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Photographs: David Straight

A couple of years back, we called this stretch of Ponsonby Road the Chicken District. Now, Boy & Bird has opened. It’s a small piece of genius, in that it is exactly what you want: local free-range chooks, brined and perfectly roasted so they’re still just tender; plenty of salad available; a short but good wine list. (Not surprising: it’s owned by chef Michael Van de Elzen and Marie Colosimo, one of the city’s best maître d’s.)

You might drop by early on a Saturday night on the way to somewhere else, or you might drop by for takeout on the way home from something else, or you might sit here for hours, and it works well for all three. There’s a takeout area on one side, a small dining room on the other – the fitout is bright, almost childlike, with lots of painted steel and wood. Service is polished and fast. And, newsflash: they take bookings.

Recntly, we’ve eaten the Quarter Chook ($12!) with chunkies and slaw, and we’ve topped that up with salad – a huge and very good slaw ($8); the hot bird ($16), with black lentils, feta, chook and sultana; or the sautéed kale ($14) with quinoa, almonds, apple and haloumi. Fresh, good, fast. We like.

HOURS Seven days, 11am until late.

ADDRESS 222 Ponsonby Road, ph 361-3222.

IMPORTANT DETAILS Did we mention they take bookings?

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