The Guest Edit: 'The Caker' Jordan Rondel Handpicks the Best Spots to Treat Yourself Around Auckland
Here's a hint: You'll find four out of five on Karangahape Road.
May 30, 2022
In The Guest Edit, we hand the reins over to some of the most interesting, tasteful and (or) entertaining people in Australia and New Zealand. For this instalment, we've enlisted the uber cool and deliciously talented Jordan Rondel — Founder of baking empire The Caker — to share her favourite spots to eat, drink and be merry around Auckland.
CP: If there's one person who knows something about treats, it's Jordan Rondel. More commonly known as 'The Caker', Rondel got a name for herself when she became the go-to baker for beautiful cakes back in 2010 before opening her Karangahape Road outpost 'Salon de Cake' in 2016. Since then, Rondel has developed something of an empire thanks to her ethos of "changing the way we eat cake". She now has a line of at home cake-making kits, bakery outposts around the country — and in LA — and she's an official ambassador of the Kenwood kitchen machines. When it comes to cakes, her word is law.
But of course, nobody can be eating sponge or red velvet all the time — it has to be balanced out with other forms of deliciousness. Luckily, Auckland has its share of gorgeous places for sit-down dinner or just a grab-and-go bite. Rondel has handpicked her favourite spots for treating yourself around our city for Concrete Playground readers — whether you're opting for treats of the sweet, savoury or caffeine-soaked persuasion.
PICI, KARANGAHAPE ROAD
JR: For me, Pici is the perfect spot. This restaurant hidden in St Kevin's arcade is a beacon of warmth as you walk up to it. The pasta is fresh and beyond words delicious (try the cacio e pepe and the spaghetti vongole), the team members are friendly and the wine list is thoughtful and concise. Love you Pici!
ADA, GREY LYNN
JR: Before you even walk in, Ada wows. Set in the Spanish-Mission style, a once thriving nun convent now churns out modern Italian food with the very best NZ produce. The ever-changing pasta dishes, pizza fritta and duck fat potatoes are standouts — and I always finish with a cannoli.
THE CAKER, KARANGAHAPE ROAD
JR: My pride and joy, my baby and the spot I truly miss the most when I'm home in LA. I've grown this business from being a one-man-band (me) in 2010 and now I have 16 incredible staff, countless shiny new Kenwood mixers fuel our kitchen (they are the mixers I would recommend to any home baker!) and multiple ovens which pump out hundreds of cakes a week.
DAILY DAILY, KARANGAHAPE ROAD
JR: Daily Daily is located in the space where my very first Caker store and kitchen was, just two doors up from where we're located now — and it's just my luck that the coffee there is the absolute best in Auckland. Chatting to Albert and the team feels like you're running into an old friend every morning.
PEACH PIT, KARANGAHAPE ROAD
JR: Peach Pit provides us with some of THE best food in Auckland, the menu is ever changing, innovative, vegetarian friendly and incredibly well priced. Whether you're dining there or just having a Prosecco outside, the vibe is such a vibe.
Top images: Emma Bassill