Lately, the number of new bakeries in Auckland has seemed to rise – pun intended. And what could be better, as the weather cools, than biting into a perfectly laminated croissant, or a freshly made hot pie? These three new destinations are scattered across the city – we suggest you add them to your itinerary.
Its name means “bread” or “bun” in Shanghainese, says owner Emma Zhao. And that’s a good indication of what you’ll find at this ivy-covered bakery that opened in February in the Auckland suburb of Mount Eden. Zhao, who also owns nearby neighbourhood cafe Benedict’s, grew up in Shanghai and missed the flavours of the pastries she ate there. After a period of experimentation, she and her team came up with clever ways to incorporate Chinese and Asian flavours into traditional European pastries and viennoiserie.
The results are delicious and original, including pastries such as a danish topped with naisu paste (a sweet, buttery, milky paste that is popular in China), caramel sauce and caramelised apple. There’s a savoury brioche bun with spring onion, white sesame and a mayonnaise filling, topped with pork floss (also known as rousong). Black sesame croissants are another popular creation. You’ll also find classic pastries including plain, almond and pistachio croissants, pies, sandwiches with house-made focaccia and blueberry lemon friands.
Coffee is from Birkenhead-based roasters Be Specialty, and there are cold-pressed juices and matcha lattes.
Mibo is a lovely space, a corner site boasting wraparound glass windows with small tables out the front. Its interiors were designed by local firm Millé (which specialises in hospitality fit-outs), with warm slatted wood counters and glowing orb lights hanging from the ceiling.
G11/30 Enfield Street, Mount Eden
North Shore locals Judah McDonald, Tamara Tait and Laurence Woodhouse opened Rollers Bakery in February after spotting a gap in Northcote’s daytime food offering. All three have worked in the food industry for many years, and the goal at Rollers Bakery is “good-quality, fast-paced food and service”. “With so much disruption over Covid, we wanted to create a space that’s accessible and convenient for people without cutting corners on quality.” Community is important to all three co-founders, given they grew up in the area.
From doughs and pastries to stocks, sauces and condiments, almost every aspect of the food at Rollers Bakery is made from scratch. In the light and bright space, you can watch Woodhouse rolling dough or McDonald cooking up the latest pie filling while you wait for Tait to make your coffee. There’s also hot chocolate from West Coast Cocoa Merchants (including peppermint and chilli-spiked) and a selection of cold drinks.
According to the team, the steak and cheese pie has been the number-one bestseller, along with doughnuts filled with custard, cream and house-made jam that incorporates fermented berries. Rotating vegetarian pie flavours are also worth tracking down, including the vegan butter (not) chicken or butter veg. There are loaves of sourdough and baguettes to take home, croissants, sandwiches and more.
54 Northcote Road, Northcote
“To me, Folds was always going to be a place where I could bring the flavours from home [Brunei and Malaysia] to New Zealand,” says baker Wendy Lau, who opened her bakery on Dominion Road this month. Her philosophy is centred on combining Southeast Asian flavours with French techniques. The results are both visually beautiful and delicious to eat, with Lau putting her Le Cordon Bleu skills to work (she studied both patisserie and cuisine) creating Folds’s ever-changing selection.
Prior to opening her first brick-and-mortar location, Lau built a following on Instagram with a made-to-order online bakery that she started in October 2020. She says it really took off late last year during lockdown.
The shop is small but bright, with a muted green wall along one side and tables with white chairs where you can sit to dine in. It was designed by Lau’s partner, an architectural designer, to have a clean, pared-back finish. Folds serves Ozone coffee, along with Harney & Sons teas, and matcha and hojicha (roasted green tea) lattes.
Food-wise, everything is displayed prettily in two glass cabinets. According to Lau, the crowd favourites that she’ll never remove from the menu usually contain pandan – often referred to as the vanilla of Asia. There’s the pandan lamington, the ondeh ondeh swiss roll (ondeh ondeh is a pandan sponge with shredded coconut and palm sugar), and the kaya (pandan and coconut egg jam) croissant. “I always enjoy watching people's reactions when trying our food and enjoying it,” says Lau, “even if they aren't familiar with some of the flavours that I use.”
297 Dominion Road, Mount Eden