It’s time to get excited because another Asian fusion eatery has hit the Ponsonby Road strip. And, before you become defensive and rattle on about how there’s no need for another one, with the rapid rate at which these flavour of restaurants are taking over, listen up. Firstly: it’s BYO. Secondly: deep fried ice cream bao bun. Sold yet?
The owners here (who also own Bangkok in Kingsland) wanted to create a fun and inviting space where cheap (but good) eats are at the ready. The menu is a collation of the Po’ Brother’s favourite Asian dishes, so you can travel to Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Korea all in one meal. To begin order your table the ‘rich boy’ chicken satays or the slow cooked and grilled pork belly skewers. The ‘po chow’ chicken wings are finger lickin’ good - deep fried and slathered in bon chon sauce. Or the deep fried chicken skin. Eat it like a chip, using the accompanying Japanese mayo and sweet chilli sauce as a dip.
The ‘Ms Ho’ som tom is a play on the traditional papaya salad that originates from Thailand. Sweet, salty, sour and spicy their take features tender pork belly and a deep fried soft shell crab. The ‘stripper’ fried rice is authentic Thai-style featuring crab meat, egg, onion and coriander. There’s pad thai and stir fry or if seafood tickles your fancy, set your sights on the tom yum noodle soup - the large bowl is piled high with mussels and prawns the tangy broth beneath warms the soul. The beef brisket jungle curry will bring your senses to live the heat mellowed out with lime, basil leaf and round beans. On the side there’s ‘ugly’ puffy roti and black sticky rice. And while tempted to put steamed bao buns on the menu, they decided to do something different. Yes, their deep fried version is jammed full with matcha ice cream, red beans and peanuts. Genius.
Bring your own booze from Sunday through to Wednesday, or enjoy one of their specialty lagers, or ciders brewed for them especially from Brothers’ Beer. People watch from their prime streetside tables at the top of Franklin Road or dine in their blacked-out dining room which includes banquet seats and a large shared table complete with metal stools. And in the next little while keep your eyes peeled for their private dining/function room and courtyard that’s currently undergoing renovations.
“We wanted to create a space that makes you feel like you’re in the laneways of Asia, red lights and old posters line the stairwell creating intrigue to what’s beyond the main restaurant," the owners explain.
The Po’ Brothers have successfully achieved creating a space that’s casual and fun. With plans for a resident DJ to work the decks during the weekend and an approach to their food that’s fuss-free, we’re certain this new fusion eatery is going to create a lot of good memories for their punters… And can we just say, dishes are $15 or less. We know. No doubt we’ll see you there!
Image credit: Lauren Matilda Matthews