Lotus Café & Bakery (Rotorua, New Zealand)

1124 Hinemoa Street
Rotorua, New Zealand
+64 7 349 1985

‘I Ate the Lotus, Say Haven’t You Noticed?’ – REM


Back in Melbourne.

Back to uni (I don’t start class until March but I am sub-editing the student magazine this year and we started working on the first edition weeks ago so yes, that counts as ‘uni’).

And more importantly, back to blogging.

And bring sexy with me while I’m at it, too.

In due course, I will be writing about my wonderful foodie adventures in Indonesia (that is, after I’ve churned out a few Melbourne posts and recounted my Gold Coast foodie adventures during the New Year period). But for now, let’s finish off my New Zealand series, shall we?

We will continue our mini road trip in Rotorua, where Marty and I landed one morning after a very early flight from Wellington. After hopping off one of those small Bombardier airplanes, we picked up our rental car… and headed straight to Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Located 20 minutes south of Rotorua proper, past some very gorgeous pine trees and lots of sheep, Waimangu is the world’s youngest geothermal system. It is famous for it’s craters, lakes and hot water springs – all of which you can see if you decide to hike through it.


Marty and I were keen for a mid-morning hike so after I switched my boots for my Vans (they were the only comfortable pair of shoes I had with me), we paid our NZD$34.50/AUD$27.38 admission fee and off we went down the Mt Haszard hiking trail.


After three and a bit hours of walking, picture-taking and swan-chasing, we drove back to Rotorua to refuel. Not knowing where to go for some good grub, we walked around before stopping at a Vietnamese bakery on one of the city’s main streets, Lotus Café & Bakery.


Because it was late afternoon, a lot of the Vietnamese dishes (yes, they served phở!) had already finished. They did, however, had enough slices of pork and bread rolls to whip up two Vietnamese pork rolls. I can’t remember how much we paid for them but NZD$5-6 sounds about right. The bread your stock-standard (almost stale) white baguette roll and although I could have sworn that Marty asked for ‘cold pork slices’, we got BBQ pork instead. Not to worry, I liked that they were generous with the pickled carrots coriander but there was nary a smidgen of pâté or fish sauce in there which was slightly disappointing.


Even though it’s kind of random, I’m glad that a Vietnamese bakery exists in a city like Rotorua. While the pork roll wasn’t horrible, I would urge that you wait until you’re back home in either Sydney or Melbourne if you want a decent Vietnamese pork roll.

I eat too much.


  1. Daisy@Nevertoosweet
    February 2, 2013

    WELCOME BACK Libby 🙂 We both arrived basically on the same day hehe ~ sorry that I haven’t been visiting your blog lately! I was too busy stuffing myself with food and spending time with family and friends before coming back ~ and then the internet at home decided not to work SIGHHH

    I was so surprised to find that you’re changing the layout of your blog 🙂 Super excited to see the end product! I know how hard it can be to change layouts and things, hope it all goes well!!!

    I really need to do what you do! Stick to finishing on series before I go on to others! I’m always jumping from Melbourne to HK to Sydney to London to anywhere hahaha hope my readers wont mind 🙂

    A shame that the Vietnamese roll wasn’t as nice but at least you had a good hike and the scenery is so pretty!!!

    1. libishski
      February 5, 2013

      Haha don’t apologise, Daisy – that’s totally understandable!

      Changing blog layouts in a pain in the arse, especially for the computer illiterate like myself. Don’t worry, I will get there yet! I won’t be doing anything fancy, just making the blog look cleaner and easier to navigate 🙂 The white background already makes a BIG difference in terms of readability so hopefully the rest will follow.

  2. Vien
    February 3, 2013

    The scenery’s breathtaking!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!! 🙂

  3. Lisa
    July 2, 2013

    Totally not agree with the writer

  4. Lisa
    July 2, 2013

    You order vn food in the wrong time and mainly there is the most kiwi foods. This is just my thought that had you try breakfast there? Cheap and nicer than a lots of a places in Rotorua

    1. libishski
      July 11, 2013

      I understand that you won’t find amazing Vietnamese food in Rotorua and that the breakfast options at this cafe are a lot nicer than most places in the city. However, Vietnamese food is what we felt like at the time and subsequently, this review (and in fact, ALL my reviews) is based on my experience at the time.

  5. han
    November 19, 2014

    Awful experience! Staff were rude and food was bad. Prices was high but portion was small. Not good for travellers. Dont go there!!!


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