so much salt I should have had a coronary right there and then.
I should add we had been there for a about 40 minutes by now and the coffee we ordered at the start still hadn’t arrived. It is never nice to see all of the tables that arrived after you been served their coffee before you. We ended up telling the wait staff not to worry about it and going to Columbus straight afterwards for our caffeine fix.
We got up and paid and were oviously looking unimpressed as the girl at the counter asked if everything was ok. We were honest with her and said our experience had been sub-par.
Anyway, onwards and upwards…. for anyone looking for a local brunch stop in Onehunga I suggest they try the cafe up the road. We certainly won’t be back.
I visited the Library Cafe on June 17th with a friend. We arrived at just before 9am and settled outside ordering the Big Breakfast (I don’t recall the exact name) and a hot drink each. We chose to sit outside as both of us smoke cigarettes and we happily ate, drank and continued to spend our money.
Many other patrons came and went as we dined, some sitting next to us, some smoked and others sat elsewhere outside. It was about 1:30pm and after receiving our second meal (lunch) that we were approached by the manager who asked if we could please move to another table to accommodate two non-smoking customers.
The situation was this; there were two customers who didn’t smoke and us. There was an available table that seated two people, outside, in full view – yet she asked us to move, with our second round of meals and after being there for 4.5 hours.
She not only insulted the both of us, but we believe that we were discriminated against. Why else would you insist 2 customers who had been dining at your establishment for the entire morning to move, when you could have simply seated the customers at the obviously available table?
After her insistence we no longer wished to continue dining there and left immediately. When we went to pay she approached me and said ‘I hope that I didn’t offend you’ to which I responded with ‘Actually you did. You asked us to move when there was a perfectly good and available table’ She continued on ‘…oh, there wasn’t enough room for the two girls and that table was broken’
So you wanted to seat us at the small, broken table?!
This is the worst experience I have ever had – period. I do not recommend anyone dine here unless they want to be treated like second class citizens. The managers attitude is appalling and my friend and I will never ever be returning and neither will any of our friends, family or workmates!
I visited the Library Cafe last week as part of a large group of family for a special occasion. We found it extremely good. The staff made a slight error with the tables when we arrived, but were very quick to fix it and the chap sorting it out was extremely helpful and friendly. The food was excellent – I had the big breakfast and yes it’s slightly pricier than some places, but it was very high quality food, generous portions, and the meat and eggs were free-range (in fact the pork sausages were also organic) so I felt that it was priced appropriately. The coffee was also very good, and the food all came out at a good pace, particularly given that they were very busy. The staff service was pretty good on the whole – nothing spectacular but not bad at all.
I’m not quite sure why there’s so many negative reviews on this site for the Library, but maybe they’ve been ironing out some issues or something. If so, they certainly had it sorted the day we were there – I was extremely happy with the meal and I’ll definitely be going back again.
Went there the other day with a couple of friends for breakfast. I had the BLT bagel with side salad, the salad was pretty bad as it was soaked in oil, which made it inedible, one friend had a scone and she couldn’t finish it because it had a gritty texture. Overall the food was very average, and overpriced for what you get. The service was also very average, took a long time for the food and coffees to come out and the staff were very unhelpful. Very disappointed, we won’t be returning.
My husband and I along with our two children went to the Library Cafe on Sunday 9th of September. My 4 1/2 year old son has severe allergies to eggs, nuts and dairy and we carry an epi-pen with us wherever we go. I was so excited to discover the cafe and read the information on the website as being ‘specialists in GLUTEN-FREE & ALLERGY FRIENDLY CATERING!’
We don’t eat out much at all with our children due to my sons allergies, he can’t eat anything from the menu and cross cantamination of allergy food is always a concern, however he is happy to eat food prepared from home. (We can’t be complacent about the integrity of his food because we’ve had two anaphylactic shocks in his short life so far. This resulted in hospitalisation.)
He was particularly excited to be able to order something off the menu and we had talked the cafe up as a place where they cook special food etc. When we arrived and saw the menu I was so disappointed that there was nothing for him to order. Our waitress was understanding and we talked about the options for him but there was no dairy free bread and the only other option of hot chips were cooked in the same vats along with the fish (Another allergy for him). She allowed him to eat home prepared food although the menu said it was not allowed, which I might add was less of an allergy risk to any other customer that what was on the menu.
