Reviews for El Sizzling Chorizo
by Keith Davidson
18 days ago
Awesome food and service I live the barbecue cooking in front of use as we can chat with the cooks and crew. Food has a special flavour and hard to beat.
25 days ago
Again, cool vibes going on in Ponsonby Central. So ambience is clearly a win.
Overall, amazing meat but so-so service.
I came here once when it first opened and really enjoyed it. Second time round today after it is now well established and really busy and my First (or second now) impression is that the service wasn't friendly anymore. Didn't get the warm fuzzy feeling that we were welcomed.
Staff was cold and when we only orders entrees to share and drinks, it felt like they were not happy? But customer is king right? That is all we wanted to eat!
Food wise, good meat! Good chorizo and try the sweet bread which is actually another part of the cow. Really good and tender mm.
I've had the meat platter before (parridalla) and was very big and to me worth the value. Share it with someone so you don't feel too full.
Come early because it gets busy!!!:)
by Rod K
one month ago
Great value, Simple and fresh ingredeints. Nested in the modern and trendy Ponsonby Central with a warm atmosphere. Perfect plates for sharing. Similar meatyness to "Wild Fire" but with more soul and flavour (and much more affordable).
If you havn't been to "Ponsonby Central" look it up and go here! Highly recommended
one month ago
Parrillada's it was all round simply as I didn't want food envy. His was washed down with lager on tap which he enjoyed immensely, and mine washed down delicately with ginger beer. On our platter was 600 grams apparently of carnivore ie flank steak, lamb, pork belly and chicken. The charcoal flavours were just sublime, I could have eaten the chimichuri by itself it's so amazing. Every morsel devoured in silence - I on the other hand struggled with my lamb which was mainly fat and chewy ends then tackled my chewy flank steak...I gave up in the end and gifted it to Mr Carnivore who obliged gleefully. I enjoyed the chicken mostly and next time will go for sirlion or empanadas. Definitely we'll head back there now he has been smitten by the generously cooked to his liking overload of MEAT and it'll really be coz he loved it. Me personally I liked the dining experience more than my meal tonight but will try something else not so chewy and tough...Service was lovely and fast. Sitting and watching the chefs at work was a relaxing enjoyable part of our dining experience.
by David Catanach
one month ago
Meat lovers Nirvana. Marinated, wood smoked, succulent meaty goodness. Busy, packed, social, casual. Service can be a bit flaky, entree of sweetbreads finally arrived 20mins after we'd finished ours mains, but given the wonderful flavours and unique dining experience will definately be back for more.
one month ago
I had high expectations for El sizzling chorizo... Sad to say, these weren't met :-(
We didn't have to wait for a table which was awesome and the remaining tables were filled within 5 minutes of us being there so I'd say go earlier if you want to wait :p we ordered the orejano platter, the sirloin steak and a side of fries. I requested for the sirloin to be cooked medium.
Service wasn't up to scatch - we asked for water a couple of times and no one served us, despite at least 3 of them standing there free. We were also reseated twice to make space for others - which I understand is because it's busy but still doesn't make it any less annoying. All the staff members don't seem to smile and aren't very welcoming at all.
The platter was yum - the pork belly and the epanada were absolutely delicious!! The sirloin, was not medium. It was definitely closer to rare which I do not eat. Actually really disappointed. You would expect them at that price to be able to cook a steak how you like it.
I don't know if I'd go back, but if I did, poooooork belly.
by Rhenzelle Aiko Subala Emboido
one month ago
I'm too picky when it comes to steaks and or meat so my review may be a bit biased as I found this place average. However, I'd give a great rate for the staff and food presentation, seeing all the meat and the grills outside never fails to catch customer's eyes which is a great business idea I'd compliment this place for. I also think that this place can be a great go to place for casual first dates ( wink wink Uni students out there )
one month ago
This is such a nice different place! I had the platter and it was perfect to share between two. As always this place is super busy but I can see why!
by GideonMarisa MasterchefNz2015
one month ago
good selections of meats here , its a lovely concept and I almost wish they had the Bedford and Soda site instead as the smells and aromas that come from the place are just too good to be enclosed inside the mall! #g1
by Stacey Henderson
2 months ago
I know the nature of the restaurant is to be all about meat however I would have like more variety in terms of sides i.e salads. Service was OK, was a very busy night so staff weren't overly attentive but they did their best. The pesto rub on my steak was delicious!
2 months ago
I have seen El Sizzling Chorizo mentioned by other Ponsonby Central lover for quite sometimes, so I thought, why not give it a go?
I sat down, and immediately was prompted by the waiter with her warming smile.
I ordered the Chorizo for Entree, follow by The Savannah Sirloins (medium rare) and a glass of Red Malbec to wash it down.
The Chorizo was nicely grilled, served whole with pesto on the side, mesclun salad with almonds topping, accompanied by a piece of flat bread
The Savannah Sirloins was brilliantly grilled, very flavourful, the fat was nicely trimmed back. This was served with pesto dressed on top of the cut on the side was mesclun salad.
Overall I had a very satisfying meal and I would definitely be back
by Paige Eriwata
2 months ago
I've been here a few times and love the selection of meats, they're well seasoned and the accompanying salads are a nice match. Unfortunately I found their flat bread very dry and service has again let them down, we waited an hour and a half to be served a fairly basic meal and the staff were rude when we ordered drinks and requested water - a bit of a shame considering the vibe is social and location is central.
by Jessica Teasdale
2 months ago
This is such a cool place! Love how they cook the food right in front of you. I had the sirloin which was pretty good, I like my meat quite rare though and found this a bit too cooked for my liking! The biggest downfall was it was quite bland and didn't have enough seasoning/ flavour. I would come here again though as it was an enjoyable experience!
by Patriz Dumlao
2 months ago
My husband and I went here tonight to celebrate our first month of marriage. We arrived a little before 6:00pm and found that there are still some bar seats in front of the kitchen so we decided to sit there so we can watch the chef.
We ordered empanada, savannah sirloin, pork belly & BBQ deep fried potatoes w/ dijon mustard. The empanada was REALLY good! It was crispy on the outside but so moist on the inside. The flavours were also nice. We also loved the savannah sirloin as it was cooked perfectly. The serving was generous and it really goes well with the chimichurri. The pork belly was okay. The flavours were there but we found the slices too thin. The BBQ deep fried potatoes were also nice. We enjoyed the dijon mustard that came with it.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience. If you are a meatlover this is definitely a place that you should visit.
by Grace N Latoa
2 months ago
Meat, meat and more meat. Walk-ins only, no bookings - small restaurant. We got here at 6pm on a Monday (6) and could only get seats around the bar (these seats are the most uncomfortable ever). They only have 2 large tables for big groups, 2x2 seaters next to windows and rest around bar. Excellent food & service.
by Zoe Huang
3 months ago
It's a very small restaurant. Too bad, they dont take reservation. So you better go early, otherwise need to wait for long time. I like their BBQ meat very much, especially beef and pork. Average 30 per person.
by Maye Elle
3 months ago
One word to describe this place is FLAVOUR !!!!
The food here is so delicious! And if you're a lover of meat you definitely need to get their meat in your mouth! AYYYYY sorry I just had to haha.
Back to the topic of importance.. I got the sirloin steak and it was goooood. I normally don't finish my steak as I always find that even if it's medium rare my mouth gets tired from the chewing but this was totally fine for me and I liked the little salad of mesclun on the side. Two others got the pork belly which oh my lord it rocked my world. If there's one thing I recommend it's definitely the pork belly <3 OMNOMMNOM
The service is good we decided to wait for them since the space is quite limited. The manager was very lovely and he seemed to really care about people making it into the restaurant. That spacing is also their downfall since it is rather crammed and leaves groups with a tight fit but the food is rather worth it I would say.
