A new Pacific eatery is bringing a slice of Polynesian flair to Ponsonby in Auckland.
Lei Cafe is owned by Tongan siblings Saione Greer and Natasha Finau.
Finau says they wanted to bring the Pacific back to Ponsonby.
"Food for our whole family, it brings people together. It can be a celebration or a time of mourning but no matter what's happening, we don't have to speak, we can just enjoy the food."
Lei Cafe in Ponsonby. Photo/ Facebook.
The menu includes Fijian curry, raw fish, pani popo and other dishes with a Pacific twist.
"I've just put everything that I really liked on the menu. Pani popo has been selling like crazy," says Finau. "Not just for the island community but a lot of Europeans around the block. They're digging it. They're the ones asking for more coconut sauce."
Natasha Finau. Photo/ PRN.
The cafe opened its doors two weeks ago and Finau says people are loving it so far.
"I think they appreciate that we wanna bring Polynesian flavour back into Ponsonby."
It's taken the duo just over a year to launch their business.
"Financially it's been crazy but somehow God's continued to provide," says Finau. "We don't know how to do anything European or how to compete with all those other restaurants and cafes we just know how we would wanna welcome people into our home."
"We get to show people that we're proud to be Pacific."
Pani popo at the Lei Cafe. Photo/ Facebook.