Down the road from KFC and free-range rotisserie Bird on a Wire along Ponsonby Road, you’ll find another chicken-themed restaurant, fortunately more in line with the latter than the lingering grease trail of the Colonel.
The brick-lined interior of 222 Ponsonby Rd - which formerly housed Bistro 222 and Sliders Kitchen and Bar - is now in the hands of chef personality Mike van de Elzen of The Food Truck fame and well-tuned hospitality virtuoso Marie Colosimo. Bird and Boy takes a humble approach to the farmyard favourite with both interesting and comforting recipes. All chooks are free range and citrus-brined, spice-rubbed and poached before being thrown on the rotisserie, giving them a mouthwatering, moist texture. Whether you’re sitting within the crisp and minimalistic dining room or taking away, you can order them by the whole, half or quarter - all served chopped alongside chunky potatoes and gravy. Hot rolls are just as appetising, served on steamed purple wholemeal brioche rolls and with a number of fillings - you can’t look past the chicken with gravy or chicken with pickled slaw and smoked chilli dressing.
The menu doesn’t just stop at the winged variety, throwing forth a multitude of options for those who “don’t want chicken” - pork schnitzel, braised short rib, vadouvan rubbed fish, gnocchi and salads.
Renowned for encouraging healthy eating, particularly with his Food Truck Garage initiative, van de Elzen is clear when you’re being “just a little bit naughty” with your decision and there are a number of healthy choices on the menu, including fresh juices - carrot and coconut was an intriguing and winning choice. The “skinny” option also allows diners to have the skin entirely removed from their meal upon request - though I’m not sure why you would want to take off one of the best parts.
On any given sunny day their pavement dining area will be a great new hang out and a good place to sample some of the drinks list; they've partnered with West Auckland brewery Hallertau to offer the craft beers on tap. And come-Sunday, Boy & Bird will save you from doing all the hard roast-work yourself.
Photo Credit: Nom Nom Panda