Currently awaiting the day that I will go back to try their other entrees and tick through the menu (:
by A Tale Of Two Tummies
3 months ago
Big tummy: As an avid meat lover, it was only a matter of time before we discovered this little gem. And what a discovery it is. Hidden at the back of Ponsonby Road, El Sizzling Chorizo is a treasure trove of delicious Argentinean barbecued meats perfect for satisfying those craving a decent feed.
The service was great, as we were met promptly by a friendly waitress, who assured us that it would only be a short wait for a table (the place was pleasantly bustling). A gold star for recommending that they take our order while we waited, so we wouldn't have to wait as long for our food once seated.
The meal itself exceeded our expectations in every way. Expertly cooked, perfectly seasoned and generously portioned, the food was exactly what you want from a steak house or meat grill. Delicious food that doesn't break the bank and doesn't leave you needing to stop at McDs on the way home.
Little tummy: As a relatively small eater, the Orejano platter provided a perfect sample of what the place had to offer. Often overlooked at a meat grill, credit must be given to El Sizzling Chorizo's salad. Their salad was sublime and complimented the heavy meats perfectly, making it easy to eat for those who aren't really used to eating so much meat. The only negative aspect I could note would be the bread roll, which came across as a bit bland sitting along with such delicious food. But other than that ESC's was a meat grill of the highest caliber.
by Shannon Toetoe
3 months ago
I like the atmosphere , the food was 50/50 I liked it but didn't love it . The staff seemed like they had a million things going on in their heads they were forgetful but kind . Other than that was OK ;)
by Kirsty Cardy
3 months ago
What a great addition to Ponsonby Central.
Dining or not, I love walking past the open BBQ kitchen watching, and smelling, enormous slabs of meat being grilled in preparation for the days patrons.
When I do sit down for a meal, I can't go past the Parrillada - a sample of 4 different meats. Mainly because they're all so good I can't decide which to have!
The Dijon Mustard dip on the BBQ deep fried potatoes bring this side up a level too. Very open with limited seating, get in quick to make sure you can sit near the BBQ. Dinner and a show!
by Mila B
3 months ago
Vibrant fun and hearty! This place is great for those of you who are big meat eaters like myself! The charcoal bbq meat gives it a sensational smoky flavour and the portions are great!
I went to dinner with my boyfriend here and it absolutely bustling that night! It was crowded and full so I was expecting the food to be match its reputation. I was not disappointed :-)
However because it was so full it was a bit of a hassle to get the menu and get our orders taken by the waitress
by Priyanka Victor
3 months ago
Wow. This place simply blew me away! My friend and i came here because we heard a lot of great reviews about this place and oh my, it definitely matched if not surpassed our high expectations! Sure its a bit crowded so its perfect for a small group or a couple but honestly, the food they serve over compensates for the tiny space they have. We ordered the deep fried BBQ potatoes with dijon mustard, sirloin and pork belly. Some of the best dishes I have ever had. They serve the meat with this lovely side sauce that just bursts with flavor! The portion of meat was actually quite substantial for what you're paying which isn't a common thing to say. And to top off the meal..the bill. For all the amount of food/good quality meat we had, our bill came down to $50 so $25 pp which was mind blowing. I have never been this truly satisfied with a meal before so i will defs be returning! Overall, you MUST come here!
by Tyrone Malie
3 months ago
It was yummy came with a cousin. Would come again and order more as we pretended to be full but had somewhere else to go. It is worth visiting. I like a bit of burn meat with a juicy flow with it. The greens are delicious too, it really compliments the meat.
Will visit again!
by Candii Cao
3 months ago
A little gem, meat cooked over charcoal and open fire. Friendly staff who are happy to explain the menu. The only thing is get there early to make sure you get a seat.
by Rachel Cullen
3 months ago
Just recommended by a friend saying we can get a lot of nice food here..we drop by and give it a try..meat lover..I'm sure you gonna love what you get here..they are not dry at all although you can see the chef cooking at long time..it is very juicy and tender..love it love it love it..must try must try must try..
3 months ago
Amazing as always, staff are extreemly kind, and the food is amazing. I love the charming set up and the use of manuka wood to smoke / cook the food. You can smell this place before you see it and it is amazing! Do your self a favour and experiance this place for a healthy, filling and tastey meal!
by Ricky Jack
3 months ago
Great dining experience! Meat was cooked to perfection. I had the meat sampler.
The waiter seemed new or flustered by the lunch rush. He was fast paced and seem to just be "doing the job". It wasn't a huge negative, I just feel that if your dining establishment is experiential, the experience should be end to end.
by Tinaz Soorty
3 months ago
The atmosphere was great and service was lovely. Loved sitting at the bar to be able to see their unique style of cooking. But the food wasn't as great as I had heard.
by Nina Susilo
4 months ago
I've been here several times. My favorite is the savanah sirloin steak and pork belly steak. I always enjoy the fries as well. But, for the orejano platter which contains flank steak, pork belly, quesadillas, n barbeque potato, I found the flank was quite tough.
by Stephen Garrett
4 months ago
Yes, so lovely bbq, I am a meat lover and found this is the good place to come, the meat are well cooked with full flavors will definitely coming back and recommend to friends.
by Bri DiMattina
4 months ago
Stopped in here late afternoon / early evening having not eaten lunch (which is now my recommended state for arriving here!!) There was a liveliness about it watching the coals being moved and the barbecuing in action..
I am going to make the point now - this is for carnivores and BBQ lovers - they write on their placemats and I am going to quote "A barbecue (or asado) is not only about 'eating meat' but more of a cult of enjoying a nice conversation with friends, drinking a good 'red' to only then savour the delicious meat that has been grilled patiently over the slow burning coals." This Argentinian culture is not that far removed from the iconic kiwi culture of the BBQ - who knew!!!
The food was perfectly bbq'd - check the photos (carnivores only) and you will see the slight charr but you won't see the smokey flavour that has permeated perfectly through the meat.
4 months ago
We loved every moment dining here. The atmosphere was great. We sat outside dined in for dinner. The food was sooooo delicious, juicey and great portions. All meat lovers will love this place. We loved it and will be back for sure!!
4 months ago
Although I'm not a meat person, I quite enjoy the food offerings from El Sizzling Chorizo. Their meat is juicy, tender, and full of flavour. Their chorizo is amazing too. There are two huge tables outside good for big groups. Love the small table inside, by the window.
by Las Akurugoda
4 months ago
If you want to have meat then this is the place to go. No point of ringing up and trying to book tables . Rock up, give your details and go grab a beer until you get called..
by Leni Ropiha
4 months ago
Love coming here with my meat eater boyfriend! I know this is meat heven but their vegetarian dish Grilled Provolone Cheese is sooooo good too! (shoot me!) Always really busy but the staff are super accommodating and genuinely make an effort to make sure you get a seat .
by David F
4 months ago
MEEEEAAAAT ain't no complaints here if your a proper carnivore then you better check this joint out ...Andale!!!. Decent sized meal bro succulent juicy meats. Oh yeah 😎🍖🍗 I'm coming back dude. And the staff real friendly 👌
by Stifany Anwar
4 months ago
Have a meat platter that had beautiful taste and flavor! Meat so tender with the sauce that balance up the flavor. Very recommended for meat lovers!😉☺️
by Jess Pendergrast
4 months ago
Are you a meat lover? If you are then definitely check out El Sizzling Chorizo.
We got the empanadas ($10) to share as a starter and they were crisp and super tasty.
For the mains we ordered the Parrillada ($32.50) between the two of us and this has a chicken thigh, pork belly, short ribs and steak served with mesculin and chimicurri. The meat is so well cooked and full of flavour.
