For a small town with a population of just 13,000 or so people, Oamaru has a large number of cafés, each offering a range of tasty treats to satisfy the appetites of their customers, and each serving the excellent coffee that has become a hallmark of cafés across New Zealand. Each café has its unique charms, whether it’s the delicious baked goods and house-roasted coffee at Steam, or the opportunity to peruse the merchandise while quaffing a flat white at Housekeepers Design. Oamaru is truly fortunate to have so many excellent places to choose from.
In recent days another café has opened in Oamaru, one that is a bit different and that aspires to be more than just another café. Tees Street Café is owned by Dan and Abby, a young couple with a real passion not just for fine coffee but also for fine food. They have hired chef Ashley Baty, who also works in the kitchen at Oamaru’s luxury Pen-y-bryn Lodge, to help them develop and produce a menu that is quite different from what you might expect to find in a small town in New Zealand. Indeed, the dishes are what you might encounter in a cosmopolitan city, including such treats as Turkish Eggs; Shanghai-style Steamed Pork Dumplings; Baked Halloumi Cheese with Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms; Thai-style Fried Squid with Nahm Jim Sauce; or freshly assembled sandwiches on home-baked sourdough. The menu will change regularly, and will reflect the season and what is locally available.
Of course Tees Street also offers impeccable coffee, made with due attention by Dan himself, who has had a career managing cafés in Auckland. And for non-coffee drinkers, they can also whip up artisanal soft drinks using New Zealand-made syrups, ice cream sodas, and milk shakes. There’s even Oamaru’s own Craftwork beers available for those looking for a little more than the kick of caffeine.
In the short time that Tees Street has been open, Dan, Abby and Ashley have already earned a loyal following, with customers eager to sample the full range of their extensive and innovative menu.
Tees Street is housed in an historic building just opposite St Luke’s church on the corner of Tees Street and Itchen Street in Oamaru’s historic centre, right behind Cucina 1871. They’re opened seven days a week from early in the morning until late in the afternoon.