The kids area was great but understandably noisy and not very clean, food scraps (a real risk for our little man) were all over the floor inside the play area.
The positive was that the soy fluffy was made completely separate from the dairy one so it was safe, but when it came out it was covered in milk chocolate sprinkles!!
I think your website is a bit misleading, there is no way our son could have eaten there and I was not prepared to order food off the menu for him. In my opinion it is not an allergy friendly cafe and unfortunately will not go back again.
Now it’s husband’s turn.
I read with interest the review by Leigh who like me, packs food for the child with allergies on the off-chance that the cafe can’t be trusted. Debbie, McD’s is the only fast food outlet whose French fries I can feed my son as their cooking vats are solely used for cooking fries, not fish, not crustaceans, not mussels in egg batter, just potatoes. My allergy dietician has suggested McDonald’s French fries as being a safe treat for my son which we often take with us to eating establishments when there is nothing on the menu for him. As it turned out, there was nothing on the menu at the Library that my son could eat. I ordered the bangers and mash. I am not a deal voucher customer so when I pay a premium for food, I expect premium quality food. The surfaces of the tables were dirty, the floor had food scraps. Frankly I was disappointed.
My visit to your establishment moved me enough to register with MenuMania to write a review.
I will not be returning.
I don’t understand the service attitude of the staff here. Over a 7 year period of having coffee here I cannot count the times I have waited over 20 minutes for my coffee to arrive or how many times I have been forgotten about completely! I’m choosing to have coffee elsewhere now as it’s not enjoyable having to wait so long especially when you see staff chatting and not busy making coffees for customers who have just ordered.
Great customer service (lovely friendly and very attentive waiters), but food was pretty average in terms of taste. Good quantity though. Lovely coffee too.
I reckon this is a nice place to go to for families as the cafe has a bouncy castle, trampoline and a children’s slide outside… which makes it a very children-friendly place.
It’s potentially a great venue. The coffee and the hot chocolates are good. However, on a cold wet day did feel a bit drafty. Staff were friendly enough, but food could only be described as average.
We had heard that the Library Cafe was one of the best so decided to head there for lunch yesterday. My friends and I were highly disappointed with the quality of the meals for the price we were charged. The bangers and mash was mostly onion, the lamb wrap was practically lambless and the chicken breast on the chicken sandwich was not a whole chicken breast. Having run a cafe myself in the past I was shocked at how the waitress responded about our concern overy the food, she pretty much couldn’t have cared less! I walked out of what I thought should have been a pleasant Sunday lunch wondering how it got so many awards! Must be because there isn’t much competition in Onehunga. Prices need to reflect the quality and quantity of the food, should have got The takeaway Indian from dressmart!
What is up with this place!!!!! Ordered creamy mushrooms on toast waited for 20mins and got a plate of watery swamp coloured eck blehhhh!!!! My toast was soggy the “mushrooms” were awful bland no seasoning. My god look at your reviews. In the words of Gordon Ramsey “Shut it down”.
Your excuses are tired look at your reviews it says it all. Does’nt looklike you’ve made any improvements their the same complaints bad staff, bad food and bad attitude and you always trying to defend bad behaviour. Crucified I feel like I had my very very last supper there. Instead of wasting your time checking MenuMania and getting into debates spend more time looking after you business or even take a walk down the road and check your competition they seem to be getting it right.
I cant believe this cafe has won awards to be honest, as we go to brunch every Sunday and this has to be the worst in a long time. The clue should of been the couple leaving who were complaining, then we had the table behind us and unfortunately we were next. The mashed potato was lumpy, my eggs benedict was unappetising. Instead of sliced ham as per the menu, I got large carved chunks, and the muffin split was as white as the plate. Unfortunately not a good experience and when discussing issues with staff, they didnt seem that bothered.
Never written a review before but was am so disgruntled decided to make it a first. Visited this cafe as had enjoyed a good coffee a few days ago so recommended to family. Went with mother, sister and three children, one of whom has anaphylaxis (potentially fatal allergic responses to many foods). She can’t eat at any restaurant due to risk of cross contamination but since years has safely eaten at Mcdonalds. So, she came along with her Mcdonalds food.This has never been a problem at any cafe or restaurant. Ever. However, owner saw my mother with the Mcdonalds bag and blocked entrance and essentially removed her from premises. Refused to serve us as stated she also has a child with allegies/anaphylaxis so therefore has food for allergy sufferers. Tried very hard to explain that risk is too high but were not allowed in restaurant. Owner rude beyond belief to my mother.