There is sometimes a wait to be served as the restaurant isn't very big and is very popular but if you can wait 10-15 minutes then you won't be disappointed once your food arrives. The food is simple but it’s full of flavours and you definitely leave feeling satisfied. Check it out if you want to be in meat heaven.
by Juan M. Chavarría
5 months ago
Thanks for your answer, but I was not expecting one, actually I am just a honest man making a honest review of what happened to me at your place, nothing more than that. I still think you are honest people trying to give good experiences, never said the opposite; just that, for me, on Satuday, your place was a very bad experience. And is even worse to read your answer minimizing, asumming and making up things. Don´t try to create confusion. Let’s go to the facts: -Yes the chorizo was burnt-Yes someone took the order after 2 staff members refused to take it. -Yes someone explained the situation on the third call (when he took the order), before that, we didn´t understand and just got twice the “move out of the table” that your extremely polite staff said to us. -Yes it was rude the way they asked us to move out of the table. -Yes it was not rude the third staff member when he explained the situation. -Yes we were very angry when the third member explained (but didn´t apologise).-Yes after probably a half an hour more someone apologised.-Yes I exaggerated, it was exactly $72. Good to know is very common in your place.-No you are not recognising your error, instead are blaming the customers.-No we were not rude with your staff, just were angry because our birthday celebration turned into a very bad experience.-No I am not playing up, my experience was one of the worst, if not the worst, in a New Zealand restaurant.Nothing is stopping you to try to fix your mistakes, except, maybe, arrogance.
by Food Lover
5 months ago
Every mouthful was delightful. The food here is amazing and there's nothing like it in Auckland.
Although we had to wait 40 min to be seated but worth the wait.
Watching them cooking the meat was very entertaining too :)
5 months ago
Have been told by many of my well traveled friends that Argentina is a country that takes there meat very seriously so when the opportunity came to visit an Argentine restaurant I could not pass it up, however when the meal arrived it was was seems to be a pice of steak no bigger than the average lamb chop with a handful of salad? Where's the beef? Did not live up to my expectations jow ever the meat was well cooked and very tasty, and with little or few seats available it wouldn't be a place for large groups to dine at, As well as Ponsonbys famous lack of parking Wilson's charging almost as much as the meal as usual,
by Shane Philiips
5 months ago
EL SIZZLING CHORIZO , if your hungry for meat , lots of meat this is the place to go . Cooked over hot coals from Manuka wood cheaper cuts of meat such as flank are mouth watering . The platters with a side of Potatoes and bread are more than enough for two .$40 excluding wine will get two a good meal.
by Marcella Djongianto
6 months ago
I was in meat heaven tonight. Loved how well cooked all the meat were! After a long 45 minute wait, we were finally seated, but boy was it worth it!
We ordered the Parrillada to share between the two of us which had the chicken thigh, pork belly, short ribs and steak served with some salad and chimichurri. And ohmygosh, not only the meat were perfectly cooked the chimichurri was just so divine. Perfect accompaniment to the meat. I could eat bucketfuls of those! Perfect balance of sour, salty and spices. The only let down was the pork belly which was a little bit too well done for my liking, but I think that's how the Argentinians like their meat.
We also got the empanadas tonight which were crisp and golden with some tasty filling. Couldnt really fault it. The salads could probably have a little more zing and freshness to it to cut through the meat but was fine nonetheless. I can't believe how full we were from just these two dishes.
If the wait time was faster and the dining area a little less squishy, it would've been a much better experience. But overall, a really tasty meal. Definitely coming back in the future!
6 months ago
This is a meat lovers paradise. Had a business lunch there today. Ordered the big $37 something platter. Can't say the name so wrote the cost lol. Loads of mean n a piece of bread!!! . Not sure if that was needed. Now the meat is delicious. Especially the pork. But it was a bit hard n tough. Took some effort to go through it. And the salad greens could do with some sort of dressing that cuts through the meaty flavours. My biggest complain is with the seating arrangements. It's fun to sit right in front of meat n watch the chef work his magic. But the seats are extremely uncomfortable. We were 3 guys all over 6ft and all 3 struggled to be comfy. It kind of left me exhausted. But over-all it's an good experience for meat lovers.
by Daniel Power
6 months ago
Heard many good things about this Argentinian meat lovers haven. The food was nice, but not amazing. Ordered the Orejano Platter for $37, perhaps this was a mistake. The well done flank steak was tough, pork belly quite dry and the bread very tough. The chorizo, empanada and barbecued potatoes were really good though. Portion was nice and sizeable, enough to fill a man sized appetite just right (although, at $37 I wouldn't expect any less). Would like to go back again to try the short ribs and chicken thighs.
6 months ago
A real experience as someone who loves everything BBQ I enjoyed waited at the bar watch a pleather of meats grilled over coals
The charred delicious meats that came out were awesome , make sure you get something that includes there bread , as this was something special . Great meal would go again
by Aniva Huang
6 months ago
I came where with my boyfriend for a date night.
What I loved the most about this place is even though barbecues are highly associated with meat but this place also offers vegetarian sets.
I loved their salad dressing!! I have no idea what it is but it's amazing!
by Peifen Chua
6 months ago
Great place to come when you are feeling for some good meat . They serve in generous portions and I was very satisfied after my meal. Service was great too. Place is a little small so we did have to put our name down and wait a little. But we were called up not long after so it was not a hassle at all. Great ambience, great meal, not short of a good time . I'll definitely be back many more times after this experience.
by Fowl Mouth
6 months ago
Been here a handful of times, mostly when I'm after a protein fix. Always end up getting one platter to myself with a side of chips. Love the taste of the Argentinian BBQ and the one time I didn't order the platter, I must commend them on cooking my steak to a perfect Medium Rare - very succulent which made it more enjoyable to eat. Great little addition to Ponsonby Central.
by Anna Voyce
6 months ago
Amazing - food is fresh, scrumptious and timely. We'll be back bringing friends with us next time to experience this....too good not to share with others.xx
by Stephen Galt
7 months ago
What a place!! Amazing argentine barbeque. I had the meat platter which was fantastic. Bbq lamb , crisp pork belly, steak and chicken thigh. Seated right by the barbeque and watched the chefs at work. Wine list is brilliant! Only downside was the 15% surcharge for public holiday
by Farshid Hakimi
7 months ago
Great food .They just cook in front of you.
If you love meat.that is a place to be.
They only have meat meat meat .
Oh I get crazy.
Friendly customer service. Amazing food.
by Miss Kiki
7 months ago
My husband and I dined here quite early on Tuesday night.
The service was very good from the start, we were immediately acknowledged and greeted. We went with the $37 plate which had flank steak, chorizo, empanada, pork belly, bread and potatoes.
Everything was delicious, my favourite aspects was the flank steak, pork belly and bread.
I really enjoy sitting by the bar watching them prep the food and how they bbq all the meats. I think it will be very nice once the weather is a bit cooler and sitting by the fire. Very nice casual atmosphere. I will definitely be back.
by Life As A Mutt
7 months ago
El Sizzling Chorizo is another notable eatery, within the slightly pompous Ponsonby Central. Its claim to fame are mouth watering barbecued meats, with an Argentinian flavour. Vegetarians beware, this is your worst nightmare.
The menu is delightfully simple; chorizo, short ribs, chicken thighs and other well recognised meats are on the menu, as well as empanadas and a small choice of sides. If you've the stomach for it, I suggest the orejano platter or the parrillada, which feature a selection of meats that come in at over 600 grams each. Either makes for a sumptuous meal, and utterly captures the essence of El Sizzling Chorizo.
