As local Mt Edenites, CLB reviewers Matt and Alex took on the dual-review of this establishment.
RAD, the newest café in Mt Eden village, is by all accounts living up to its name. Table numbers are constructed with lego, tap water comes in the form of rosewater green tea and the hipster/cool wait staff circuit the narrow café in faux denim aprons. And while the menu speaks evolution more than revolution, it’s good to see something a little bit different.
I went with the Vietnamese pork roll which was a fun Mt Eden interpretation of this Asian street food fave. The crisp pickled cucumber and newborn bun was well balanced by soft fragrant pork and creamy pâté. And though it tasted great from end to end, the toasted bun does start to scrape the roof of your mouth. If you’re not willing to eat it upside down, it’s a good idea to order one of their jar-served smoothies, or in my case, a hot chocolate, to ease the rawness.
The hot chocolate was smooth and brimming with foam, but probably not sweet enough – especially for a sweet tooth like me. And at $4.50, RAD’s hot choc fails the marshmallow test with a single cheap rubbery offering. A small quibble, but it really does betray the funky flavour of this soon-to-be staple of the Mt Eden brunch scene.
I overheard a fellow bruncher mention to his friend that RAD stands for Robots and Dinosaurs. I’m not sure how true this is but I would agree that RAD is a perfect paradox of old meets new culinary goodness. While the name, the aprons and the upbeat hipster staff verge on being a bit wanker-ish, the overarching greatness of this joint saves the day.
Having failed to worship my body in the slightest over the weekend, I decided to go green and order the kale, spinach and orange smoothie. Matt looked disgusted at my choice while my taste buds and inner being revelled in my choice.
My meal wasn’t quite so virtuous but was worth every creamy hollandaise calorie. Taking the classic Eggs Bene, RAD serves two beautifully poached eggs on top of a melt-in-the-mouth potato mash, served with free-range bacon and of course the ever wonderful hollandaise sauce. The mash is a small twist but really quite transformative.
I will be returning to spend some time with the Robots and Dinosaurs.
- Overall rating: 9/10
- Location: 8
- Value: 6
- Service: 10
- Quality: 9
- Environment: 9
- X-Factor: 10
RAD, 997 Mount Eden Rd, Mt Eden