With all the health trends on the rise, it’s no wonder Little Bird Unbakery is in such high demand. It had been on my wish list for over a year but I never had the chance to go because 1- my friends are not into the organic/vegan cuisine, and 2- parking in Ponsonby is generally a nightmare. Perhaps everyone (mainly my sister) got tired of my small hints and mentions *cough nagging cough* and caved in for a visit.
Little Bird Unbakery specialises in raw, organic goodness which means almost nothing is heated above 46 degrees Celsius to ensure the food retains it’s nutrients that are usually destroyed in cooking processes. The cafe itself is also a mini store that sells their own range of products as well as other health foods. We arrived at peak hour and were told there would be a half an hour plus wait if we wanted to put our names down, but the server luckily managed to snag a table for us whilst we were perusing the store items after only a couple of minutes. The staff are fantastic there!
I ordered: Acai Bowl ($12.50). “The Acai Bowl is a delicious antioxidant rich breakfast. A blended bowl of fresh acai berries, organic berries and banana topped with grawnola & coconut yoghurt. (Its like a super-smoothie breakfast in a bowl with extras!)”
This is literally a smoothie in a bowl as the menu describes. The acai was deliciously sweet and refreshing, the grawnola provided the welcome crunch and slow-releasing energy to last you throughout the day. I adored this- it’s healthy, it’s refreshing, it’s vibrant, and something I’d love to eat every day for breakfast. It won’t be as filling as a lunch item but that’s good if you want to save room for their desserts :) The coconut yoghurt was okay, but not exactly my cup of tea. I like how they make it themselves but I found it too watery and the coconut flavour wasn’t… artificial? Health fanatics will kill me, but I unfortunately prefer that artificial/ commercial coconut yoghurt taste *cringe*.
My sister ordered: Portobello Benedict ($17.50). “Our house-made raw bagel topped with a bed of spinach, marinated portobello mushrooms, topped with special hollandaise sauce.”
If you’re after something more filling, this is the one. This was the favourite from the table, the raw bagel was interesting- dense but moreish, and also great on it’s own. Looking back, we didn’t even realise the portobello wasn’t cooked. (Was it cooked?) This dish piqued the interest of the occupants of the table next to us, and queried us what it was. 90% sure that’s what they’re ordering next time! I usually dislike hollandaise sauce but that one was beautiful. Unlike normal hollandaise which tastes too rich and cholesterol-inducing, this was creamy without being heavy, and had a faint spice to it- curry perhaps? This is definitely one of Little Bird Organics’ best dishes on their menu. Truthfully, I prefer this more than a normal Eggs Benny.
Portobello Benedict was the dish everyone wanted to order (except me, my heart was set on the Acai Bowl), but for the sake of variety, E and L ordered different dishes so we could all taste and share plates.
L ordered: Taco Plate with black beans and Mexican street corn (cooked) ($18.50). “3 Hand made soft cooked tacos ﬁlled w black beans, jalapeño slaw, capsicum salsa, chimichurri & guacamole. Served with a side of Mexican street corn.”
I think L was a little disappointed in this dish as there’s none of that spicy tabasco sauce, the hot meat/ roast vegetables filling and fried beans you associate with tacos. The filling was mainly guacomole. Not a bad dish, but it’s something you can easily make everyday so we felt it’s not something we’d be willing to pay for. (I’m the kind of person who doesn’t order food I usually eat at home, hence I rarely go to Chinese/ Vietnamese restaurants. Do I really want to order stir fry/ vietnamese spring rolls etc when I had it for dinner yesterday?). Again, I love how they make everything themselves like the taco shells here too, you would never have guessed it was raw.
E ordered: Banana leaf wrap with coconutrice & sambal ($19.00). “This is a visually beautiful & exceptionally delicious dish. A banana leaf parcel of kelp noodles, Thai vegetables & herbs served with a side of coconut cauli & mango rice & chilli sambal.”
Like the hollandaise, the chilli sambal sauce was simply bang-full of flavour. It was definitely needed with the kelp noodles and cauli rice since that was rather bland, so the they all balanced each other out. I think the “rice” is made out of cauliflowers, hence the very different taste and texture. Truthfully, I wasn’t too much of a fan of this dish.
Our server kindly offered us some cashew & macadamia milk to go with it. I love how they take initiative and suggested/ offered it as an alternative when we inquired if there was Chai Latte. Their milk tasted so fresh and nutty, you can tell they make it themselves from the real thing. It’s so different to the Almond milk from supermarkets! Their Chai tea was wonderful and soothing with the right amount of spices. Again like the Portobello Benedict, I think I prefer their version over the normal cafe’s!
Green tea is self explanatory really. I was surprised to see them serving it with the double-walled Bodum glasses- those are quite expensive. It was quit touching in a way to see that quality is essential for their customers here.
E ordered a Matcha Latte ($6.50). “Matcha tea prepared in the traditional style, with our cashew & macadamia milk to make the perfect green tea latte – start your day with an antioxidant boost.”
My only comment is- don’t expect Starbucks Green Tea Lattes. This one tastes much healthier for you, but again, most might prefer that commercial flavour. Truthfully, if you’re after coffee (they do cold drip) and teas, you’re probably better off at your usual cafe. Since Little Bird does a wide range of smoothies and juices, those are probably the better options- there’s so much variety and goodness packed into them.
This place is really about a matter of perspective. Come here expecting fresh and healthy meals, and you will be blown away at what raw and vegan diets can achieve. However, if you’re expecting a burger to resemble hot, hearty, healthy burger like from The Food Truck Garage, you might be disappointed (their burgers are lettuce wrapped and fillings will obviously be raw/cold). I am a fan of this type of cuisine so on the whole, I loved Little Bird Unbakery, and felt nourished and content after my meal. I also recommend the cheesecakes. I haven’t even tried it, but they looked stunning.
If only I lived in Ponsonby, it would be revitalising to start every day so healthy. I heard that Wise Cicada in Newmarket sells those frozen Acai mixes which you simply throw into a blender until it’s a smooth purée so you can replicate the Acai Bowl at home :)Little Bird Unbakery 1A Summer Street Ponsonby, Auckland