With such a concise, meat centric, menu the pressure is on to provide excellent quality despite its simplicity. El Sizzling Chorizo rises to the challenge. The chorizo, made by the owner Corra, are some of the best sausages you'll find in Auckland. The short ribs have a slightly gelatinous quality to them, delivering indulgent mouthfuls. The chicken thigh is tender, with sheets of crispy skin, good enough to tempt you to theft if your dining partner has some.
The empanadas are the best I've tried in New Zealand. Dipped in beef tallow, their shell has a satisfying crunch to it. Even the bread stands out: with its chewy, salty, slightly burned goodness.
The wine list, mostly Argentinian red, is also worth a mention. The Septimo Obra Malbec is incredibly fragrant and is the perfect accompaniment to a hearty evening meal at El Sizzling Chorizo.
The simplicity of El Sizzling Chorizo, belies the level of quality and thought afforded to the menu. The meats are sumptuous, making it one of the premier carnivorous restaurants in Auckland.
7 months ago
My friends and I decided to come in for a spontaneous lunch. Having so many choices of restaurants, but we decided to pick this one because of its dainty and down to earth decor. The choices on the menu were abundant enough for us to pick our options of meat, and I went ahead to choose the Pork belly. My other friends decided to have the chicken, sirloin and short ribs. The aroma from the kitchen was overwhelmingly good and it gave us a hint that the food was going to be great, having smelt that marvellous. The wait time was not too bad, but do know if you want to eat here, leave ample time to enjoy the atmosphere and the food.
The pork belly was good, but the skin was a little bit tough. The salad was made to perfection and I am impressed that they took effort to make the salad taste good, whereas in some other restaurants, they leave the salad dull and only concentrate on the main. I would say this was an incredibly good lunch I had, and was one of the best restaurants I've been to.
Will definitely come back again soon! I recommend this to all my friends and has become one of my favourites.
by Vitale Eti
7 months ago
If you like the taste of meat cooked over naked flames, this place is for you, I had the platter, full of protein, Chicken, Steak and Pork. Awesome feast, place is very busy, Recomend this place for your protien fix.
by Oliver Samin
7 months ago
We went there for my wife's birthday dinner. The place was full but we managed to get an outside table to share. No reservation needed but the place gets full quickly. The service was good and we had our orders taken within 5 to 10 minutes of us getting seated. We had grilled chicken breasts, sirloin steak, grilled provolone cheese empanadas and chorizos, of course. Well seasoned meats, perfectly cooked, good serving portions - all in all a good experience. Didn't seem to mind the 15% surcharge because of the Easter holiday.
8 months ago
My partner and I are big meat eaters so this place was heaven. No complaints about the food. There's a huge selection of meats and cuts. They are seasoned well and don't require much to do apart from digging in. It's not too expensive either. We did find the wait slightly discouraging but we were lucky to get a seat in 30mins. They serve quickly so seats are vacated relatively quickly too.
Food: 4.8/5 (could do with a bit more greens on the side to cut the richness of the meat)
Atmosphere: 3/5 (really packed all the time and really hot)
Value for money: 4.8/5 (we had enough takeaways to make 4 sandwiches the next day)
8 months ago
A must visit for meat lovers! Their orejano platter is great and offers a lot of variety as does their parrillada platter. These are great to try if you want a mix of the different meats. Be warned they are super filling! We shared two dishes between three people and still couldn't finish. The staff are fantastic, friendly and helpful. Definitely recommend a visit if your out in ponsonby
by Javier Yebenes
8 months ago
Fantastic food and great atmosphere. If you go there for dinner you have to be patient and know in advance that your orders will take at least 30 minutes to be delivered, but the wait is worth it. The meats are great and the service is friendly most of the times.
by Daiana Cordoba
8 months ago
Really nice place, definitely popular...make sure you go there early otherwise you will need to wait, taht's for sure. I had the parrillada which you can share, but if you do you will need and entree like an empanada. I am an argentinian so meat is a big deal for me and it needs to be well done, at this place I can say it was perfectly cooked. I am not gicing them a 5.0 just because the lamb they gave us was definitely a bit old and I could tell it had been on the BBQ for a while, wasn't bad tho
9 months ago
Love the place a carnivore's dream come true. Place was packed but worth the wait. A worthwhile dining experience. I recommended to friends already. Will definitely be back.
9 months ago
One of my absolute favourite places in Ponsonby!
The sirlion steak is delicious and always cooked to perfection! It is what I always order each time. I have also tried the savannah sirlion, the parrillada, chicken thighs, and the BBQ deep fried potatoes with Dijon mustard. All are amazing and a must try.
9 months ago
El Sizzling Chorizo is where your wildest carnivorous desires come to life. Boasting succulent aromas and a no-nonsense meat menu, we opted for the savannah sirloin and pork belly. That steak was heavenly. BBQed on the rarer side of medium rare, it was subtlety smoky, immaculately seasoned and oiled, with the chimichurri a nice finish to the high quality meat. The pork belly was good though not as desirable as the former, while the mesclun a tad overdressed. We had the perfect seats watching the Spanish-speaking Argentinian chef duo (love the authenticsm) literally play with fire to cook the cuts, while we convivially chatted to them in intermittent English. Pricing is reasonable with generous mains ranging $20-30 though I feel they should get more comfortable stools.
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by Trin C
10 months ago
Finally came here after many recommendations from friends. This place is so tiny so me and my friends were super lucky to get a table. It's so hard to find a table here! But their food is soo good! Definitely worth the wait!
My fave dish of the night was the empanadas! What's not to love?!
by Johnine @ HaloHaloAtbp
10 months ago
Order the Parrillada (which I believe comes from the word 'parilla' meaning 'grill' in Spanish) if you're here for the first time. The serving is huge and satisfied two empty stomachs. It comes with chicken, pork, beef, lamb, mesclun salad, and chimichurri. I'd say these are probably the best well done pieces of meat I've tasted. Not sure if you can request the doneness of your meat but I heard the Argentinians love their meat well done. My fiancé liked the lamb the most, I liked the pork best.
Tip: You can ask for a refill of the chimichurri. (We loved it and asked 3x!)
I'm definitely going back as I found it good value for money with the attentive and friendly staff, and great atmosphere (will probably sit at the bar next time).
by Natasha Furness
11 months ago
Awesome venue and the sharing platter is seriously reasonable for 2 people and so tasty. Great service and atmosphere too!! Flank steak was brilliant & highly recommend empanadas
by Sabrina Zhou
11 months ago
Went there in a Friday night with hubby. My recommendation is to book a table if you are going there after 7.30. The restaurant is getting busy after that. Excellent service. If you are sitting close to the counter and kitchen, you could actually see how ur orders done. Very tasty and juicy meat. But not sure if they are kids friendly though.
by Audric Kam
11 months ago
Although the seating was not sufficient enough for demand (which could actually be regarded as a good thing), the venue and the resulting ambiance was still quite accommodating.
In addition, the food was great; and will be especially for those that love meat.
11 months ago
Meat, meat and more meat. Most of the meat was great. Some over-cooked, although I like my meat fairly rare. Not sure I would be rushing back.
11 months ago
Been here at El Sizzling Chorizo twice and have always enjoyed their food! The place is always packed with people, I guess because they have a really good reputation when it comes to grills. They have all sorts but my favorite is the grilled steak and their delicious chorizo.
The empanada is very nice too. It has got perfect crust with soft and juicy meat filling. I would recommend that you try the Orejano Platter because it has everything that you'd want to eat at El Sizzling Chorizo.
I'm looking forward to try their grilled chicken next time.
Nov 21, 2014
I have been to el sizzling chorizo a couple of times but I've only ordered the short ribs. The ribs were cooked perfectly! They seem to use good quality meat and the dish comes with a side salad.
