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[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.

SUSTAINABILITY Free-range, naturally. Hell for vegetarians, but what did you expect at a chicken shop?


  1. Genie wrote:

    I’ve always wanted to open a free-range chicken rotisserie. Looks like these guys did it better than I could have. Love the sound of the different basted flavours they all sound so different and punchy.

    Monday, April 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink
  2. SFG wrote:

    Open another one! There’s plenty of room for good chook in this town.

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink
  3. BusyB wrote:

    Waited with bated breath for this place to open….it did…our mouths did….Disappointment.

    The Korean BBQ chook had no depth of flavor,it was nondescript and boring. I even asked the husband if was sure he ordered Korean BBQ as I couldn’t be sure.

    When I emptied the bag, the docket said Jerk, but that couldn’t be true either – could it?? Not a good sign that you can’t tell.

    Still, it had only been open a week, so maybe just a bad night. Will give it one more go….

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink
  4. Felicity wrote:

    We wanted to love it, we really did! And have tried it 3 times to make sure it wasn’t a bad night. But the Korean BBQ chook was bland & not remotely Korean. The Plain Roast Chook was not crispy. The roast spuds were drowned in what looked like Greggs Mixed Herbs, and the Banh Mi did not have one shred of Vietnamese Flavour (and the bread was stale).

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink
  5. SFG wrote:

    Sigh. Thanks for letting us know, will have to revisit pronto!

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
  6. BusyB wrote:

    Better, much better! Have been back a few more times and it seems a flavor boost has been added.

    Friday, June 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink
  7. SFG wrote:

    Good to hear – we dropped in for a banh mi last week and it was terrific.

    Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

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