Ponsonby Central has just added a tasty new eatery to its list of culinary delights and let's just say it certainly knows how to hit the spot. Move over Maldito Mendez, Honeybear has arrived.
Brought to us by owners Mark Wallbank and Che Barrington, the food fiends behind some of Ponsonby's much-loved restaurants: Chop Chop Noodle House, MooChowChow and, everybody's favourite Friday night hangout, The Blue Breeze Inn. They say three's a crowd but certainly not in this case. There's no messing around with these foodies as Honeybear is jam packed with flavour, fusion and flare.
Their combination of Indian and Burmese cuisine adds something different to the Ponsonby strip and is sure to get those tastebuds tingling. The menu is short but certainly sweet with five large and six small plates on offer, featuring everything from crispy soft shell crab to poutine with cheese curd and curry gravy, which may I add is simply divine.
In true honey bear style, the menu is designed for you to dig in deep and get your paws dirty. So, with that in mind, try the take on chicken curry with cashew nuts, ginger, yoghurt and curry leaf. Watch out as the hot and smoky dish will blow you away (literally). If spice isn't your thing then opt for the 24 hour masala spiced beef — the braised stew is not only tender and rich with flavour, but it simply melts in your mouth and invades your palate.
If you're afraid of using your mitts, then never fear as the mighty Dosa is here. The large $7 crispy pancake is paired with mint and coriander chutney with coconut and green chilli sambol. The bundle of joy is the perfect way to soak up those succulent flavours.
If you share the same sweet tooth as a honey bear then you can't leave without trying one of their 'sweeties.' I picked the cardamom-spiced chocolate mousse with orange, rose and pistachio and I was transported to culinary heaven. The mousse was perfectly whipped and the pistachio added a delightful crunch.
The décor is as rich as the grub, with their vibrant pink set-up and beautifully carved wooden pews. There's even a mini cosy gazebo for those outdoor diners. Pull up a stool and cast your eyes on their educational cocktail menu, were the mixes have been modelled around famous maharajas, including one who was a huge fan of Louis Vuitton bags, collecting a whopping 60 during his reign.
The kings of kombucha cocktails, Honeybear's fizzy infusions include honey syrups to detoxify your body while boosting your energy. Get your health kick with the blueberry and elderflower kombucha spiked with cardamom honey syrup and vodka. If tequila is your tipple of choice then the plum and tamarind kombucha with vanilla honey syrup and Agavero certainly won't disappoint.
If you're after a bit of spice in your life then check out Ponsonby's new crown jewel. You're in for a royal treat.