The staff are friendly and it's great watching your food being cooked in front of you.
Tip: Get there early. It's a small place and tables aren't book able. When we left at 6.20 there was already a line forming.
by Alex James
Nov 12, 2014
Excellent value - meat platter (forget what it's called on the menu) fills you to the brim. Like the service also - though it's not a restaurant obviously. Maybe could do with a couple more sides on the menu? Broccoli for example? Maybe its not traditional. Find myself going for my meat fix once every couple of weeks. Delicious!
by Kiwi Foodie
Nov 04, 2014
This little Argentinian BBQ was packed to the brim on a Saturday night – we were told that the wait time was going to be an hour! Fortunately we weren’t too hungry yet, so we took a nice stroll around Ponsonby while waiting. True to their word, we were called in exactly an hour, and seated at the bar shortly after. Just behind the bar, we could see various cuts of meat sizzling on the grill and a good coal fire going, emitting a tantalizing smoky aroma.
Having been warned about the huge portions of meat here, we ordered one entree and one parrillada platter to share (“Good call!” says the bf later, as we struggled to finish the platter). Our entree of chorizo with bread and mesclun ($12) was good – the chorizo was perhaps a bit more fatty than what I was used to, but still very tasty, and the homemade (pita?) bread was delicious, freshly toasted on the grill.
The parrillada platter ($30) on the other hand was a bit of a mixed bag – the steak was excellent and juicy (I’ve read complaints about it being overdone, but in our particular case it was medium rare), as was the short ribs. The chicken was okay, pretty much what you would expect from grilled chicken (I’m not really a fan). On the other hand some parts of the lamb were quite dry and powdery, and the pork belly’s crackling was hard instead of crispy. The chimchurri sauce that accompanied the platter goes perfectly with all the meat and was so good we just had to ask for a refill.
All in all, still a great experience. There’s just a certain appeal in watching your meat grilled in front of you, and the flavours are amazing – a slight smoky taste to the meat and excellent sauce. You get a lot of meat for a very reasonable price, so it’s an excellent place to indulge in meat cravings. The staff was also friendly, helpful, and efficient, despite it being a very busy night. The only reason I might think twice about coming back is the wait – an hour is a very long time, and they don’t appear to take reservations.
by Portia Ross
Sep 14, 2014
Meat overload. There big meat platter is great to share and the guys were really friendly talking to us the whole time. Only let down is the limited space so expect a wait during the busy periods with a bigger group of people. Great value for money
Sep 03, 2014
Amazing charcoal cooked meat right in front of your eyes. The portions are very generous, with the Orejano platter being enough for 3 females. On this occasion, had the Orejano platter and the meat platter and this was plenty for 3 adults, two of us being heavy meat eaters. The service is always lovely, and you always leave smelling of bbq meat
by Rebecca Smith
Sep 03, 2014
This was my first visit to El Sizzling Chorizo, but definitely not the last. I went with a large group of Argentinians who all swore that El Sizzling Chorizo was the real deal when it came to Argentinian BBQ. We arrived at 8pm on Tuesday but they were full so we had a drink at Bedford Soda while we waited for about 45 minutes There wasn't much variety in the ordering as most of got the Parrillada which is a mix of the different meats, to share between two. The smells coming out of the kitchen were fantastic and it was interesting to watch the meat cooking over the coals. Parrillada is served on a wooden board with a side salad and chimichurri. There was two types of pork belly, chicken thighs, sirloin and short ribs. I was warned in the car ride that Argentinians cook meat well-done, not medium-rare as is standard in New Zealand however the meat was cooked to perfection. While it was well done, it wasn't tough or chewy at all. For $30 it was a lot of meat, too much for my partner and I to finish so we took the rest home for lunch today. I will definitely be going back to El Sizzling Chorizo, it was well worth the wait.
Apologies for the poor quality of the photo, I was too excited to taste it.
by Georgie @ Georgieats
Sep 03, 2014
What I love about El Sizzling Chorizo is there is no other place in Auckland like it. It was a great to experience a real Argentinian meal - BBQ style! I had never tried food like this, so was really looking forward to it. My older sister and I had a late lunch here one Sunday afternoon. There was only one other small group in the restaurant - I think we had just missed the lunch rush! We shared the Empanadas ($12) with mesclun and the Chorizo sausages ($12) also served with mesclun. These two dishes are both starters; however they were nice satisfying small meals. The Empanadas had the most delicious fillings inside (juicy beef and onions) and the pastry was cooked well. However, the Chorizo sausages were the stand out dish. Perfectly cooked and served with homemade bread straight out of the oven - yummy! For drinks, they have a small wine and beer list and non-alcoholic drinks too - Antipodes water and Phoenix drinks. We love the ginger beer flavour from the Phoenix drinks range! I love that the restaurant is quite compact - if you are sitting inside, you can watch the chefs preparing the Argentinian BBQ right in front of you. It is an exciting experience and I recommend coming here! Next time, I will definitely try a main meal, possibly the 'Short Ribs' ($20) or the 'Orejano Platter' ($35) looks delicious too! If you are ever in Ponsonby Central, make sure you walk past El Sizzling Chorizo. Even if you do not go in, the smell and sights are heavenly!
by Miss Nawms
Jul 17, 2014
It was our first time visiting this Argentinian eatery, and it was a very disappointing and angry experience.
Got there at around 8pm, lucky to be able to find two seats at the corner by the bar table. However, the kitchen lost our orders and we ended up waiting for almost an hour for the the food to arrive (Short Ribs, Pork Belly, and the deep-fried potatoes).
The worst thing was, while we were waiting, one of the younger chefs with short black hair was standing right in front of us, busy chatting with the two customers sitting next to us. And without saying, their orders came before us even though they arrived after us. Moreover, we also noticed orders from other tables that arrived after us had received their food straight away. The kitchen was even starting to prepare takeaways from those who were unable to get a table.
I fully understand how busy a restaurant can get, let alone dinner time. But the utterly poor service and lack of acknowledgment from the front kitchen was absolutely disappointing.
It shouldn’t be hard for any of the chefs, who had been standing in front of us the whole time, to give us a little attention by at least asking if we are ok. There was zero eye contact between us and the staff at the front kitchen even when we were attempting to talk to them. Which led us to think that they didn’t seem to realise or care about our noticeably long wait with no food except a glass of lukewarm cider.
It was just very unprofessional.
I have been to many eateries with an open kitchen, but never had I felt so disrespected by the staffs who are just wandering around us within 50 centimetres!!
Seeing as we were the only people sitting there awkwardly waiting for our food to come, I was very shocked about the poor quality of the staffs.
Our wait eventually ended with a waitress giving us a smile, in which we found out they actually didn’t take our orders at all. After we talked to her about it, she immediately took our orders again and all the food came within 2 minutes literally.
I want to strongly point out that it was pretty obvious the chef completely ignored us. And instead of serving the dish to us (as it seemed to be one of his duties in the past hour), he made the waitress do it for him and continued talking to the new customers who sat next to us. He gave a very, very bad impression on the restaurant as a whole – it is to a point where the taste of the food doesn’t even matter due to the terrible service that was given to us.
