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Photographs: David Straight

Tucked away down a back alley behind Golden Dawn, what was once a travelling grill has become a permanent fixture of Ponsonby Road. There is a massive open plan kitchen and lots of blackened steel – festooned with fairground bulbs – and saloon-style wooden chairs and raw timber, along with an ominious-looking bull painted on the back wall. It is particularly inviting at night.

For meat like this, though, we’ll forgive the fairground / industrial fit out: the owners have imported an industrial sized smoker from the States. It goes on in the morning and runs late into the evening, creating beautifully tender meat with a subtle pohutukawa smoke. There are other things on the menu – recently we ate freshly shucked Pacific oysters from Kaipara, natural with a shallot dressing and the perfect sort of accompaniment to slow-cooked meat. Other items feel like an afterthought: we weren’t enthused by the buttermilk fried chicken, which was bland, or an undressed salad with pecans and goat’s cheese. We ate some chips but they were just expensive.

Doesn’t matter. Go for barbecue: venison ribs ($26) come plastered in a glossy house made barbecue sauce, rich with honey and thyme. The short rib ($32) is given full flavour by smoking on the bone, and comes with tangy pickles. And the brisket ($32) is a beautifully tender, full-flavoured piece of meat with a subtle red tinge from the charcoal. KR

HOURS Monday to Sunday, 11am until 3pm, 5pm until 11pm.

ADDRESS Lot 3, 130 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, ph 360-4075.

IMPORTANT DETAILS Coming soon: meat for breakfast.


  1. Garth wrote:

    The meat is the obvious winner here but the curly fries are also worth a mention – it’s hard to find curly fries in Auckland, let alone ones as good as these!

    Friday, October 9, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink
  2. Tanya wrote:

    I’d recommend going with a group and the $49 set menu .

    Friday, October 9, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

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