Great venue for kids to play, very poor cooking skills in the kitchen, very very slow and sleepy service, down right rude manager.
I told the waitress I was unhappy with the quality of my pancakes ( they tasted repeatedly microwave reheated till stiff) and was told “you go tell the manager then” utterly shocked at her attitude i decided to leave the matter there. Next when the “manager” asked how was the food I politely mentioned the pancakes were inedible and was rudely told, NO, i was wrong she had ate one this morning so therefore the ones i received where good also, (Excellent logic?) it was my fault for not mentioning it when it was brought out. Apparently they were just thoroughly done on the grill however my husband who has worked as a chef for over ten years knew we were being lied to but stayed silent. Sorry but after waiting over 25 minutes for my meal i wasn’t about to ask them to take the whole thing away again just for the pancakes. No apology was given. I never asked for compensation or a refund or even anything else to eat, all i wanted was to bring to their attention that what they were serving was not pleasant.
She was so condescending and rude to me i felt like crying as she had embarrassed me in front of the whole table of guests. Why are such people even involved in customer service?
Truly a horrible experience.
Coffee is ok here, food a little disappointing. I think this is the kind of cafe you go to because its child friendly and are willing to settle in the food department.
The coffee is average and the building is lovely. The food is tasteless and overpriced, and the service is below average. I have been here three times; I keep on hoping because I love their concept, but am giving up now.
Stopped for lunch today after a 8km walk and I was very hungry! It was after 1pm and unfortunately they had run out of lamb salad. However the waiter was very helpful and suggested the caesar salad. The food was fresh and very tasty. And the iced coffee was delicious. My friend and I were sated and happy!
Previously – Dropped back in today for a light lunch after a walk from Onehunga to Pah Homestead return. Great service. The coffee was good and hot. And I really enjoyed the salmon quiche with salad – it hit the spot! Thank you.
Find the walk here: http://walksinauckland…
I’ve been to the Library Cafe a few times, for coffee which is great! However, the food is a disapointment. It is bland, tasteless and just not good enough when compared to the competition.
However today was the last time for a while.
I checked the website for opening hours, went to the cafe at 4.45 and asked for a menu. the rude waitress asked if I wanted the dinner menu. I said that would be good and the response was ‘the kitchen is closed.’ If your opening hours are on your site, and you don’t serve food, then why are you keeping it a secret?
And rude unhelpful staff are the final straw.
This cafe has so much potential – the location and staff are great, and the two rooms allow for child friendly and child free, while the outdoor space is great for us dogwalkers…
But the service has become unbearable, and the food isn’t great enough to compensate.
Note on the latest visit I was waiting 30 minutes for a coffee. I never got the coffee as I had to leave.
The previous time I was waiting 45 minutes for a main, which is ok if warn people and you have many other customers or the place is busy but it wasn’t. Hopefully it is sold soon and somebody who respects their customers buys it.
The location and friendly atmosphere is superb and it is good to see their support of sustainability and organic ingredients. Considering their emphasis on environmental protection, I found it unnecessary to put a bouncy castle in the yard, which had the machine running the whole time – even without anyone jumping on it. The play area inside looks very nice. The best part were the generous opening hours – finally a place where you can get a coffee in the afternoon!
At my visit to the bathroom I was amazed once more how functionality can be ignored. The soap dispenser was almost unusably close to the sink – who comes up with these ideas?
I first reviewed this cafe as “I’ll never go back until I find out they have moved the furniture back to how it used to be because I found it difficult getting my double buggy in.” However I’ve been feeling terrible because this cafe has great coffee and slices and awesome resources to entertain children. I’ve otherwise always had a great experience here and the toys are awesome and the staff have always been friendly and welcoming. If you can make the access a bit better for a double buggy to make it near the toys I’d definitely be back. Access can often be an issue for those of us with twin babies who can only go somewhere if they can take a buggy in. Cheers.
Thanks again to The Library Cafe for a wonderful Sunday morning, we were so surprised and excited to not only be able to let our little Mr 2 out in a fully fenced play area while we had brunch (no more taking turns to watch him and entertain him!) but you had a trampoline and a bouncy castle! Coupled with great food and coffee – you are a parents god-send and sanity saver!! (oh and no surcharge EVER on public holidays!!)
