Place: Once upon a time, hospitality's best kept secret lay behind a door at the intersection of Ponsonby and Richmond Road. With little to signpost the way, indie bar The Golden Dawn has now been discovered by most, but a new pocket of intrigue has recently appeared in its back garden in the form of The Street Food collective, a Diagon Alley of alternating food trucks and vendors. For two days each week it's home to muesli stall Blue Frog.
People: Scotty Baragwanath adopted the nickname 'frog' from a fairly young age, thanks to being naturally tall with long limbs. When he decided to leave his job as a high-profile research and development manager at one of the world's largest confectionary companies, he did so with the goal of bringing the tastiest muesli possible with the finest ingredients to market. He's given himself entirely to the project, including his nickname, prefaced by blue because "it's a bold, strong colour".
When Scotty is working hard in the commercial kitchen, family friend Sean Winterbottom fronts the stall, his natural charisma acting as a magnet to passersby, who can't help but stop for a sample.
On the menu: Blue Frog's core range of three flavoured mueslis are thoughtfully paired with seasonal fruit and coconut yoghurt comprising an uncomplicated menu. A series of blackboards proudly declare the breakfast options 'paleo', for the uninitiated this means your bowl of muesli contains no gluten, grain or dairy, and meets the requirements of this protein-focused diet trend.
As grain-free mueslis go, the Kaipara Kumara, a combination of nuts, seeds and the locally grown root vegetable with pure Canadian maple syrup (Noble Handcrafted) and spices, is totally satisfying. Sean heaps a large spoonful of Coyo coconut yoghurt on top, grates a fragrant sprinkling of lemon and serves. It's really filling, and the muesli tastes freshly made (probably as it's baked by hand in weekly batches), retaining that magical balance of crunch with the juicyness of well-roasted nuts.
The Dark Cacao muesli is served with citrus too, but in the form of handmade Blue Frog Zesty Orange Syrup, and fresh zest. The overall flavour is fairly similar to the Kapiara Kumara in this iteration; spicy, warming and rich. For an all-in-one breakfast kick, the Double Espresso bircher (served in layers between coconut yoghurt) showcases Blue Frog's batch-roasted South American coffee beans for a powerful start to the day.
The joy of the Street Food Collective is that you can choose a beverage to accompany your cereal from one of Blue Frog's fellow stall holders, enjoying Flight Coffee or a smoothie from The Beverage Sisters.
Go tomorrow: To take time out of the day to enjoy breakfast, it's Scotty's manifesto, to create cereal "worth waking up for". You can also enjoy Blue Frog without going anywhere, as it's now stocked in 20 retailers nationwide, not to mention overseas. Visit the website for further details.
On Fridays and Saturdays:
Street Food Collective
130 Ponsonby Road