We received a $20 voucher by another waitress because of this, but I really don’t think I will ever go back again.
by Pol's Pot
Jul 10, 2014
Really good flavours in the meats. Not the most tender of cuts but hey, I'd take taste over texture any day. Nice to be able to sit and watch the bbq chef in action - quite a skill. Also nice to be kept warm by the wood burning bbq fire. Breads, fried potatoes and a entree of chorizo also hit the mark.
by Fain Feasts
Jul 05, 2014
Happened upon an empty table outside at El Sizzling on a busy Saturday night in Ponsonby Central which is a rare occasion. The Argentinian BBQ is definitely worth the hype! We had the pork belly and the chicken thighs, both of which came with a size of delicious green salad and chimicurri. The pork belly was absolutely divine and the crackling was to die for. The chicken thighs were nice and tender but pork belly was definitely the star of the night. We shared a starter of empanadas that were well seasoned and the pastry was done very well. Also had a side of the nice crunchy potatoes that were a lovely accompaniment but definitely not needed - portion sizes are big enough as is! Would definitely go back!
Jun 29, 2014
Got here just before 2pm on a Sunday with a friend. Got a counter seats in the corner, which is not ideal because it's next to the till. Why would you have the till there anyway when there's people sitting in front?
We ordered the entree empanadas and the parrillada mixed grill to share. The latter came with steak, chicken, pork belly, and short ribs (listed in order of preferences).
The empanads were also excellent. Not sure how they can get that juicy beef and onion inside the pastry and it doesn't go soggy. The steak was definitely a stand out - people seem to not like how they cook it too well-done in previous reviews, but this one was about medium or a little bit over, and since it's a good quality meat it was still very tender. The chicken was also chargrilled well, tender yet crispy. The pork belly is not too bad but the crackling was too chewy for my liking. The short ribs was a bit of a let down, it kinda looked like it has been chewed on, so made me think we got a bad cut, and some parts tasted really bad (that mushy meat you sometimes get). Both of the dishes also comes with mesclun on the side and the meat comes with a chimichurri which I really liked. Yeah the sauce is oily and the salad well-dressed, but you wouldn't really come here if you were looking for healthy food, and I hate it when I get a undressed salad!
I was still a bit hungry after that, as I guess the parrillada is for one person, but that seemed like a lot for lunch.
The service could be a better, the servers are generally friendly but they don't really scan the room and I have to try to catch someone's eye to get my water filled even tho they were right in front of me. The BBQ pit was fun to watch, but yeah I was blocked by the till, and actually they do a slow coal burning, so it's not like a fiery flame type of BBQ.
Very yummy, high quality meat, a bit pricy but you get what you pay for, I highly recommend this place for a good meat fix.
by Mrs. Passionfruit
Jun 21, 2014
I came to El Sizzling Chorizo with a high hope, hungry and famished on a Saturday lunchtime. The eatery is as usual busy, so we waited around 15 minutes for a table, which is okay in my standard. I wasn't happy by the fact that we waited for around 30 minutes for our meal, maybe because I was already very very hungry! We ordered pork belly and sirloin with a side of bread and deep fried BBQ potatoes with mustard sauce, and the chorizo platter.
The meal was okay. It was delicious, yes, but there were some key points that were
missing. I've ordered medium sirloin to get it slightly on the tough side; I reckon it was medium-well on the verge of being well done! It was still tasty, but the texture's not as I wanted it to be. By this time I was already so hungry I couldn't be bothered asking for a replacement. The pork belly was a bit chewy, even though it tasted yum as well. The sides were brilliant; their homemade bread is certainly the star and the deep fried BBQ potato matches well with their (I'm guessing homemade) sweet mustard sauce. Two thumbs up for their chimicurri sauce, it was delicious and to die for! Their chorizo is very very tasty; plump, juicy and full of flavor.
I love how their kitchen is very interesting, you get to see the chefs preparing the Argentinian BBQ in front of you. It can get a bit noisy because it's packed most of the time, and be prepared to wait on busy hours because they don't have enough space.
by Vanessa Katsoolis
Jun 11, 2014
I have only ever had one other steak in the world that came close to being as good as the one I had at El Sizzling Chorizo. The meal I had there was one of the best I've ever had. Ever.
I made an account with menu mania just to review this place. We ordered the steak with the potatoes and mustard sauce as well as bread. The steak comes with a little green side salad with dressing. The flavours of the salad and potatoes alone was so amazing that I forgot about the steak and when I finally tried the steak... I actually moaned.
I don't usually write reviews but this place was great, the staff were really cool and the whole experience was neat.
The bill at the end was surprisingly low, I would have happily paid double.
Absolutely check this place out.
Jun 08, 2014
Love Love Love this place !!! The food is always sooo yumm and the service is great!! Small hidden GEM!
by Amy @ My Dining Journey
Jun 03, 2014
In attempts to try everything in Ponsonby Central, my dining pals and I made our way to El Sizzling Chorizo for 'afternoon tea' (aka early dinner) at around 4:30PM and the place was already filling up with customers. With limited seating in this Argentinian eatery, we took one of the two long tables outside which was warm and cozy under a big heater. Being the meat lovers that we are, all except one of us ordered the Savannah sirloin cooked to medium rare while she enjoyed the oregano platter which we all managed to try a bit of.
The quality and portion of the steak is superb. For the price of $25, we were served with a 300 gram steak with a side of salad. However, all our steaks were overcooked and this was tremendously disappointing. Instead of medium rare, the steaks were more like medium to medium well. But because they use good quality steak, it was still a good texture rather than an unchewable mess. The grilled steaks came with a green oily chimichurri sauce which was made of garlic, herbs and vinegar.
We ordered a side of fabulous deep-fried potato which was served with a cream Dijon mustard. It had a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior, the mustard made this side a very hearty accompaniment to the steak
Being a BBQ joint, my dining pals and I expected more but it was a pleasant meal overall. I can only recommend this place for meat eaters as they only have one option that does not consist of meat and that is their grilled provolone cheese. It's not a place that you can mingle for long because of the demands for tables but there are several other options around the area where you can stop by after dinner for dessert and coffee.
Like this review? Please check out my blog - http://mydiningjourney.wordpress.com
Jun 01, 2014
It was one of those afternoon where a group of friends and I couldn't decide on what to eat (this was on the 1st of May) and we ended up in Ponsonby. Which lead us to El Sizzling Chorizo. Reason being the chef cooking the meat openly for everyone to see and the fact that I was with 3 other males that love meat. So we decided to settle for some Argentinian food :)
Prices is a tad steep for some students that are studying, but for a good hearty lunch/dinner that is high on protein, definitely a good place of choice. Main meals are on a average of $20 (but refer to photos that I uploaded for the prices :)). They serve the food on wooden boards, which was cute. The staff were awesome to us, making jokes and was inviting. The sitting is like a bar style, with stools that are bolted to the ground. The meat was cooked thoroughly, good balance of flavour, not too much salt, but enough and heaps of sauce, all served with salad. By the end of that, we were all tired and full to the point we just wanted to knock out from our food coma haha.
Overall, this place was awesome to go with the lads, since they all loved their meat, the price is reasonable. Staff is friendly to us, good experience from this eatery in stuffing out bellies full :)
by Lisa Edgar
May 27, 2014
If you are looking for a delicious high protein meal, look no further, El Sizzling Chorizo is the place to go. I love coming here for a big lunch and always enjoy the lovely service and gourmet Argentinian BBQ meat that's smokey and juicy.
I like ordering the Parrillada which is a selection different meats. In the past I've had a combination of steak, chicken, lamb and short ribs. It's a smart way to try a bit of everything. I think the short ribs is my overall favourite, tender and packed with flavour but with a nice chew.
The signature chimichurri defines this place. You can really taste the garlic and parsley coming though. The oily chimichurri is just divine on the chargrilled meat mmmmm.....
May 24, 2014
Had a platter to share $30 600g of mixed meat including lamb, beef, chicken and mouth watering pork belly.
Good value, good service and fixed my bbq deprive during winter.
May 10, 2014
Great steak! Although sitting across from the fire was a bit hot. Chips were great too! If the seating was a bit better this would be perfect.
by Chris Baldock
May 06, 2014
This is a good spot for a meat-fest and a beer with the lads.
