HoneyBear

LOCATION

4 Brown St Ponsonby
Auckland 1011

OPEN 7 DAYS
LUNCH & DINNER
11.30AM — LATE

CONTACT 09 360 8080

http://honeybearponsonby.co.nz

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The ever changing Restaurant landscape in Ponsonby has another new kid on the block!

honeybear (ˈhʌnibɛː) noun. 1. one who joyfully eats with their hands. 2. anyone with a fondness for Asian cuisine. 3. a connoisseur of street snacks and nano-brew beers. 4. a gentle dance performed after imbibing kombucha cocktails; She took to the dance floor and did the honeybear. 5. mythological guardian of the ancient spice trade worshipped for luck; Pray to the honeybear that our cardamom arrives safely. 6. everyone loves a honeybear.

This is going to become a fast favourite of mine, and for what reason you may enquire? Well I am a sucker for fusion cuisine of any kind. Honeybear on that front does not disappoint.

The Arrival:

I had arranged to meet with my dining group “FoodSocial

https://www.meetup.com/foodsocialNZ/

(Why not sign up and join us for our next dining experience) 

It was a Wednesday evening and I had arranged to meet for a 7pm dinner, it was a freezing midwinter Auckland evening and as I slid through the curtained entrance I was immediately struck with how busy it was. I was not expecting this at all. I saw my group (the early arrivers at least) huddled together and looking a little lost. It became very clear  as soon as I spoke with them what the issue was. “The restaurant is FULL and they cannot accomodate my group of 12” I was informed.

Well I kicked into immediate action and pulled out my trusty weapon (Phone with communication evidence) and flashed it to the maître d as proof of the restaurants commitment to my group. See evidence below.

To her credit, she was not flustered but said somehow the commitment had not been communicated to her, she then asked to see it and immediately knew the issue, went away to speak to restaurant owner, The culprit I suspect, and came back to work her magic.

The restaurant was jam packed full, but she managed to get my group over the next 10 minutes 4 tables, a 6 seater, 2 x 2 seaters and a 3 seater. I was very impressed with her positive attitude as I was with all the waiting staff.

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The Service:

They really had their work cut out for them, the place was jam-packed full, I’m not sure they could fit any more tables in there if they tried. The waiting staff came to the table immediately and got water poured and drinks orders taken. Impressed I was! (Did you notice what I did there?) The food order was also taken shortly after that, but from there it went a little down hill.

I’m not sure the kitchen is yet up to speed with the rush hour of dinning between 7pm – 9pm, our meal came out in drips and drabs over a relatively lengthy period of time. They appeared to be drip feeding all the tables so that everyone got some food relatively quickly but the following dishes came slowly. When our first dish did come there was no cutlery on the table so we had to wait a wee while to get the attention of the very busy-wait staff to make our request.

The Food:

Oh My God! was the wait worth it though, the food is sensational!

At my table we ate:

  • Crispy soft-shell crab pakora, chilli, sweet tamarind, cardamom yoghurt 4pcs / 16
  • Chicken 65 w/ curry & roasted garlic aioli 16
  • Hot & smokey chicken curry, ginger, cashew, yoghurt, curry leaf 25
  • Turmeric-cured fish, tomato, curdled milk, red chilli, coriander 28
  • Pilau rice 3

My favourite from the above selection, which by the way is designed to share and best done that way, was Crispy soft-shell crab, ( I reckon it’s the current best version in Auckland), followed a close second by the Chicken 65.

MENU:

SHORTIES

  • Honeybear Dal Bhiji mix 5
  • Papri chaat, spiced tamarind, green peas, cashew, minted chutney 4pcs / 12
  • Tamarind chicken wafer, shredded ginger, coconut & coriander 3pcs / 14
  • Crispy soft-shell crab pakora, chilli, sweet tamarind, cardamom yoghurt 4pcs / 16
  • Fried Burmese tofu & ginger salad, crispy lentils, smashed peanuts, green chilli & fresh coconut 16
  • Chicken 65 w/ curry & roasted garlic aioli 16

BIGGIES

  • Hot & smokey chicken curry, ginger, cashew, yoghurt, curry leaf 25
  • Turmeric-cured fish, tomato, curdled milk, red chilli, coriander 28
  • Slow roast pork cheek, green chilli, goats curd, dill, cassia 28
  • 24-hour masala spiced beef, cardamom, calamansi, tamarind chutney 28
  • Red lentil dal, mustard seeds, fresh ground coconut, pomegranate 16

SIDES

  • Pilau rice 3
  • Yoghurt 3
  • Date & tamarind chutney 3 Shoestring fries & curry gravy 12

SWEETIES

  • Cardamom spiced chocolate mousse, orange, rose, pistachio 15
  • Saffron semolina cake, masala chai ice cream, pomegranate pearls 1
  • Served with ginger chutney + coconut & green chilli sambol

 

Final Words:

Would I go back? HELL YEAH!!! I love this place, the attitude of the wait staff is (awesome), the food (sensational), the location @ Ponsonby Central (perfect)

So get off your arse, and drag your chompers there ASAP!

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