New opening Honeybear introduces Indian-Burmese street food to Ponsonby

Meet Ponsonby Central's latest nouveau-Asian eatery.

There are few things that awaken the senses more effectively than a jaunt to a Mark Wallbank restaurant. From the heavily spiced homemade ginger beer at Chop Chop to the chilli-laced egg noodles at The Blue Breeze Inn and the lumberjack-chic interior of Parnell’s Woodpecker Hill, if there’s one thing for sure it’s that you’re going to walk away both stimulated and satiated.

In keeping with his ‘more is more’ approach, Honeybear is another fabulous Ponsonby Central eatery that, for your information, everyone is going to want to go to. The name refers to the manner in which you are expected to eat your food, i.e. with your paws. This is contingent to the genre of the restaurant, which is Burmese (if you’re wondering whether we should still be referring to it as such, please find this article for your reference) where eating with your hands is customary.

Acclaimed Executive Chef Che Barrington explains that the country’s traditional cuisine is something of a mishmash, encompassing a less spicy array of Chinese, Indian, Sri Lankan and Southeast Asian elements. Here, the emphasis is on street food, seeing delish little servings of panipuri nibbles with green peas and minted chutney alongside crispy soft-shell crab pakora on the ‘shorties’ part of the menu, then turmeric-curried fish and 24-hour masala spiced beef on the smorgasbord of ‘biggies’. The hero item, however, is undeniably the dosa, a familiar flatbread designed to scoop up the mint and coriander chutney and coconut green chilli sambol it comes served with — did we mention the idea is to get your hands dirty?

The flavour-packed goodness flows over to the drinks list which is basically a chapter book on various Maharajas who have been used to characterise Honeybear’s signature kombucha cocktails. Wallbank has been busy producing every flavour imaginable of the fermented drink — think agave, blueberry and elderflower, plum and tamarind, ginger and lychee — which you can then opt to augment with a ‘bear hug’ (a shot of anything from gin to tequila). Add to this a selection of sensational lassis and you have yourself something quite magical.

It’s fair to say the Auckland restaurateur’s latest opening is anything but an understatement. With an almost entirely pink interior that pops off thanks to a neon roof border, and a cosy outdoor area that will take us from the depths of winter to sensational days of spring, if it’s something a little different you’re after — a culinary embrace of sorts — we can confirm you’ll find it at this newly minted Ponsonby address.

Open 7 days for lunch and dinner 


Ponsonby Central
136/146 Ponsonby Rd


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