We went there for brunch this morning. The cafe was only a third full, however after being seated we were left for 15 minutes – we couldn’t get anyone’s attention so went to someone cleaning a table and asked if we could order.
I ordered off the menu a ham and cheese sandwich on white bread for our six year old. When a wheat one arrived, again there was no service so I took it up to the counter, to the waitress that took our order and said ‘sorry, we had ordered white bread’. The sandwich was snatched out of my hand and I was told another one was coming. Half way through our meal a replacement sandwich arrived – but this time it was on wholegrain bread! Again I said we had ordered on white bread, and was told this was all they had. I explained my six year old only eats white bread, which is why we had specified white bread (that was listed as an option on the menu). The owner came over and said they would make a white bread sandwich. We finished our meals and coffees – no sandwich. While we were waiting to pay the owner came up and asked if we had received the sandwich – I said no, so she offered to make it for the car ride home. I said that would be fine, but told her about the no apology/ snatching incident earlier. She apologised, and turned to go into the kitchen – but she didn’t see my partner who saw her make a screwed up face about my comments to the other staff members. Really disappointing all in all. The brunch options are all over $20, so it’s not cheap, but the service certainly is. And yes, we were charged for the sandwich.
I took my 3 year old daughter and 6 year old niece who had a marvellous time on the bouncy castle! In between their bouncing, the girls enjoyed their steak and cheese pies, which had a lovely homemade quality to them.
The feijoa and apple smoothie was also a big hit with them.
The highlights for me included the flavoursome roast vege and couscous salad, which was perfectly un-heavy on the couscous, with a glass of riesling which I sipped slowly for an hour in the sunny, though rather windy picnic tables outside.
I know from past experience that this is a place to come when I’m not rushed… As the kitchen usually takes quite some time to get the meals and drinks out, which is what happened, but I was’nt fussed, and I appreciated the effort to get the kids fed first, bringing out the food well before mine was ready to serve. They also did an extra side of chopped up fruit for the kids at my request, which I asked for even though it was not part of the menu. They were very obliging with this.
Plus I was meal-checked at least twice, to see if everything was ok, so I felt looked after.
A delightful experience, and I’d love to go again soon.
PS: one tip if you’re sitting outside is to watch out for little buds falling off the splendid big pohutukawa tree onto your table/into your drink!!!!
I have been here a few times. The library building is beautiful – an awesome space. Play area for kids is good. Coffee is good. Not impressed with the food – too much pastry and bread and not enough fresh greens, for my tastes.
So why are there so many complaints about food and yet no real changes are made?? I have to agree with the majority here -the only good thing is the coffee. One male waiter is an absolute gem, the rest are always miserable and show it. Wish it was not so, but has to be said- the food is pretty bad and so is the service. Please take this on board and try harder … gorgeous old building has so much potential.
What a huge disappointment.
Was really looking forward to going after checking out the web site for me I was sold I had to go.
So after driving from Rotorua to Auckland I couldn’t have been more disappointed, it bears no resemblance to the web site the place is tired dirty and uninviting, the cabinet was borderline empty at 11am the coffee couldn’t have been further away from award winning if it tried, ripped and stained wallpaper, toilets were dirty and its promoted as a beautiful historic venue suitable for special functions and of course charge the earth for the privilege….
Come back to earth and take a long hard look at your business and smell the coffee and read the previous comments.
I am totally sure I won’t be back not even for a second chance.
Come on Debbie wake up and smell your coffe get a grip of your business or get the hell out you are obviously over it or incredibly thick skinned and oblivious to all these comments.
tried it again recently just to prove myself wrong still the same…
i cant believe it still the comments arnt improving come on debbie sell up and walk away this sadly obviously a wimsilcle dream to own a cafe but alas no idea
sell sell sell or walk away before theres nothing left to sell your cafe and lack of god knows what is frustrating the hell out of everyone even more so with your wishy washy excuses for what appears to be for the same reason everytime………
I wish I had read the reviews before agreeing for my sister-in-law to book this cafe for a very special family occasion – my mother’s 88th birthday. Some of the family drove for over 2 hours to be there. On arrival the staff did not seem to be aware of the booking even though over half the party were already seated. No table was organised to seat the booking for 12 so several had to sit at another table being left out of the general conversation – no effort made to rectify this. Very disorganised service, limited menu and meals expensive and served randomly with long delays for some to get food. The food was very average but the nasty taste left in the mouth was from being charged $1 for a box to take left over cake away after spending close to $300. No mention of this was made when requesting the box and paying the bill but the waitress would not leave the table to pack the cake until she had the $1. How many people have I told of our experience?
