Catching a fix at Shaky Isles

shaky isles

Our recruiters drink a lot of coffee. Not because they stay up til midnight watching Masterchef marathons, nor because they have a crush on the local teeth whitening technician. Recruiters have a constant caffeine buzz because they spend many hours a week catching up with clients and candidates, and society says it’s friendlier with a steaming cup in hand.

As a result, the razzbri team have become rather familiar with Auckland’s cafes, and rather discerning when it comes to finding the perfect caffeine-fuelled meeting spot. We think it would be downright selfish to keep this expertise to ourselves, hence this continuing series of posts.

We begin with the best. Shaky Isles on Customs Street East is casual, quirky, and the biggest CBD contributor to our recruiters’ jitters. With a vibe reminiscent of Hoxton’s The Breakfast Club, the décor is pretty cute. We try to ignore those pesky typos on the walls.

It’s not really a place you go for the coffee. “Pretty good” describes it well. You’ll always get the right number of shots, the milk is textured nicely, and the flavour’s very consistent, but you probably won’t feel the need to post to Instagram (although their mix-and-match coloured crockery does mean you can sometimes colour co-ordinate your cup with your clothes). As well as the usual espresso menu, Shaky Isles serves siphons – which either makes you look like a sophisticate or a wanker, depending on your audience.

They do have an enticing cake selection. If you’ve got an expense account burning a hole in your pocket, we can enthusiastically recommend the carrot cake. And we love that they serve caramel slice by the bite size – the perfect indulgence when your tummy’s already full of lunch.

But Shaky Isles’ biggest draw-card is the infrastructure. Split over two levels, the café’s spacious interior seems designed with intimate interaction in mind. There’s an abundance of tables for two, in a variety of styles. Downstairs, swiveling velvet armchairs scream “Casual chat”, while the large, solid tables on the top level clearly state “Let’s get down to business”. The popularity of the place ensures there’s always a buzz – meaning the guy at the next table won’t be privy to your salary expectations.

Happily for us, the Britomart café is handy to the offices of enough clients that our loyalty cards get a regular workout. But it’s neutral territory – the risk of running into your boss (or nosy Nadia from accounts) is reasonably low. And should you find yourself waiting for your coffee-mate, the free WiFi will keep you happily entertained. When it comes to meeting-friendly cafes, we think Shaky Isles takes the cake. But we have plenty more favourites lined up for this series, and we’re eager to hear about your local spots. Perhaps we could discuss it over coffee.

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