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Orphans Kitchen

29.08.20 | Collaborations

Orphans Kitchen share its famous Southland cheese roll recipe

Orphans Kitchen has cemented itself as one of Auckland’s best cafes. Founded by friends Tom Hishon and Josh Helm in 2013, the cafe offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere from its narrow Victorian villa on Ponsonby Road. 

The menu uses local, sustainability sourced ingredients to prepare simple dishes with unexpected flavours. Included on the menu since the cafe first opened its doors is a classic Southland cheese roll, which has earnt somewhat of a cult-following for its cheesy, comforting goodness.

The team at Orphans Kitchen prepared the famed dish for us and plated it with our Talo ceramic tableware. The range adds a classic, minimal note to your dining table and creates a relaxed brunch setting.

Recreate the moment at home by following Orphans Kitchen’s recipe below and visit the friendly team at 118 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland. Enjoy!


Southland Cheese Roll

“My family comes from the deep south—I was born in Invercargill and grew up in Central Southland, New Zealand. Having a cheese roll on the menu at Orphans Kitchen is a bit of a nod to my heritage. The inspiration for the recipe comes from my Dutch nana, Tina Hishon—hence the use of cumin gouda and edam.”

-Tom Hishon, Orphans Kitchen.


1 small tin loaf of bread (we use our Daily Bread tinned spelt loaf)
20g butter, plus extra for buttering the bread
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 clove 
1 bay leaf
60ml milk
100g cumin gouda, grated
100g edam, grated

Makes 9-10


Lie the loaf of bread on its side and thinly slice (2mm-3mm) lengthwise—you should get 9 or 10 pieces. Butter one side with a thin film and stack the slices on top of each other so they don’t dry out, then cover with a tea towel while you make the filling.

Melt the 20g butter in a saucepan, then add the onion, clove, bay leaf and a pinch of salt. Gently sweat over medium-low heat until the onion becomes translucent.

Add the milk, both grated cheeses, 2 tablespoons water and continue cooking over low heat, stirring regularly with a silicone spatula to prevent the mix from catching. Once the mix is properly combined and slightly gluey, remove the pan from the heat and place on a wooden board or towel on the bench so it doesn’t lose heat. 

Place a slice of bread on a flat work surface, with the buttered side down and the short end facing you. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the warm cheese mixture onto the short end of the slice facing you, and spread it two-thirds of the way up, then roll the bread away from you. 

Repeat with the remaining slices and put on a tray, with the sealed edge facing down so the rolls don’t unravel. Put in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. 

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Put the cheese rolls on an oven tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Orphans Kitchen
Orphans Kitchen
Orphans Kitchen