To the owner of this establishment I’m the customer that had the so called stiff porridge lol my partner wrote a previous review regarding the bright coloured eggs etc first point I’m a vegan my “dietary requirements” have been catered for by several other cafes eg Fusion,Revel,Dellows,Mellow etc and even my mother lol porridge can be cooked with water or soy milk to a very creamy consistency pretty basic (: secondly I worked at a organic supermarket for 10yrs that had a cafe and not at one time did I ever come across eggs that were tumeric coloured lol third and final point I’ve worked in Hospo for a long time and your “cafe” is one of the worst and most over priced places I’ve ever been to and your menu borders on the ridiculous. Just take the critcism and try to listen to your customers and don’t let your past triumphants cloud your reality.Word of mouth is very powerful.if I could give no stars I would but my review could’nt be submitted without one. (:
Would never go there again. I was shouted at by the cook who was complaining my baby (10 months old) was being too noisy. Does not suppose to be a “childfriendly” place?. After explaining the fact that she is a baby and you cannot always control their noise, the option I was given was to leave the place. Awesome customer service, is not it?. So do not bother going there if you have little ones, you might get the grumpy cook that day and have a very bad experience like me.
My partner and decided to go for breakfast after a long walk . We order drinks and breakfast. They arrived in time only to discover that the porridge was stiff as if a two year old would have made it and my scramble eggs on toast was a bright yellow “brighter than the sun”.
This is unacceptable and I’m sure many customers want answers as to why this establishment is so lacking in the basics of getting it right. Can someone explain why!!!!!!!, the chai was the only thing done well. Very shocking, especially when you pay good money, you expect your breakfast to be something that could be done at home or even better. MMM I think dairy free doesn’t mean stiff life porridge have you hear of water? come on!!!!!!! basics
If I could only write a two word review for this place, I would simply write, never again!I’ve never written a food review before, never felt the need and we’re not serious foodies, but this time was different, I felt passionate to write about The Library Cafe. Upon entry we waited at the counter to be told by a polite lady to take a menu and a seat which we did. It was nice to see they catered for children by providing a nice wee indoor and outdoor play area… Upon closer inspection of the dirty toys and large filthy blocks, we thought against it for our kids (it doesn’t take much to wipe down the toys that I’m sure many children touch each day). Service to take our orders was unacceptable and it wasn’t particularly busy. I don’t know if the chef was absent on the day we went, but I’m convinced my 1 and 3 year old could serve up something better tasting than what we had. I ordered the soup of the day, my partner the big breakfast and for the kids, pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. I couldn’t tell you what flavour my soup was, I think there was cauliflour in it though. It was just vile, I could not eat it. It was served with cold crust bread and two large knobs of cold butter. I ate the bread – just. I’m not sure how bacon and eggs could go too far wrong, or kid’s pancakes but wrong they did go… The bacon and eggs were okay, not the sides, the mushrooms were revolting, turn your stomach kind of revolting, the hash-browns (I think that’s what they were) likewise. I just don’t get how you can get these basics so badly wrong? My son’s pancakes just didn’t taste like pancakes, they were presented well and it was a good size, he ate them, I couldn’t (I was starving and hoping that maybe we could share them as I couldn’t eat my soup). The sweets we ate were mediocre at best. The coffee was surprisingly good. Has this place changed hands? Was the chef sick? How on earth did this place win awards for best cafe in Onehunga 2 or 3 years running? We seriously aren’t food snobs, but we do like to eat out. The Library Cafe oozes potential and has great ideas with organic choices, but seriously needs to pick up its game in food and service. Very disappointing and pretty hefty prices for such bad food. We won’t be recommending this place to our friends or on here. Consider yourself warned.
Its pluses are being well set-up for kids. But its minuses don’t make up for it. The menu has good options for allergies and gluten free diners but it’s overpriced and the service is slow. They haven’t mastered a lunch rush. Give it a wide berth as you can get better value elsewhere.
