Eating Abroad New Zealand

El Matador, Cuba Street

August 26, 2013

I used to live in an apartment on Cuba St, pretty much across the road from El Matador. For months we watched the weathered and much loved Munchen Burger transform into a slick, much hyped Argentinean grill, complete with deliberately rustic decor which is oh so chic right now. I always wonder how much people spend on those fit outs and whether there’s money hidden in the walls to jack up the cost?! Anyway, it clearly got people interested as it was, and still is, nearly always full…

My first trip to El Matador was during last year’s Wellington on a Plate. Within an hour I went from excited schoolgirl to disinterested cafe girl (you know the one, we’ve all had her make our hot chocolate). My steak was just ho hum, lacking the smokey grilled flavour I was expecting. I was so underwhelmed and disenchanted by restaurants who are too cool for bookings that it was almost a year later before my second visit. This time, El Matador delivered!

Now I look for any opportunity to pop in for some steak and tapas, so Wellington on a Plate was just the ticket. Balsamic mushrooms or sardines to start, both if you have a date who doesn’t mind sharing. Quick word of warning for young players… most sardine bones disintegrate, every now and then there’s one that doesn’t and instead decides to stick in your throat. No such issues with the steak and chimichurri- I could eat that fresh and tangy goodness all day. Then of course there were churros- perfectly custardy in the middle, crisp and sugary on the outside.

Over a week later I went back to give the burger a whirl… not too shabby but room for improvement (some more chimichurri perhaps…). I was left wondering how could they send out juicy steaks one minute, then dense patties, the next? At least the spuds were good so I’ll still give them the benefit of the doubt…

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El Matador on Urbanspoon

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  • Lennie L

    omg those churros look delicious…. apparently there is a churro truck that floats around dunedin- am yet to track it down!

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