Bonz Cajun Kitchen
On a desperate search for good American food for an article for the New Zealand Herald we were thrilled to discover tiny Bonz Cajun Kitchen in the lovely Elliot Stables. Being a regular at Ponsonby Central I had forgotten how nice this eating space is. It always has that slightly Melbourne vibe about it.
Chef, Rob Aylwin is originally from Boston but when he trained to be chef many years ago, his tutor was from the South. Through her he became obsessed with this food genre and proceeded to spend a lot of time there perfecting his craft, learning to smoke, baste, turn, marinade and make killer sauces.
It certainly worked. We think his BBQ Babyback ribs might be the best in town ($19/half rack). No painted on flavour here, these have been marinated for a while and are repeatedly basted with Rob’s home made sauces. It wasn’t a pretty sight watching us divide and conquer these smokey tender morsels like cave people.
The Hushpuppies ($6) looked adorable in their little black bucket and were equally adorable to eat. Perfectly light and soft, these cornmeal cuties had a firm outside with moist light inside – I’m assuming there was buttermilk involved.
We also loved the Buffalo wings ($12) with their spicy, tangy saucy exterior offset by the creamy blue cheese dip and even though we didn’t really have room we ordered the Gumbo as a side ($8.50) and had no regrets about doing so. Rob spends a long time achieving a super dark roux and even hand makes his own Andouille Sausage which compliments the chicken and rice making the perfect winter comfort dish. It’s simple but great flavour.
This is a must visit for anyone who loves Southern American food. Go soon, but go early – this is not a late night venue.