Photographs: David Straight
Rosie used to be Rosehip and it was a local cafe. Now, it is softly glamorous, all travertine floors, chairs made from leather and timber, oak tables and huge sliding glass doors out to the street. It’s open from morning until late. There is pleasure in the small things: the handmade ceramic plates, the heavy cutlery, the soft lighting. It is meant to be a local bistro but it feels like much more – Parnell has needed this for a very long time.
We’ve written before about our admiration for the Hip Group (Ortolana, St Heliers Bay Bistro), owned by Jackie Grant and Scott Brown. Some things are familiar: Rosie sits squarely the border between casual and smart. And yet the mains are priced between $20 and $26.
The food is brilliant. Subtle, balanced, thoughtful and yet devastatingly simple. Much of the produce comes off the Hip Group’s farm out in Kumeu, and so the menu changes often. We’ve eaten bone marrow ($10), roasted until it was supple and gooey, and we love the appetiser counter, an elegant glass box on a marble counter – recently, we ate a generous plate of bread, white bean purée and shiitake mushrooms ($10) to go with the marrow. We’ve also eaten a 12-hour short rib ($24), blackened and caramelised on the outside, tender and pink on the inside, served with tapenade and white bean purée and – get this – individual Brussels sprout leaves. We loved a simple plate of cauliflower and chard ($20) – it could have been the dud vego dish but it was really the star. There is a pork neck ($24) of such sublime tenderness, with lightly grilled broccoli. And lamb ($26), beautifully charred on the grill and served with puy lentils. My. We will be back often. SFG
HOURS Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 6.30am to late, seven days.
ADDRESS 82 Gladstone Road, Parnell, ph 369-1882.
IMPORTANT DETAILS No bookings. At the moment, Rosie’s liquor licence finishes at 9pm – you’ll need to get your drinks orders in before.