|"King" bagel (lox, capers, red onion and cream cheese).|
In a way, you could see it coming. The trend these days is towards simple, well-executed food in an informal setting, where you can feel at ease and just drop in for a bite of something delicious. It's not really surprising that Best Ugly Bagels has a queue going out the door of its open kitchen.
Fortunately, I first turned up on Tuesday, on the morning of the bagelry's official opening day, before the hordes of customers arrived. I was warmly invited to step into the kitchen area, and the head baker took me through the bagel-making process, even getting their consultant from Montreal, Steve, to demonstrate how they hand-roll the dough into rings.
|The team in action.|
Naturally, the first question that came to my lips was "So how are Montreal bagels different from any other bagels?" Apparently, these are different from American bagels because they are rolled thinner, and contain no salt. Best Ugly's hand-shaped bagels—so called because of their rustic, uneven look—are then cooked in a pot of water with honey, before being baked in their wood-fired oven. I was handed a sesame-coated one, just pulled from the heat, and it was softer and sweeter than other bagels I have eaten, with a beautiful shiny and golden crust. It tasted and smelt fantastic.
The team didn't let me leave without making me a completely new bagel for free. Yes, with whatever filling I wanted! How's that for a pleasant surprise? Of course I honoured my promise to return with others for lunch.
|"Yodi" bagel (pastrami, Swiss cheese, and pickle), and "PB&J" (Pics Peanut Butter and Te Horo jam).|
I wish there were a few more filling choices, maybe the offer of a side salad, and also more seating, but this converted warehouse is well worth visiting just the way it is.
Best Ugly only has three kinds of filled bagels—quality over quantity! Don't be tempted to cheap out and just get one with spreads. They are good too, but you would be missing out. You can also get some bagels to take away to eat with your own favourite toppings.
Mains: "King" bagel with lox (cured salmon), capers, red onion and cream cheese ($12.00), "Yodi" bagel with pastrami, Swiss cheese and pickle ($10.00)
There is one filled bagel you can eat, the "TAB" with tomato, avocado and basil ($8.00).
If you don't specify which type of bagel you want (sesame, plain ugly, poppy seed, or cinnamon and raisin), you will get the sesame one by default. They won't ask you.
Although it looks like there is nowhere to sit, the tables outside Shed Five are shared. You will still need to wait for your bagel to be made before sitting down though. This is not a table service kind of place.
Oh, and you really need to eat these on the day they are made, unless you have kept the bagels in the freezer. Just like baguettes, they will go hard and dry if left out.
Best Ugly Bagels
Shed 3, City Works Depot, 90 Wellesley Street West, Auckland
(09) 366 3926
Mondays to Sundays 7am - 3pm
|The queue moves quicker than it looks at Best Ugly, but be prepared to wait and/or take your bagel away.|
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