I’m delighted to reveal that I chose to give The Library Cafe another chance yesterday by inviting a colleague to meet me there for lunch although I conveyed in a previously review on this same website that it was highly unlikely that I’d revisit. Our lunchtime experience was an enjoyable experience and I especially relished the sumptuous Thai Lamb Salad, which was both unique and delectable. I was also impressed with the new menu, which offered a much wider variety of appealing choices than previous menus that I’ve seen. The service staff were pleasant and welcoming. Our only minor disappointment was that the Gluten Free Whitebait fritters was removed from the specials menu a few minutes before we ordered because it had sold out, which was a shame due to it being a particular favorite dish of my colleague’s.
Having worked in various restaurants and catered organic meals for outdoor events in the past, I can easily understand that food quality and service can be inconsistent at times, however much one may strive for consistency and delivery of excellence in cafe business endeavours. Thumbs up this time for the The Library Cafe!
Lovely building and great efforts to create a positive and healthy brand. Unfortunately the extremely long wait for orders to arrive and the poor attitude of staff lets it all down. Could be great, but needs a rapid and complete rethink on the staffing/service front.
After initially purchasing a deal voucher sold by them on a deals website we thought this is a great way to eat at an unknown restaurant/venue..Sadly we discovered that with the voucher deal you have limited choice from the Menu to redeem your voucher. Only the breakfast section and nothing else!. This was disappointing because we went for lunch. The kitchen staff could not keep up with the amount of patrons,the wait for food was 45min but we were advised upon arrival that this was the case. Drinks were slow to come and when the food finally arrived 3 out of the 4 dishes had to be sent back, either due to undercooked eggs, or overcooked food. Presentation and portions were disappointing. The Staff were all super friendly and polite and the interior is very nice. The menu in my opinion is also overpriced.
Unfortunately I wont be going back!
Extremely disappointing food and service – 45 min wait for 2 meals – we saw 3 groups of customers walk out not having eaten anything after waiting too long – seemed to be too many waitresses and not enough kitchen hands. When food did finally arrive the portions were very small and presentation was terrible as was food which had absolutely no flavour. Combinations of whiskey sauce for fish and rum sauce with prawns didn’t taste great at all. Sauces were also very runny so the salad was swamped in the sauce too.
Would definitely not recommend this cafe and will not be eating there again.
What a shame it used to be sooooo good.
Yummy food and great for the kids.
My two boys now know where we are off to as soon as we head to Onehunga for a much needed Mummy coffee. They even say “yay….the Library Cafe” – fluffys are the cheapest in town – the range of food for children is wide and good value for money (a whole bag of stuff – sandwich, fruit, drink and some other bits for about $5 or $6 – I don’t know how they make anything on it!!) my boys favourite is the anti-pasta plate! I rate this cafe as the best in town to go if you have kids and want some time out – indoor and outdoor activities, slide, playground – We give it the big thumbs up!! Jayne
This has to be the best child-friendly cafe in Auckland. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried them all, and value for money (great kids meals), staff, and activities for the kids are miles ahead of any others. In fact the activities provided for the kids are so good it can be a problem to keep them sitting to eat, which makes my coffee and food that bit more peaceful.
Having a separate area for people without kids is a great idea, stops me feeling I have to keep them super quiet. I also live their choice of organic foods, great bacon!
I bought my friends in for coffee and lunch the other day and now as I read the other reviews on this website, I wonder, what the heck these others are talking about.
Granted we went on a sunny day and everything seems so much nicer when the sun is shining, but I maintain my original comment.
The girls in the cafe are lovely, always smiling, I even thought I heard one break out in song!!! Great coffee, all the better for being organic too. Yes prices were a little higher than I expected being in Onehunga but was not disappointed at all, great value for money and DELICIOUS!! Best Eggs Benedict I have ever had and pancakes were not what I was expecting but yummy all the same!
One thing has to be said about this cafe. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried the caramel slice!
Went there with my kids after a voucher deal promotion.
Very very slow service.
Some things weren’t available.
My daughters very expensive meal was tiny and she walked away hungry and had to get something somewhere else.
Really expensive for what we got.
Supposedly got “free” coffees for waiting so long…. but noticed after that we got charged for them.
The food is not award winning, it is very mediocre.
