Heather L. said: "Awesome cafe! Not only do they cook organic but all their meat and eggs are also free-range. Their food is delicious and obviously made with a lot of care. I recommend their rum sautéed French toast or their bacon and mozzarella…" read more »
I’ve eaten here a few times. I have to admit I was spellbound when I first saw it. So beautiful and awesome and such an amazing smell. First thing I had was the sausage and bread. Pretty straightforward, and nice. Can’t fault it.
I’ve since had the mixed meat plate twice. So disappointing. I may be wrong, but being a chef myself, I think I’m right. The problem with this place is the quality of the meat. The chicken is very similar to what you get from the frozen section or from KFC. The back bones still in place, like it was cut by a band saw. The beef was super tough and almost inedible. The lamb was probably the nicest. Apart from that none of it was very nice. Which is such a shame, they pay great attention to detail, seasoning the sliced meat, etc. Beautiful… however the quality of the meat just isn’t up to the same standard. I’d have the sausage and the lamb again probably, but definitely nothing else. I want you guys to do so much better, you’re 90% there to being legends, don’t use cheap meat.
We had a wonderful meal this evening , lovely service, absolutely delicious meats and a very good price – dinner for two at under $60 !! Can’t wait to return .
Loved the food! The customer service was great! Friendly staff! Loved the atmosphere! Would definately recommend this to anyone!
We headed a long for lunch on a busy hot Friday and were lucky to get a table..
The smell is rather welcoming and we waited very little time to be served our cold beers. Both steaks we ordered were cooked as requested and arrived hot and well seasoned. Our beers kept arriving at regular intervals and the service was good.
We will be heading back at somestage.
There should be an option for zero stars!
I must admit, my experiences at Ponsonby Central have not been awesome – dire, in fact and my experience last night was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Like others, we experienced a longer than usual wait to get served but it was busy so was somewhat understandable. It took 25mins for the entree to come and our main meals probably 15min after that. My friend and I shared the meat platter and like Jodie S, it was also served up to us slightly warmer than room temperature. You’re buying into the premise that the meat is come straight off the grill so when asked if everything was okay, I said in no uncertain terms it was cold. We honestly expected it to be thrown back on the grill but to their credit, they served us up a new one.
Had the troubles stopped there, they could have walked away with their reputation slightly tarnished but a place worth trying regardless. The second platter came out hot which was obviously what we were expecting – must admit I’m not sure if it was the finest cuts of meat, some of it was very salty – it just really didn’t taste like anything special, no real spice or marinade or seasoning. It was just okay.
Then we cut into the chicken. The thing with chicken obviously, it’s very easy to assume it’s cooked from the white flesh on top. The further we cut into it, the pinker it got until we discovered blood at the bone and it was severely undercooked.
Obviously in these instances when the restaurant is putting people’s health at risk, you have to say something. I took it to the chef and asked him if that’s how it’s intended to be cooked? Naturally, he apologised profusely.
And if only it that was the end of it. I made it clear that having first been served a cold plate of food then to have it served to me raw, that i didn’t feel I should be paying for that. The chef’s opinion was that they did us a great favour in serving us a whole new platter – as if I should be grateful to have been served raw chicken! I simply was not going to accept his rationale and he knew it, eventually agreeing to waiver this particular item from our bill. I saw him approach the lady who was about to serve my friends with the bill and utter something in her ear.
A satisfactory outcome. Or so I thought. We went to pay the bill, there was three of us and my two friends approached the counter first. Without presenting the receipt, the server verbally quoted a figure of $76 and we agreed to split the bill in thirds but to save the hassle we decided to put it on one card and split later. In the meantime, another gentlemen approached the server and another conversation took place as my friend presented her card and punched in her numbers without entirely realising the figure she was paying was different to what she had been told. With the transaction finalised, my friend was presented with the receipt of $106 with the $30 platter at the last second finding it’s way back on to the bill. I heard my friend question this and I had to leap in there and let them know that this was not on. And if you’ve been to this place, you know the counter is right on the corner of the bar with patrons down either side. Now she was towing the party line that they have served a new platter but as I had agreed with the owner than I wasn’t going to pay, this was not something I was going to let go. I don’t think phrases like “you served us raw chicken” at a BBQ restaurant go down well in front of others customers, so the gentlemen in the shadows who seemed to be pulling strings comes up the lady again, whispers something in the ear, then somewhat defeatedly, she withdraws $30 from the till.
So not only a lacklustre and almost dangerous gastronomic experience, it was bloodied by underhanded and arrogant service.
Do I recommend El Sizlling Chorizo? No. No, I do not. Approach with caution to say the least.
Went to dinner with friends and had a fine meal. The service was a little slow, but I can forgive as the restaurant hadn’t been open that long. Besides the waitress was eager enough so it wasn’t for lack of trying!! It was more than made up for by the food and wine at such reasonable prices!! We had the empanadas for entree; wonderful spicy filling and pastry, what’s not to like? My beef steak was thick and juicy, and the chimichurri raised it to another level. Washed down with a few glasses of malbec I enjoyed my dining experience
Took ages to get my food, wasn’t that busy – like half an hour. When it arrived looked great but was not hot only a little bit warm. Asked them if it was meant to be like that, apparently it’s meant to be hot! They offered to reheat it for me and chucked it back on the grill – with bits of salad stuck all over it – and ten minutes later I paid for my beer and left still hungry and sick of waiting for my still heating meat.
The aroma coming off this place is heavenly and for the most part the meats are delicious though inconsistent half the time. Service leaves a lot to be desired. We ordered the fries a couple of minutes after ordering the meats, and they arrived as we had finished our food.
And here’s the worst part: we ate in the outdoor area and were soon strangely joined by a few of the staff members (cook included) who decided to take their beer and cigarette breaks at our table. They crammed in beside us on the bench and proceeded to talk loudly and really disrespectfully for the entire time we sat there. I’m quite easy-going but this was by far the most inappropriate behavior I have ever witnessed by staff. Absolutely zero regard for paying customers, did not enjoy the experience at all. Won’t come back.
Get your act together people, this is a business.
I think a couple of the above reviews are written by the owners !
There is nothing wrong with the food but it is simply meat on a barbie.
Went here on a Wednesday night with two girlfriends and it was great. The place was buzzing, the staff were very friendly and the wine cheap and delicious. The food came quickly and the short ribs were tasty although a little fatty. For $17 though, I can’t complain and would definitely go back to try some more of the awesome food.
Had the chorizos and fries for lunch. These sausages have to be among the best I’ve ever had. Not cheap but definitely worth the money. Good place to visit with children as they can run around. Certainly planning to go there again.
Disappointing would summarise. Meat fatty and tough – bread and chips however were delicious. Staff very pleasant. Dogs, yes dogs everywhere – five in the immediate vicinity of our table waiting for scraps – found that pretty bizarre to say the least. Would not go back to Ponsonby Central.
A bit like an expensive barbie, beers were warm and food was expensive for what we received, on the other hand service and the wine was good. Probably would not go back.
I have eaten here twice now. Amazing grilled meats and delicious empanadas. The chorizo is succulent, combined with delicious chimmichurri sauce and for 10 bucks you get two of them plus salad and bread.
The sirloin is tender and grilled to your liking, nothing beats steak grilled over a real wood fired grill. The Malbec goes very well with the steak.
Amazing value for money, very friendly service. I’d recommend avoiding peak times if you are in a bigger group.
Delicious, authentic Argentinian food. Great to meet up with friends or have a lunch on the run. Love the atmosphere in this place, and nice to have a different type of ethnic food in the city.
I’ll be back!
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