American-style ‘low and slow’ barbecue comes to the Ponsonby strip.
This southern belle is wooing city folk with her smoky, succulent barbecue and cool speakeasy vibe. Behind Miss Moonshine’s barbecue joint is young husband and wife team Ryan and Annelise Clarke. Inspired by their foodie travels around America, the couple set out to pair traditional barbecue cooking techniques with contemporary food culture, using only the best New Zealand ingredients.
Get that palette rocking with a peppy somethin’ somethin’ from the moonshine-laced cocktail menu –perhaps the mojito with cola-infused hooch. There’s excellent craft beer and a multitude of whiskies on offer, too.
Then it’s on to starters. Remember that you’ll need a portion of restraint if you’re to have belly room for your barbecue, but don’t go past the cornbread as it’s some kind of magic. The crust manages to hold just long enough for you to heap on the burnt butter and transport it to your mouth, before it crumbles apart, coating your taste buds in savoury goodness.
Everything from the pit is cooked low and very slow, wood-smoked for up to 12 hours using sustainably-sourced native timbers such as pohutukawa. Yip, it’s every bit as tender and napkin-needing as you’re imagining. There’s grain-fed beef brisket, pulled pork with generous amounts of a 10-out-of-10 crackling. There’s pork belly doused in a moonshine glaze, ribs that fall off the bone, and more – all free-range, and served with house gravy and tangy pickles. Standout sides include huge, crispy onion rings and a refreshing apple and mint slaw. Head chef Simon Den Boogert introduces monthly changes to his menu (which is just as well, because you’re going to want to revisit).
You’ve come this far, you might as well finish yourself off good and proper with dessert. The Orleans donuts, lashed with vanilla cream and salted caramel, are to die for.
It’s a buzz to see your succulent smoky meat being coaxed from the massive 1.5 tonne Yoder Smoker barbecue oven (shipped here all the way from Kansas) and onto the pass – the pass being an enormous oak tree trunk. In fact, the entire design of the space is thoughtful and delightful, and has unsurprisingly won industry accolades in last year’s Best Design Awards.
Grab a compadre or three to dine with, because Miss Moonshine’s tasty fare is made to share.
Lot 3, 130 Ponsonby Road
Open 7 days for lunch and dinner
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Words by: Alana Broadhead
Photography by: Rachel Dobbs