Prefab Eatery is a big, food-focussed warehouse cafe-roastery in a style that will be familiar to Melburnians: think along the lines of Top Paddock on a scale suited to a smaller city and you’ll get the idea.
With a spotless Wellington pedigree – owner Jeff Kennedy helped spark the city’s espresso boom when he opened cafe and roaster L’Affare in 1990 – Prefab is a big, light, custom-built space on a lane in the middle of Te Aro’s film production district, a coffee, brunch and lunch go-to for a more well-heeled and slightly older crowd than you’ll find in the nearby specialty brew bars.
A busy kitchen turns out breakfasts of waffles with stewed fruit and yoghurt or potato gratin, pork sausage, bacon, poached egg and hollandaise; lunch specials like a pizza of yellow capsicum, salami, olives and ham, pan-fried local fish, a risotto of marinated chicken, eggplant and artichoke, or a barbecued duck pancake with orangey sauce. A toasted corned beef sandwich with sauerkraut is really a Reuben, right, while a stacked cheeseburger with a big side of wedge-style chips says, “Don’t even think about eating me with your hands.”
There’s a big range of bakery items, including bread to go, and the coffee, roasted on site under the Acme & Co brand, is the grandchild of that L’Affare original: nutty, smoky, savoury, with an edge of fruity acidity, full in the mouth, and sweet as in milk.
Where 14 Jessie Street, Te Aro, Wellington
When Mon–Fri 7am–3.30pm, Sat 8am–3.30pm