Came here with my best mate on a Saturday arvo while the ladies were sipping over-priced cocktails somewhere else in the ever trendy Ponsonby Central.
We tried a variety of meat cuts - pork, beef, chicken and lamb - all deliciously cooked over the coals in true Argentinian style. The meats are served simply with only a tasty chimichurri sauce. The protein injection miraculously cured my hangover and put me in good spirits for the rest of the day.
The service is a bit cold, but this restaurant certainly is not (especially if you're seated directly opposite the BBQ as we were).
by Louise Cole
Apr 25, 2014
Called in randomly for lunch yesterday. Wow, what a find. The service was fantastic, with the menu being fully explained to us. We sat up at the bar and really enjoyed watching the BBQ. The meat was wonderful and smoky, melt in the mouth food. A carnivores dream. The potatoes were a highlight, flash fried after being boiled over the hot coals with a to die for mustard sauce and the bread, cooked over hot coals straight from dough was very good. We will be back.
by Angela Lina
Apr 15, 2014
Food was top-notch, enjoyed it thoroughly especially for meat, the pork belly was great but some of the items we could not distinguish from the other. Perhaps it was just our tastebuds but some of it tasted the same.
Service was good considering we were sitting at the bar.
Wine was simple but affordable.
Unfortunately it was quite hot sitting in front of the fire but that can't be helped. Also unfortunate for many other diners who were waiting for a table as the restaurant is quite small especially not able to cater for a massive crowd during an event. To be fair, I liked the smaller size of the place because it seemed more intimate .
Apr 10, 2014
First time to eat here, my 2 Brazilian friends with us recommended it to me and my partner. Great atmosphere, service and food. We got the PARRILLADA
(a taste of different meats), chorizo and fries. Fries were really crispy,hot and delicious. Meat was really good, my favorite was the lamb. My only criticism would be the salad being a tad too oily and the meat being a tad too salty. Otherwise a great place to go back to.
by Hung Dong Long
Apr 03, 2014
Great concept and full of promise but.... The food is just terrible. Chewy overcooked meats. Nothing like the quality found in a real Parrilla. Highlight of the night was the chips. What does that tell you?
by Sam Page
Mar 28, 2014
Had an awesome time here, would highly recommend to anyone who loves meat, barbeque and a tasty meal. Definitely try their house made choritzo and the mixed platter.
An awesome place for a casual date or a work social evening.
Feb 27, 2014
It's a vibrant place for bbq cravings. The menu is simple which can feed 2 persons. Affordable prices. Friendly and accomodating staffs. Organic drinks available. Good seating. Great for casual meet ups for small to big groups. Tasty, well seasoned meats with a generous size of salad greens. Recommendable.
by Loved By Katie
Jan 24, 2014
We had an mixed platter with pork belly, beef, chicken and lamb which was only $30! I don't usually like lamb but this was pretty nice. Beef was a bit too chewy, pork was average. Chicken was nice though, the char-grilled taste came through which was amazing. We ordered an extra bread but it looked like it was baked sometime ago - wasn't soft or chewy, just a but solid...
I liked how they present all these on a wooden tray instead of a dish. It looked fancy and interesting. However there were a bit much oil on the wooden dish which I tried to avoid by using just a corner of my tray... I guess I like to have meats at a fine dining rather than place like this but my friend really enjoyed here.
Please visit ♥ http://lovedbykatie.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/el-sizzling-chorizo.html for more photos and stories.
by Craig Housley
Jan 17, 2014
Good food and great service. The meat platter is good value, even better if you share it between two people. Busy place, even on a Tuesday night which is a good sign.
by Os Shabbot
Nov 21, 2013
Yum Yum Yum! Best food I have had in a while. Fully satisfied. Good portion! OOOOH LAWD!
Only suckie part was the wait for a table :( But other than that! A PLUS!
by Rick V
Nov 13, 2013
We've been several time and enjoy everything, but favourite has to be PARRILLADA - can't be faulted
by Maree Mcwha
Oct 11, 2013
Had lunch here with family from Christchurch. Top notch service and the food was superb!!!
I am not usually a red meat eater but found it all cooked to perfection and so delicious!!
Definitely going to visit again!!
by Tim Warren
Oct 09, 2013
Lets be clear, the review is 3 stars split between 4.5 stars for the food, and 2 stars for service.
This is a delicious Argentinian BBQ, and authentic as I am told by the people I've eaten there with who have spent time in Argentina.
If big meat is your thing then come here and watch the spectacle of the giant BBQ with piles of meat charging away.
I loved the pork the most with its smoky crackling. The short rib is great, and the other meats are also excellent. The chicken is a little take it or leave it but still good. The sauce is an excellent compliment and salad is fresh.
By the way, ignore the people who say the meat is tough. There is a variety of cuts served, and as most people know, many of the tastiest cuts are not the tenderest.
No no, the food here is great. Service is what lets this place down. I've been there twice. The first time I was mostly ignored and had to ask for service several times after waiting at the counter for 10 minutes. The woman who I assume is the owner told me I just had to wait. There were no other diners there at that time...
The second time I went, I was waiting for a friend who took 20 minutes to arrive. This time the same woman told me I had to leave if my didn't arrive very shortly! There was no one else seated at the bar and there were plenty of spare seats. I told here that was no way to treat diners and she just argued with me, telling me "this is the way we do things".
My goodness, what a way to ruin an experience. Ill come back, but I won't want to see that same woman. The other staff seem really nice, but this person has been to the Joseph Stalin school of hospitality.
by Meagan Barclay
Sep 03, 2013
We've been here a couple of times and love the simplicity of the meals and the friendly relaxed staff! The chargrilled bbq meat is delicious, especially the the prime rib and their bread (dipped in the chimichurri sauce) is an excellent accompaniment. This is likely to be one of our regulars ...
by Luke Andrews
Aug 08, 2013
Love love love this place. Been here 5-6 times really enjoy the BBQ meat nice and salty well cooked just what an Argy BBQ is supposed to be about, washed down with good beer. Ever noticed how much good food makes good beer taste better!!!
Jul 25, 2013
El Sizzling Chorizo
In the recently established Ponsonby Central is an Argentinian Barbeque restaurant. This has been one of the more popular establishments in Ponsonby Central and it has a certain obvious appeal. Meats cooked on the grill, with rustic flavours imbued with smoke. It seems like the sort of food that will be popular with a lot of people and fortunately for them it is.
The restaurant itself is small with a bar and stools facing the grill, a couple tables inside and two outside. It is simple and as lacking in pretension as a place can be in Ponsonby Central, which is perhaps not all that much, but it is clear the focus will be on the rustic food presented. The service is fine, although no reservations are possible and you must stand around and wait for a table.
The question is however have we finally gotten good South American cuisine, at an affordable price? The prices are not expensive, but are not cheap either. A sirloin steak will run you $25 for 300g, which is a big steak and not bad on price. Even better is 400g of Ribs for $19. A tasting plate is $30. An Entrée of chorizo is $10. Grilled bread is $3 I think and the most expensive side is the grilled potatoes with a mustard sauce, at $7. Given it is Ponsonby road, I think the prices are pretty reasonable, especially given the quantity.
All this however counts for little, if the food is no good. There are some real positives. Firstly meat that is basically hot smoked, is delicious. The subtle flavouring of smoke, with meat is an almost unbeatable combination. While I have little experience with Argentinian food, southern barbeque, is a wonder to behold. Meat permeated with smoke, falling of the bone with strong heady flavours makes the mouth water. In this respect the flavouring of meat from the smoke is delicious and gives some nice subtlety.
