Royce’s Realm Revealed: Ellerslie Village

So, as self-indulgent as it is, I thought I’d expand on the geographical locations that make up my day-to-day universe in Auckland. As far as the working week goes this is pretty limited to Ellerslie (where I live) and the Auckland CBD (where I work)… and the sometimes-frustrating pieces of road that connect these two (hardly worth a blog post… actually… maybe…). At the very least (should these posts bore the sh*t out of you), I will have an historical diary-like source of reference for when I’m old and grey and can’t remember… anything. Here we go…

Ellerslie is a suburb that seems destined to live in the shadow of its more-popular, good-at-everything, Head Boy/Girl, captain-of-the-1st XV-Rugby-team, older sibling Remuera. As they grew up, Remuera invariably got more attention from family and friends for being so darn cool and eventually managed to encroach on neighbouring suburbs’ territories (E.g. Meadowbank, St Johns, Greenlane) in the local Real Estate papers. Eventually this lead to Remuera being inundated by “The Joneses” (that no-one seems financially-able to keep up with), their snotty-nosed & spoilt offspring and many, many expensive 4WD vehicles that will never see a grass verge, let alone a dirt track… unless the road to Pauanui is beset by roadworks.

Nowadays Ellerslie has its own under-stated coolness about it. A mix of local small business and the odd necessary chain-store reside in the “village”, providing a nice balance of niche locales and the ‘usual suspects’. Places worth a look are:

  1. Melba café – The best café in Ellerslie… possibly within a 5km radius… more info here.
  2. Union Post Brewbar – A chilled out version of the Macs Brewbar chain… more info here.
  3. The Barber – This place is pretty cool. For $25 (Cheap for Auckland) you get a reasonable haircut and (usually) a good chat. If you have to wait there’s a big screen TV playing… sport of course, piles of “manly-type” magazines and good tunes playing. A word of warning – bring cash as there are no eftpos facilities.
  4. Raviz – You can tell a good Indian Restaurant by the amount of Indians eating there. This is by no means a racist comment. Just as I am an expert on crappy jokes and terribly cheesey literal humour, I assume Indian people are experts on knowing a good curry when it’s available. The Raviz chain of restaurant/takeaway joints are a solid choice for any Indian dish and have some very competitive lunch and dine-in dinner deals. No, I don’t get any commission for that.
  5. Ellerslie Meats – Long live local butcheries I say! Yes, the price tags are a little higher and yes, it’s a little less convenient for those of us who dislike visiting anymore than one place for necessities (lazy), but this is more than outweighed by the quality of the meat and service. It’s also always good to support local business rather than give your hard-earned dollar away to the corporate entities of supermarket chains. Oooh, controversial.
  6. Royal Kebabs – Yep, another chain of sorts BUT bl**dy good kebabs. I’d recommend the Super Kebab (I call it the “Super Awesome Combo Kebab”). If not just for its name, for the awesome mix of chicken, lamb, falafel, salad and whatever sauces you’re keen on. Do it.

Ellerslie is pretty darn cool. I’ve lived here (on and off) for about three and a half years and have enjoyed being so close to the motorway without having to hear it, having all I need within arm’s reach (bars, food… the above listed) and not feeling as if I’m part of an over-crowded, hustle-bustle-type city. I would recommend it as a pretty choice place to live.

FYI – For a pretty cool street view of these and other Ellerslie places of interest, click here.

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