09 March 2013

Auckland Eats: Little Bird Organics Unbakery & Ortolana

A trio of tomatoes
In the last couple of weeks I have had some delicious & good for you food. Food that tempts, tantalises & delights.  I finally made to Little Bird Organics Unbakery & came across Ortolana, a new restaurant at the Pavilions in Britomart.

Little Bird Organics Unbakery

First was Little Bird Organics Unbakery for lunch. I have been a fan of their macaroons for quite some time! They are delectable little treats made from raw cacao, coconut and vanilla, then sweetened with agave nectar and a hint of maple. The raw cacao delivers not only lots of antioxidants but also bliss chemicals!  I can certainly attest that after one of these macaroons you do indeed feel very happy.

At Little Bird everything is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, organic, raw, vegan and without any refined cane sugars.  So what they serve is both delicious & full of goodness. On our visit there I had the trio of tomatoes.  A tomato & hazelnut soup, an heirloom tomato salad & a stuffed tomato packed with herbs & mushrooms. Bright, fresh & full of flavour, not to mention pretty as a picture. Almost prettier was the sprouted bread with avocado & kraut.

The tomato soup was all creamy tomato, the salad bright & fresh & the stuffed tomato all herbal.  It really was a beautiful lunch, for the eyes & the tastebuds.  

And it did leave room for dessert.  We’d spotted a stunning looking tart in the cabinet, a berry tart to be precise & it was far to beautiful looking to resist.  A nut & date base filled with coconut, topped with a berry coulis & raspberries.  I am not sure I can even begin to tell you how good this was.  The base nutty & sweet, the filling creamy, luscious & coconuty & then the berries providing just the right amount of tart.  The best dessert I have had in quite some time...sublime is the word that comes to mind.

Little Bird Organics Unbakery
385 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland
8am - 2.30pm Tuesday - Friday
8am - 3pm Saturday
Closed: Sunday / Monday


I’d read about Ortolana, just opened at the Pavilions in Britomart.  It is a little oasis in the middle of the city centre. What really appealed was the garden-to-table dining.  The menu focuses on fresh produce sourced from their market garden & orchard out west in Kumeu.  It is open all day & we were their for breakfast on a sunny Friday morning.  

On offer juices, smoothies & frappes, which I have heard are a must try & certainly passion fruit & pear and watermelon & mint were both very appealing. Also on the menu iced teas & homemade sodas; passionfruit, cucumber & juniper, watermelon & lemon on offer, again all very tempting & I’ll definitely be trying on my next visit.  I went for my usual long black, a requisite to kick start every day.  It was strong & black just as it should be.

To eat, it was smoked mackerel that immediately caught my attention.  Back home in the mother country mackerel is widely available, but it is not something I see here in NZ.  It is an under rated little fish, but when fresh out the ocean it is just a delicious as trout, another one that is sadly a rarity here in NZ. At Ortolana it is house smoked & served with soft folded egg & sorrel.  The eggs were perfectly cooked & the mackerel smokey, but delicate.  

My breakfast buddy had the young romano, zucchini & herb omelette, bright & fresh & really the perfect start to a Friday morning.  Next it may have to be a frappe alongside warm garden greens, soft egg & heritage tomatoes unless I am back for lunch & then there are all sorts of temptations on offer; summer garden vegetables bagna cauda, pork hock rillettes, beetroot, cumin feta,& hazelnut lasagnotte & the lardo roasted potatoes would be a must.

The Pavilions
31 Tyler Street
027 230 4561
Open Monday - Sunday 7am - 11pm


  1. I have the Little Birds Unbakery on my list when I'm next in Auckland. Shame there is nothing in the offing for a while. These both look lovely though.

    1. Hopefully that changes....would love to catch up & a little lunch at Little Bird would be perfect :)

  2. These two are very popular currently and for good reason. Wish you hadn't mentioned the trout though - I do miss it!

    1. I know...I love trout. Actually prefer it to salmon. Checked out the Store last week too...it is also quite delicious :)


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