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Best Cheap Eats 2014: Ponsonby, Freemans Bay and Herne Bay

Best Cheap Eats 2014: Ponsonby, Freemans Bay and Herne Bay

Oct 9, 2014 Cheap Eats

Chop Chop Noodle House

Chop Chop Noodle House

BIRD ON A WIRE

234 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
Some of the healthiest dinners around, and some of the best. The flagship Ponsonby store has had a stylish refit, and rotating burger specials add fried chicken to their free-range rotisserie specialty. Great salads too.
Chicken

 

BURGER BURGER

Ponsonby Central, 136-146 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
Burgers are back, and the leader of the pack is Burger Burger, with its perfectly formed menu, great drinks list, bustling fun environment and, most importantly, damn good burgers. Potato skins or charred broccoli are fantastic sides.
Burgers TOP 10

 

CHOP CHOP NOODLE HOUSE

Ponsonby Central, 136-146 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
Chop Chop’s ramen is as good as any you’ll find in a back-alley shop — we’re very fond of the 12-hour beef brisket — and with the Eagles on the stereo, a fitout that looks like a beach shack in Thailand, and brilliant cocktails, what’s not to like?
Chinese TOP 10

 

CONCH KITCHEN & BAR

115A Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
How good of a record shop to be so hospitable as to serve food and drink. We love the areras — split cornbread flat muffins with taco-style fillings bursting with flavour. The beef short ribs with Peruvian mashed potato  are perfect comfort food.
South American

 

TOTÓ PIZZA AT FARINA

244 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby (also at Totó Pizza, Central City)
Totó’s pizza-by-the-metre is among the best pizza anywhere, and perfect for feeding a crowd. The crowning glory: spinach and mushroom with truffle oil and pinenuts. They really love you with that truffle oil.
Pizza

Burger-Burger

Burger Burger

 

FISH SMITH

200 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay
Excellent fish and chips with fun extras such as fish tacos; prawn, fish and chive wontons; chickpea bites and smoked fish pie croquettes. Owner Scott Brown used to be chef at the Sofitel, so lots of  thought has gone into doing this right.
Fish & chips

 

IL BUCO

113 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
This Ponsonby Rd icon — now also in Vulcan Lane, to keep CBD workers happy at lunchtime — remains one of our favourite cheap eats. Its flat oblong pizza, sold by the slice, is  among the best in town. We still just love the potato and rosemary.
Pizza

 

JIMMY THE FISH

Ponsonby Central, 136-146 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
A fish shop, yes, and with some of the best fish and chips in the city. How does Lion Red-battered tarakihi sound, or pan-fried lemon sole? And the chips? Triple-cooked agria. There are rotating specials, and if Jimmy’s grandmother’s smoked fish pie is on offer, you really shouldn’t pass it by.
Fish & chips

 

KUTA BALI

Ponsonby Village International Food Court, 106 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
Everything on the menu is good, but we usually have the oseng klaten: chicken and vegetables in special sauce and coconut cream. Buy a bag of homemade spicy peanut and rice flour crackers to have with a beer while you wait for your order.
Indonesian

 

LATE NIGHT DINER

152b Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
A new chef means there’s less of the deep fryer here now. The beef burger is served medium rare; you add the fillings. The skirt steak is really good and the boozy milkshakes still feature, thank goodness.
Bistro

 

THE LUCKY TACO

Various locations, but usually at 230 Ponsonby Rd (see theluckytaco.co.nz)
When Otis and Sarah Frizzell started this food truck they showed other Mexican eateries how to really make a taco. Zingy with flavour and a homemade hot sauce, from people fizzing with enthusiasm.
Mexican

Mekong Vietnamese

Mekong Vietnamese

MEKONG VIETNAMESE

Ponsonby International Food Court, Shop 2, 106 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
The original cheap eat? Mekong Vietnamese has been in its corner of the food court for as long as anyone can remember, and before that it was a restaurant, established 1979. The food here is good (delicate and nuanced), but the real magic is the curry.
Vietnamese

 

NAVAS CAFE

14 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
Chef Kris, a pioneer of Malaysian food in the city, is a great spinner of yarns and will tell you how much he prides himself on authenticity. His laksa is loaded with seafood, and the stock has a depth of flavour often missing elsewhere.
Malaysian

 

NISHIKI

100 Wellington St, Freemans Bay
Nishiki is that rare thing, a cheap-eat BYO. It’s also the closest we’ve found to a Tokyo Izakaya: loud and smoky from the grill, with harassed waiters running around. The classics are here: we’re fond of the eggplant grilled with soy and honey.
Japanese

 

YUZU JAPANESE

145 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
A cheap-eats stalwart on the increasingly high-end Ponsonby Rd, Yuzu is our reliable go-to for donburi, sushi and sizzling teriyaki. Optional brown rice is a welcome extra.
Japanese

 

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