Fatima's is a Ponsonby institution (there's also a branch in Takapuna) serving up tasty Middle Eastern inspired food to generations of Aucklanders. It's held fast on Ponsonby Road for 24 years and is, among other things, Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters - favourite place to eat when in town. He even name checked Fatima's on stage - "Have you guys f***** eaten at Fatima's? We don't have that good shit back home. You should all eat it."
I remember coming here as a student (when students could afford to rent in Ponsonby) and, save for the stack of UberEats bags waiting to be collected on the counter, little has changed. The food's great, sauces are made from scratch, service is fast and friendly, there's ice cold water on tap and free mints.
Apparently Grohl likes to mix up his order, but mine rarely varies - a dish of potato kofta's ($6.90 - bite sized croquettes with sweet chilli aioli) and a lamb pita ($14.40 - unctuous spiced lamb, freshly carved from the spit, tabbouleh, red cabbage, lettuce and a good drizzle of both tomato relish and garlic sauce in a toasted, pressed-flat pita).
If lamb's not your thing there's also spiced nut, falafel or chicken pitas. Also popular is the slightly smaller chawarma (available in lamb, chicken and tofu) - either a pita or chawarma paired with a Persian Salad (cous cous, baby spinach, lettuce, marinated feta, roasted red capsicum, apricot salsa, mango chutney and a minted yoghurt and cucumber sauce with your choice of either chicken, spiced nuts, tofu or lamb, $16.90) is a meal from the Gods - and one you don't have to be a millionaire rock star to afford.
If it ain't broke don't fix it - Fatima's longevity is no mystery - no-fuss food packed with flavour.
240 Ponsonby Road
09 376 9303
11am-10pm, 7 days