Review: The Blue Bird vegetarian café

I’m not sure why I suddenly seem to be publishing a food blog but I have a few tech articles up my sleeve which should get posted in the near future. But for now I have another review of one of my regular food haunts.

The Bluebird is a vegetarian and vegan cafe is locate in the Valley Road shops on Dominion road, across the road from the foodtown supermarket. It is own and run by the
New Zealand Sri Chinmoy Centre which is a group/church/whatever of followers of spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy .

The shop is on two levels, downstairs there is seating for around 20 and a counter at the back where you can order. Upstairs seating is about the same but includes a couple of couches and low tables. Normally you order and pay at the counter and the food is brought out.

The menu (also on the website) is completely vegetarian with about half of items being vegan. The standard item is a bowl which has a base of Baked potato, mashed potato, baked kumara or brown rice with one of about 8 toppings. This comes in 3 sizes ( $9, $12 and $15) and I’ve found that the medium size is more than enough for a main meal.

Mediaum size, beans, rice with cheese on top. $12
Medium size, mexican beans on rice with cheese on top. $12

The sample pictured is a medium size ( $12) meal. The base is rice, the topping is Mexican beans with sauce and there is cheese on top. The meal also comes with some bread.

A large meal pretty much fills the bowl to the top.

Drinks include water (free) and various phoenix soft drinks , juices and some  smoothies (although I keep forgetting to check if they do Soy smoothies).

Other mains includes a rotating array of salads, hot-pots, Lasagna, pies etc. These may or may not be available each day. Apart from the bowls which are always available you just have to see what is at the counter.

Sweets include the very nice apple crumble (which comes in a bowl) along with a couple of cakes and a small selection of slices at normal cafe prices.

There is the usual range of coffees (50cent Soy-milk surcharge) plus some herbal teas.


The general ambiance of the place is very quiet, music is quiet background (although a video on low volume showing Sri Chinmoy performing weight-lifting sometimes plays upstairs). The female staff are usually dressed in Saris and service is usually efficient and polite.

The opening hours are a little mixed. Mon/Tue: 10 am – 8 pm , Wed: 10 am – 3 pm, Thu/Fri: 10 am – 9 pm , Sat: 10 am – 2.30 pm , Sun: Closed. Plus they sometimes close for a week or two while they all go off to do whatever stuff Sri Chinmoy members do.

I’ve been going there for around 6 months and I quite like it (going around weekly these days). It seems to be quite popular (a little crowded on Friday nights at least) but the food is nice and quite good value for money (although it isn’t in the budget category) and I really like a nice quite place where I can just read my book over a meal.