Mr T's Baked Goods and Eatery
Onehunga is an up and coming neighbourhood which has just gotten itself a great new bakery and cafe. Mr T of Cafe Tran and Return of the Rad (the latter now under new management) can be found out back of his new venture, Mr T’s Baked Goods and Eatery, baking sourdough and other delicious treats for the cabinets out front. Mr T’s sourdough loaf, made from a 15 year old starter culture, is a simple and solid crusty white loaf which you’ll find beneath your smashed avocado and eggs benedict, or you can take a loaf home with you if you please.
Like the Tran family’s other cafes, Mr T’s has a sound brunch menu featuring chocolate chip brioche french toast, truffled mushrooms and smashed avocado on toast, but what really appeals to me is their lunch menu of Vietnamese dishes. Grandma Tran’s famous banh mi sandwich is probably one of the best in the city, made even better by the fact the Trans bake their own Vietnamese baguette. The light, crusty baguette is generously filled with juicy, marinated and grilled pork, a thick smear of flavourful pate, and a refreshing mix of pickled daikon, carrot and cucumber. It is fresh, balanced and pretty damn perfect really.
Those who have visited Vietnam will know that the Vietnamese are the understated masters of -cue, their grilled meat always flavoursome, beautifully caramelised and juicy. The com tam or broken rice dish, is another great example of their barbecuing prowess. A succulent grilled Freedom Farms pork chop is charred in all the right places and paired perfectly with a sweet and sour nuoc cham dressing of lime juice and fish sauce which brings out of the flavours of the pork chop and gives it a clean mouth feel. It is served with shredded pork dressed with fragrant, roasted and crushed rice, a fried egg, pickles and salad.
Vietnamese food stands out amongst South East Asian cuisines as one which leans heavily on fresh herbs and salads, and Mr T’s also served various iterations of salads you’d find there such as the bun cha gio, a rice noodle salad with crispy spring rolls and prawns, and the beef noodle salad, which features thinly sliced lemongrass marinated grilled scotch beef, mint, coriander and basil and the ubiquitous nuoc cham dressing. For a hint of Vietnamese fusion, Mr T has concocted a moreish roll of marinated roast chicken, slaw, mayo and Vietnamese mint. Same-same, but different, and delicious.
The coffee game is strong at Mr T’s: they use one of my favourite roasteries Rocket Coffee, and they have a number of house-squeezed fresh juices to order.
Whether you’re on the look out for a new brunch spot, or a new place to get your Vietnamese food fix, consider Mr T’s Baked Goods and Eatery your next port of call.
210 Onehunga Mall