Auckland: The Return of Rad

The Return of Rad, a much welcomed new addition to the assortment of eateries in Mt Eden, was bustling and lively when we stopped by late Saturday morning, wanting to fill our bellies up with some good food and coffee. Opened recently, The Return of Rad is owned and operate by a lovely Vietnamese family which happens to be friends with my dining companions.

As we came rather late, we missed their breakfast menu, but instead, we opted to try their Rad rolls. Baked fresh every morning, these are some of the best rolls in town. My Sweet Catch, made with flaky seared fish and teamed with wasabi mayo and watercress, was paired with a light home-made brioche bread. I love brioche and their toasted brioche bun was top-notch. The combination with the wasabi mayo gave it a slight fusion flare, and it was well paired with the fish.

Grandma’s pork bahn mi is a good demonstration of the Vietnamese influence. Light and crispy Vietnamese bread with marinated pork, carrot, cucumber, coriander, pickled turnip and combined with a chicken cognac paste was divine. I have a slight addiction when it comes to pickled turnip because of the sharp tang and this helped counter the light greasiness of the pork.

And of course, I can not refuse a cold drip coffee and this was served on a wooden block with information about the coffee blend. The coffee is light and poured in front of you over a glass of ice and it was smooth and delicious. My only complaint was that there wasn’t even to satisfy my coffee need!

In terms of what is on offer at Mt Eden for lunch, The Return of Rad could be my new favourite! They are serious about their coffee, their deco is quirky and fun and I love the overall vibe and attentive service. Plus, the interior has gorgeous exposed red brick walls and pictures of Stormtroopers, how stinking rad! With that being said, the cafe is rather small, so expect to wait for a table or opt for takeaways.

The Return of Rad | Location: 397 Mt Eden Road, Auckland | Food: Cafe with Vietnamese influence

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