Bread connoisseur Mr T's opens in Onehunga

by Jean Teng / 14 January, 2019
Photography by Angie Humphreys
mr and mrs t

Trinh, left, and Dieu Tran, aka Mr and Mrs T.

Mr T's is a new bakery-cafe in Onehunga from the team behind RAD in Mt Eden.

Dieu Tran, aka Mr T, starts baking at 8pm and only lets up at midnight, when he rests bread dough to ferment in a cool room. That leaves just enough time for three to four hours sleep before the bread calls to him again, ready for baking and the bellies of Onehunga.

Tran and his wife, Trinh, arrived in New Zealand as refugees fleeing the war; Hieu, their son, explains this new bakery and eatery is a reflection of their parents’ journey.

Coming to New Zealand with little knowledge of bread or baking, Mr T’s passion quickly gained momentum under the tutelage of bread-connoisseur friends, and by working at bakeries and lunch bars all over Auckland, most recently at the Tran family business, The Return of RAD in Mount Eden. It’s today in 2019 when Mr T says he’s finally happy with his sourdough – he regularly sends pictures of his best loaves to his son.

What a journey, though: there’s evidence of it in their starter, also known as the “Sour Mother”. Now the ripe old age of fifteen years old, it demands to be fed twice a day to be kept “active and strong.” Baking bread for the masses is a tricky thing to get right; it requires experimentation, an acceptance of patchy sleep, pitch-perfect timing, testing, and testing again. But what can you do?  “I love bread,” Mr T tells me. And so it shall be.

mr ts

Bún Chả Giò.

RelatedArticlesModule - Cafe related

The menu, devised and executed by Mrs T, is neatly split between Western and Vietnamese offerings, with eggs, avos and French toast for breakfast and, on the lunch side, a representation of the kind of food the Trans would eat at home.

Although served in a modern interior alongside Rocket coffee, the menu designed with generous use of millennial pink, and the dishes presented to cater for a food blogger’s Instagram feed, the Vietnamese food is not fusion.

Spring rolls are wrapped in rice paper imported from Vietnam (it’s lighter and airier, I’m told, and it’s true), and the pâté, bánh mì baguette and nuoc cham sauce are all made in-house. For a spread of the highlights, there’s bánh mì xíu mại: a Vietnamese pork meatball sandwich, the meatballs sitting in a shallow spread of tomato-based sauce with bánh mì baguette and spring rolls on the side. Beef noodles, tofu and papaya salads come with healthy smatterings of mint, coriander and basil, the herbs central to the sharp freshness of Vietnamese cuisine.

There are baked goods to take home too: loaves of sourdough and five-seed, bánh mì bread and long lengths of baguettes. Croissants feature, which take three to four days to make before finally arriving in the cabinet. Patience is key, it seems, and we will happily reap its rewards.

Mr T’s Baked Goods and Eatery
210 Onehunga Mall, Onehunga

Follow Metro on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and sign up to the weekly email for more food news.

LatestDiningArticlesWidget - Latest Dining Articles with RestaurantHub
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage


China could be using Taiwan as a testing ground for disinformation campaigns
102550 2019-02-20 00:00:00Z World

China could be using Taiwan as a testing ground fo…

by Gavin Ellis

A Taiwanese diplomat’s death in Japan has become a symbol of the consequences and dangers of disinformation.

Read more
The best way to beat food cravings? Fill up on the objects of your desire
102087 2019-02-20 00:00:00Z Nutrition

The best way to beat food cravings? Fill up on the…

by Jennifer Bowden

Research has shown that dieters’ attempts to resist eating certain foods appear to lead to cravings for those foods.

Read more
Deepfake: How disinformation fools our brains and damages democracy
102545 2019-02-20 00:00:00Z Tech

Deepfake: How disinformation fools our brains and…

by Gavin Ellis

Message manipulation using bots, algorithms and, now, AI software is making it harder to know what’s real – and threatening democracy itself.

Read more
Move to introduce digital tax for foreign companies profiting online
102519 2019-02-19 09:23:12Z Economy

Move to introduce digital tax for foreign companie…

by RNZ

New Zealand is lining up to introduce a new tax on multinational companies that make money out of online goods and services in this country.

Read more
National's high-risk gamble on marijuana and euthanasia
102484 2019-02-19 00:00:00Z Politics

National's high-risk gamble on marijuana and eutha…

by Graham Adams

Having polarising MPs like Paula Bennett and Maggie Barry leading the opposition to popular reforms could be kryptonite to the National Party.

Read more
Reflections on my encounter with the charming Dan Mallory
102482 2019-02-19 00:00:00Z Profiles

Reflections on my encounter with the charming Dan…

by Michele Hewitson

He penned a bestselling thriller, but as Michele Hewitson discovered, author Dan Mallory also proved himself to be a charmingly adept bullshit artist.

Read more
Sounds of summer: Notable Kiwis name their favourite summer songs
102500 2019-02-19 00:00:00Z Music

Sounds of summer: Notable Kiwis name their favouri…

by Phil Gifford

How music can transport you back to your most memorable summer.

Read more
Inside the close-knit community that lives along the Cromwell-Tarras Rd
102505 2019-02-19 00:00:00Z Travel

Inside the close-knit community that lives along t…

by Mike White

Mike White heads up the Cromwell-Tarras road to merino and wine country.

Read more