Not recommended at all
Not bad, but not great, the egg’s benny was mediocre for what you pay, bit noisy, but great if you have kids who need a large play area. Otherwise friendly staff and quick service.
This was highly recommended by a relative and I was really sorry that she accompanied me for this very disappointing lunch. Service was terrible – they totally forgot my dad’s sausage roll, having left it languishing in the microwave. When it eventually arrived, soggy pastry and steaming interior, he asked for some sauce and was given, bizarrely, a small dish with balsamic vinegar. What the?
My cheese scone was entirely without taste, just a bread roll with a bit of grated cheese on top.
The baguette had rubbery cold fried egg and nasty bacon, gristly and not streaky.
Yes it’s child-friendly – as far as I’m concerned that’s a negative, especially in a venue like this where wooden floors = noise.
Being surprised at how long it took for our food to be served last Sunday evening and then even more surprised when most of the food we’d ordered was bland, lacking flavour and flair, along with each dish being such small quantities. We were disappointed with our dining experience at the Library Cafe. Having been impressed the last two times that my youngest daughter (21 years of age) and I ate brunch at the Library Cafe, I naturally proposed that a small group meet me for dinner this past Sunday evening, which was shortly after I arrived in the area from New Plymouth. Because our mutual needs for good value and delicious meals were poorly catered for, none of us are likely to visit the Library Cafe again.
We had emailed re making a booking for husband’s 50th for end of November 2009. No-one got back to us so we popped in a few days before. Luckily the person who hadn’t contacted us was onsite and she gave us a booking even though they were busy on the day we required. We booked for 12 and were not told it would be two separate tables (which we discovered when we turned up.) Some of our guests were late and approx 20mins after our start time they gave our table away without telling us first and when questioned advised that ‘was their policy’. The food was disappointing as it used to be amazing, the mince on toast would barely feed an adult, the child’s packed lunch was lacking – no spread in the ham sandwich and ham stacked to the front to look bigger than it was. All of our meals (8 in total) were disappointing. None of us will return. Real shame as it used to be great – maybe its something to do with them being a Bartercard member – keep prices up – but lower quality – I don’t know, but hope they take this on board.
Went for late lunch on Saturday 5th December 2009.
The Staff were truly great to deal with.
The food was OK – salad was a little tired. Disappointing as on previous occasions everything has been of a higher standard.
The order numbers were left on all the tables. Not sure how they can run their system this way.
Questionable visit and won’t rush back.
Front door tables look old and heavy. because its old, it looks dirty and uninviting.
Food are not as nice as before. did they changed chef? that’s why i rated 3 stars. before the foods are superb!
the new tables outside at back of the kids area. it just a nightmare. its so bouncy, can not put a tall glass of drink there.
lots new staffs, don’t know whats happening to the cafe. it seems old experience staffs left for some reasons.
The best kid friendly cafe in Onehunga . Lovely coffee and I enjoyed the mushroom risotto and breakfast options. The kids loved the play area especially the chalk wall.
Fantastic place to take the kids! Also has a great range of food. Lots of delicious gluten free options too. Definitely would recommend this cafe!
Delicious food in a fantastic, unique venue. Parents, bring your kids! Multiple play areas make this place an AWESOME cafe for Mums/Families to meet up, with the whole tribe in tow!
Gluten Free food options were outstanding. Loved my ‘stuffed red pepper’, and the delicious gluten free cheese scone.
The plastic slide & play/jungle gym out the back in the covered tent area is just perfect for our whole crazy tribe. Even in winter we found it warm enough to enjoy our coffees while the children squealed around on the play equipment & bean bags.
Fantastic. Can’t say enough great things about this place!
There were at least 3 staff helping behind the counter, and they were extremely helpful and professional
service was very poor, staff were rude, one girl behind the counter, tables were dirty
a no go place, food was nice tho
Debbie, Ross and the staff of The Library
On behalf of Christine, myself and a host of former Kodak employees I would like to extend my thanks to you all for an excellent function held on Thursday night. A great time was had by all and many complimented the food and the venue. Some even recalled its former days as an active library.
So Christine & I would like to thank you for assisting us in hosting the Kodak Family, which we found is still quite strong in New Zealand despite all the changes. Once we have recovered enough we were told that we should start thinking about the second reunion. No doubt because the first one was so successful, many are keen to have another. The success was not only due to Christine & I but also to The Library and its staff.
Thank you once again.
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