[Pictures: David Straight]
Naming your takeaway joint after a Leonard Cohen song? You had us from hello. Located in Ponsonby’s “Chicken District”, Bird On A Wire has taken over greasy institution Nina’s and given it a jolt into modernity. Sandwiched in between KFC and Nando’s, this is the healthy, gourmet option for a slap-up dinner.
While the decor is questionable (think every chicken pun you can think of painted on the walls), the food is superb. Free-range Harmony chickens are cooked, rotisserie style each day. You can buy a whole one ($23) or a half one ($13) and have it basted in such flavoursome concoctions as “The Ponsy Coq”, a melted truffle butter and champignon blend; Korean BBQ, Salsa Verde or Jamaican Jerk. There are variations on chicken sandwiches – a Banh Mi, a Dirty Bird Burger. All good, although the Banh Mi needs more Vietnamese-ing – we’d love some fresh chili, lime and fish sauce to liven it up next time. Salads are fresh and fantastic – no skimping on avocado; inventive bulghur wheat combinations.
We’ll be here regularly, grabbing a chicken, large salad, some Wild Wheat bread (gluten-free available), Kohu Road icecream and Antipodes water, before heading down to Herne Bay or Western Park and enjoying a picnic. Chicken shops are a stalwart in Australia, and we’re very glad that someone has finally caught on here.
HOURS 10.30am to 10.30pm, seven days.
ADDRESS 234 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, ph 378-6369. www.birdonawire.co.nz
SUSTAINABILITY Free-range, naturally. Hell for vegetarians, but what did you expect at a chicken shop?