Nestled in the heart of Musselburgh between a hairdresser, real estate agent and bakery sits a gorgeous little cafe and restaurant called Brew.
To the stranger walking past it looks like a little hole in the wall; it's anything but. This little gem is filled with character - you feel like you could have been transported into a bar in the middle of New Orleans. Although not massive, it would sit up to 30 people comfortably.
We went on a Sunday afternoon and the place was buzzing. Great music, friendly and polite staff and next to no wait on our meals.
I was told to order the Caesar salad and was not let down. Delicious and fresh (and the croutons were legit). My friend ordered a vegetarian eggs benne that she was also very happy with. Both were washed down with a scrummy Roaring Meg Riesling... we felt quite fancy!
Definitely a great experience and a 'must visit' gem.
Insiders tip: They also do dinner meals, which are apparently amazing. Go check them out!
After years of working around the town (everywhere from KFC to Gaslight) chef Martin Thompson has found his niche at Brew in Musselburgh. Martin has worked to build up a good customer base in the intimate restaurant environment; making everything from scratch and concentrating on food with good, honest and simple but authentic flavours.
“I didn’t achieve much at school - not even Level 1” says the born and bred Dunedin local. “I dropped out of school and had a full time job while studying Level 3 cookery at the Arai re uru Kokiri Training Centre.
I graduated top of my class for both theory and practical, then moved to Perth for work. I didn’t like it much though - all of my friends and family were here in Dunedin.”
Martin has been part of several kitchen teams in Dunedin in his 13-plus years as a chef - Scotia, Macs Brew Bar, Vogel St Kitchen to name a few, and he still returns to cook at some on occasion, just to help out. His versatility means he can step up as anything from a baker to a sous chef.
“I love Dunedin for its rich history, dining and cafe culture. There’s lots of ethnic diversity when it comes to dining out in town - we’re spoilt for choice with Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern and so on. We have a fantastic farmer’s market with some of the best produce in New Zealand; its always a treat to go there on Saturdays and pick up some amazing goods.
Working at Brew is great. We’ve made some great dinner menu changes and I’m working on more café-style cabinet foods for during the day”.
As for his style of cooking?
“I don’t like a plate with 20 different flavours and things on it. I’m a rustic-charm kind of guy!”