Recently the husbear and I were invited to join a friend for dinner at Conch Cafe in Ponsonby.
They have opened up the back of the record shop and the garden for dining and turned it into a funky casual restaurant. It feels a bit like being on holiday in the outside area and it has a beach cafe feel to the decor with a nice relaxed atmosphere. The menu is compact and summery and the cute Brazilian waiter transported us to past holidays in exotic places.
Conch have an authentic wood-fired pizza oven in the garden which adds to the atmosphere, there were delicious smells floating through the air as we checked out the menu. They have pizzas on the menu but the rest of the food has a distinct South American flavour and we decided to go for three tall glasses of Hellertau No2 because it’s delicious and we knew that beer would be the perfect accompaniment to anything we chose.
The Husbear went for a Conch taco with wood-fired chicken, macha salsa and sesame lime slaw; it was a fresh, zesty combination of flavours with a very slight chilli bite to the salsa. I don’t often cook Mexican at home so he was in heaven and the portion size was perfect for even the greediest of bears. Cossie Cub, our friend who recommended Conch, decided to have arepas, which are Venezuelan corn bread with tasty fillings.
He chose braised organic beef, haloumi cheese and slaw. These looked a bit like rustic mini hamburgers, there were two with the dish and even though he wasn’t overly hungry, he cleared his plate and was left with a beaming smile on his satisfied face. I had the Portuguese chicken salad – the chicken was again wood-fired in the pizza oven but this time had a zingy marinade of citrus and spices, it came with ricotta cheese, spring garden salad and olives, it was a gorgeous combination of interesting flavours and yummy crispiness. Conch is the perfect place for long summery exotic evenings.
| Bear Grills
You can find Conch Record Store and Cafe at 115a