The food is simple and formulaic however. It is universally a protein served with the same side salad and sauce. I have no problem with this per se, it is fine that the restaurant is singular in its approach, but it will need to do that thing very well, if there is no real selection. I was fortunate enough to try all but two of the items on the menu, some several times. So I will give a quick rundown.
Sweetbreads – As I have mentioned previously I like sweetbreads a lot. This dish is simple, sweetbreads, grilled on the barbeque, served with chimichurri and side salad. This was probably my favourite dish. The smoke adds a really nice complexity to the sweetbreads themselves, they really benefit I find from the addition of other flavours. Secondly because this was cooked to order, it was actually quite well cooked. They had a nice colour and were delicious. The sauce was perhaps slightly overpowering for them, but it was good regardless. I will discuss the salad later.
Chorizo – This was served with grilled bread and the ubiquitous salad. I found the chorizo over seasoned and so salty. This was probably particularly apparent, because most of the other food was under salted. It was strong in flavour and was texturally acceptable sausage with plenty of fat. I would hazard that they were under coloured however on the grill. The sausage as a whole uninteresting, lacking an really subtlety. The grilled bread was a good idea, but was not wonderfully executed. It is a flat bread cooked right on the grill. However they were made a little too thick and so were not quite as cooked through as I would have liked. We had three breads in total of which I tried a piece of all off. Some were better cooked than others and the thickness was inconsistent. Those made at proper thickness, I found a nice accompaniment.
Empanadas - These are a kind of pastry, similar to a samosa, where a meat filling is encompassed by pastry. These were pretty good and the meat filling was well flavoured and balanced and while the shell wasn’t amazing, it was not a significant detriment, either.
The main attraction however of the place is the barbequed meat. This was really where the restaurant is to make or break.
Skirt Steak – Out of all the meats, this was the most reliably cooked, which is a good thing, because badly cooked skirt steak is really tough and unappetizing. The skirt steak was cooked medium rare with a healthy colour on the outside. I love skirt steak, is really well flavoured, even if a bit chewy. However two of the biggest weaknesses that I found with El Sizzling Chorizo, were evident in this dish. Firstly it was poorly seasoned. The salt had obviously been applied not thoroughly enough and not far enough in advance, so it lacked penetration through the meat. Secondly the quality of meat, was just not that good. For the price I can understand this, perhaps, but there just was no flavour in the skirt steak and this was very disappointing, given this is the whole point of skirt steak.
Chicken Thigh – The chicken thigh revealed the last and probably most critical problem with the meat and this inconsistency of cooking. On one occasion my chicken thigh was over cooked, dry and completely cooked through it offered little culinary value. On another occasion it was cooked medium rare, fortunately I have no problem with medium rare chicken, but I suspect most people would. All were under salted and lacking in flavour.
Pork Belly – This at least was salted thoroughly, however inconsistency was again a big let down. On one occasion, the belly was falling apart, unctuous and delicious, in fact I wished you could have just ordered pork belly. The second time however it was under cooked. This made the pork belly tough, which is unforgivable. Why did they not just serve something else on the plate? I cannot fathom, how the chef, would have seen clearly it was undercooked and chosen to slice a bit off and serve it anyway. It seems contemptuous of the customer, to serve such food.
Lamb – They slow roast lamb shoulder. This was probably the most consistent, other than the skirt steak. It was tender and falling off the bone. It had obviously been cooked a long time as some of the bit on the underside of the forequarter were dry and crispy, which was actually nice. In general though the lamb least interesting in terms of its combination with smoke, I think the beef and pork submitted most readily to its charms.
Short ribs – The beef short ribs, was the best of the lot. They were consistently cooked both times they were ordered. While annoyingly under salted, they were still moist and delicious on both occasions. I also think they match the sauce really well. Lastly they were the cheapest main, at $19, so I think they are well worth trying, if you are going.
Beef Short ribs
The chimichurri – The sauce that accompanies all the dishes is the same, it is a mixture of herbs, garlic and spices in oil. It is a good rustic sauce to accompany grilled meats and so I think this pairs nicely. The thing is that I do not think it works as well for chicken as I do for beef for example. I wonder if more detail could be paid to such pairings.
The salad – The same salad also comes with every plate. To be honest it is not very good. The greens are almost too obviously just supermarket bag mesculin. The dressing was overpowering and in general, it adds nothing other than a bit of green to the plate. I would happily not have had it and I love vegetables, but I see little point in serving greens with no flavour.
El Sizzling Chorizo delivers on two things people like. That is lots of meat and strong flavours. There is a time in my life when this would have been sufficient. I can see why it is popular, smoke in particular is a delicious flavour. However no amount of smoke or mirrors, can cover up the real failings of the restaurant. Even ignoring the chronic under salting and inconsistency of cooking, the meat itself, that fundamental underlying element, is just not that good. For the money, perhaps I am being to picky, but chicken for example is just flavourless, which I guess is hidden somewhat by the smokey flavour and the strong sauce, but the fundamentals are not there. Add to that the inconsistency of cooking, the lack of salt and the general technical problems and I think it is fatal to the restaurant, no matter, how much novelty value it has. Frankly El Sizzling Chorizo is ripe for the picking from competition, but it has no competition, in Auckland and so I think it can get away with serving, what is actually not good food. I perhaps am being overly harsh, but it is merely the expression of my frustration at the lack of attention to detail, when it seems without a lot more effort, we could have much nicer food. Real greens in the salad, slightly better meat (especially chicken), not serving underdone pork belly, and more commitment to the cooking process. The greatest difficulty I guess is that most of the food is not made to order. It is cooked and has to sit around waiting for people to order it. This inevitably leads to some inconsistency, but surely it is not an insurmountable hurdle and surely the staff can choose whether to serve something that is obviously under or overcooked. Underwhelmed, if you have to go, sweetbreads, empanadas and short ribs are the way to go.
Reposted from http://foodtrace.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/el-sizzling-chorizo/
by Marie Corcoran
Jul 18, 2013
We visited this restaurant on a Sat evening. We were out to celebrate a friends birthday, and were having a meal before we headed to the Blues game. We brought a cake to have after dinner, which the waitress kindly offered to put in the fridge for us. Within a minute the manager came out and said he would have to charge us a fee to eat the cake at the restaurant because they sell food and we would be sitting longer if had the cake. We said no worries. He wanted $20 to allow us to cut the cake. We decided to have the cake at home because that seemed a bit steep.
The starters were very tasty, had choriza sausages and empaladas. The sausages were definitely the highlight.
The mains were a major disappointment. Went for the mixed meat platter. The lamb was ok, but the beef was so chewy and very bad quality. I don't think that anybody was able to eat the pork belly. We got a side of ribs, which didn't look appetising at all, and tasted as bad as they looked. The sides of potatoes tasted like they had been deep fried and were super greasy.
The starters are definitely the best part of this restaurant. The bread that is served is also very tasty.
Will definitely not be returning to this place or recommending it to anyone.
by Aleks Lazic
May 14, 2013
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.
by Olivia Campbell
May 08, 2013
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 .
by Tia-Marie Netto
May 08, 2013
Loved the food! The customer service was great! Friendly staff! Loved the atmosphere! Would definately recommend this to anyone!
by David Boshier
Apr 25, 2013
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.
by Jarl Devine
Mar 23, 2013
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.
Mar 15, 2013
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
by Atenita Noel
Mar 02, 2013
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.
Jan 31, 2013
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.
by Mirco Merazzi
Jan 04, 2013
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.
by Caroline Harper
Dec 22, 2012
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.
by Isaac James Railey
Dec 13, 2012
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.
by Phil Steele
Dec 09, 2012
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.
by Natalie Huggard
Dec 07, 2012
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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