It's just off Jackson Street, which is Petone's main drag, and its modest exterior conceals a foodie wonderland - it is stuffed full of a huge assortment of foodstuffs. I have to admit being a little disappointed when I saw how small it is - but the range of product is huge, which is what matters, so my happiness was fully restored. :-)
I won't delve into all the treasures as I really think that you should pay them a visit and explore for yourself - I found myself clutching at Mr Cake's arm and saying "Look! Look!" on an alarming regular basis once we were in.
Naturally the first thing I pounced on was in the sweet genre. ;-) They have lots of imported chocolate - Lindt, oh yum! Delicious hot chocolate, above centre, along with the very tribal-looking stirring sticks - supposedly still one of the best ways of getting a nice smooth hot chocolate. And Galaxy, for those of you who favour the British brands.
I think these spice sets are spectacular - even though I already have a pretty cool spice storage system I wouldn't say no to one of these in my Christmas stocking! Aren't they gorgeous?
The cheese counter is phenomenal (the other deli goods looked fabulous too but I thought I should focus in order not to end up with a fridge too full of goodies) and you can try everything and then get as much or as little as you like - the best way to buy cheese!
And as we were about to land our haul on the counter and leave, Mr Cake pounced on these spice sachets. We grabbed one labelled (somewhat obliquely) "Spiced Lamb Pot" and made it into our dinner.
It was a super easy follow-the-dots kind of thing - we needed onion, dried peaches (oh YUM), lamb, and whatever veges we wanted (we used carrots and potatoes as we had them), and it said what to do at each step, when to add each portion of the spice sachet, and before too long we had an amazing smelling (and tasting) stew for our dinner.
And you didn't think I could walk away from that cheese counter without buying anything did you? We got a very soft camembert, a not-too-strong blue, and two different goat cheeses, along with some oat cakes and fruit pastes, which combined made a wonderful cheese board. Super yummy - I'm sure we both ate far more cheese than is healthy (is there any point where consumption is greater than zero and that's not true? Or are there studies which show that cheese, like chocolate, red wine, and all those other good things, actually has mysterious qualities which make it good for you? I hope so).
My pick? The combination of soft goat cheese, fig paste and oat cake is almost enough to make me choose cheese over dessert. Almost. ;-)
On Trays is located at 38 Fitzherbert Street, Petone, ph 0800 93 999 25 , www.ontrays.co.nz