There’s an awful lot to love about Ponsonby. Top-notch boutiques, restaurants and bars as well as a constant parade of pocket-sized dogs make this inner-city suburb truly one of a kind.
In case you needed to conjure up another excuse to visit Ponsonby anytime soon—you’ll be thrilled to know that the new Eat, Drink, Love, Ponsonby festival is officially here for 2019.
From July 15-August 18, this festival will see more than 50 of Ponsonby’s restaurants and cafes dish out signature set menus and a number of fabulous food-and-drink-themed events pop up around town. To help you plan your dinner dates for the next month, we’ve sifted through and found the Eat, Drink, Love, Ponsonby events and menus you most definitely don’t want to miss.
The Song of India Pop-Up
If there’s one thing us Aucklanders love, it’s a good pop up. Especially if it involves food, and certainly if it involves an executive chef decorated with a Michelin star (or three). Presenting The Song of India: the award-winning Indian restaurant by Manjunath Mural that’s setting up shop for a whole month at Épicer. Here you can treat yourself to an exquisite modern-Indian tasting menu, and enjoy a live cooking demo by Mural himself.
The Vodka Room
As if we needed another reason to love the glamorous Vodka Room, they’ve gone and created an impossibly irresistible line-up for Eat, Drink, Love, Ponsonby. Sip and snack like a Tsar—treat yourself to their $25 caviar and champagne special and stay for dinner with their two or three course meals. With the likes of confit duck, braised beef goulash, poppy-seed cake and black Russian jellies on the menu, you can be sure it’ll be all kinds of opulent.
Francophiles, you’re going to love this one. In fact, you’re going to want to schedule in a double visit here, because Le Garde Manger has put together two delicious set menus for the occasion. The first is a two-course crêpe pairing, which features a smoked salmon, cream, leek fondue galette as a main and a gooey Nutella crêpe for dessert. There’s also a two course dinner devoted to the best winter soul food known to France (or the world, for that matter): Boeuf bourguignon casserole, a hot crème brulée and a glass of wine.
Chop Chop Noodle House
Fancy indulging in a caramel soft serve with miso butterscotch garnished with salted pretzel crunch for dessert? Of course you do. For a sweet $25 dollars, Chop Chop will treat you to this dessert as well as a noodle bowl and beer. Made with thick wheat noodles, and garnished with miso braised beef Ragù and garnished pickled shiitake, roasted garlic and sesame, the bowl is a surefire winter warmer.
Another great bowl, beer and Dessert Chaser Combo gracing this year’s lineup is GoGo Daddy’s. A whole $25 is your ticket to a flavour journey of epic proportions at this chic and casual Thai canteen. You’ll start with a roasted pork belly and pork balls bowl, and wash it down with a bottle of Blue Breeze Pacific Lager. As for dessert, a palm sugar ice cream with lotus sesame cookie & condensed milk will take your tastebuds on an exotic, flavour-filled Thai holiday.
There’s a lot to love about Augustus Bistro’s Eat, Drink, Love, Ponsonby offering. Three courses, to be exact. With everything from a twice baked cauliflower and cheese soufflé to confit chicken and a veggie ‘meatball’ parpadelle on the menu, it’s safe to say that making a choice for each course won’t be an easy mission. What will be an easy feat, on the other hand, is devouring these delicious creations while still leaving room for dessert. Mouth-watering butterscotch puddings, decadent fondants and yoghurt cheesecakes await you as the grand finale of this meal.
Boy and Bird
Make sure to visit Boy and Bird during the Eat, Drink, Love, Ponsonby festival because boy oh boy, are they dishing out a seriously food and drink pairing. Mixing the best of winter eating and summer sipping in one, their menu treats diners to a buttermilk-fried chicken platter with warm, doughy bread for two and a couple of Aperol spritzers to wash it all down with. Trust us when we say it's warming for the heart, soul and tastebuds.
The Blue Breeze Inn
Hit up your foodie friend and book in a date at The Blue Breeze Inn, because you’re not going to want to miss their Peking Cluck special menu—and you’re also going to need an extra set of hands to devour it. Designed to be shared by two, this feast involves a great big slow-roasted Peking chicken served with delicious veggie trimmings and sauce, as well as a stack of steamed pancakes to wrap it all up in.
Fancy a trip to Istanbul without forking out for a ticket or grappling with jetlag? Miss Istanbul has got you covered as you graze your way around the tastes and textures of turkey with their festival menu. Choose between cauliflower fritters or a grilled haloumi extravaganza to start, and then enjoy a succulent Adana kebab (minced lamb with capsicum and spices) or skewers of your choice alongside a range of delicious sides and a baklava to finish off.
Don't want the evening to end? Check out Auckland's best bars.
Image credit: Kaitlin Maree Photography for Urban List