El Matador – Cafe, Asador Grill & Bar
Wellington City 04 381 2999
Cuisine Magazine just reviewed El Matador, and gave us…Announced 7 months ago
- Mon – Fri 4pm – late
- Sat & Sun 9am – late
- Business Dining
- Live Music
- Out Catering
- Private Functions
- Private Parties
- Romantic Dining
- Wedding Functions
- Breakfast Meetings
- Payment Types: EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Diners
- Price Range: Moderate, $15 - $25
- Dress Code: Casual
- Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails
- BYO/Corkage: No BYO
- Parking: Free On-Street, Pay & Display
- Takes Reservations: No
- Dietary Restrictions: Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Soy-free
- Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
- Outdoor Seating: Yes
- Meals: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert
El Matador is a vibrant ‘old world’ Buenos Aires style eatery and bar offering quality cuisine and beverages with an Argentine/Spanish twist. Featuring NZ’s first wood-fired asador and parrilla, an open kitchen, boutique bar, sunny courtyard, superb service and a great vibe, El Matador is the perfect place for a relaxed dinner. Also enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, tapas, and delicious desserts made by the award-winning pastry chef. Open 7 days.
32 Reviews for El Matador – Cafe, Asador Grill & Bar
One of El Matador – Cafe, Asador Grill & Bar's Favourite Reviews What's This?
El Matador did not disappoint. Everything was amazing. We are country people who know a lot about what to do with unusual cuts of meat, so we were very impressed with the beef shin. The mixed platter for two, along with plenty of sides, fed all four of us handsomely. The broad beans and the patatas bravas were especially good. I would also recommend the flan and the churros for dessert. Our waiters were knowledgeable and charming.
El Matador was also good value for money. Our meal and drinks for four cost around $200.
As we had a bit of a wait we checked to see if we could sit anywhere and have drinks/nibbles to while the time away, and yes we were told we could go down the back near the bar. However, the bar area was packed, with some hardy souls sitting outside in the courtyard. We stood for approximately 20 mins before some stools were freed up. However, the service at the bar was poor, with no recognition from the bar staff until another 20 mins had passed (my cocktail was delicious though). No-one offered to take our order for tapas while we waited. We finally got our table and ordered quickly, as we were hungry by this point. We had the Fugazza first up, which was delicious and eaten quickly! We then ordered the steak plate, along with 3 tapas as sides – patatas bravas, grilled mushrooms, and the beetroot. Everything was delicious. Three girls ate all the steak that was put in front of us!
Two of us then had the pancakes for dessert, which were smaller than anticipated but a good size for us – having just eaten all that steak… The ice-cream was a nice accompaniment.
The wait staff were attentive once we had sat at our table, and one waiter in particular was happy and friendly.
I will be back, but will arrive a little earlier next time.
We were sitting outside, my husband had a really nice view of the rubbish bins … ! The steak was great but nothing amazing. And asking you credit card to open a table is weird. Arrived early, didn’t have my credit card so couldn’t get a glass of wine while waiting for my husband. Really inappropriate.
The tapas was served nice and promptly and the mains came after we’d had a good chance to chat and digest and not too quickly. The charcoal taste of the chorizo and beef was superb. While they preferred to serve the beef rare they were happy to cook it a bit more for one of the party who’s pregnant.
Will definitely come back here.
Firstly, we were greeted by a very rude waitress, even trying to get her attention while she was punching numbers into the till seemed a mission. That was OK, they were pretty busy and had a group of 20 or so down the back.
When it came to ordering, most of the table ordered the Eggs Benedict, a favourite amongst my family. I ordered the vege breakfast with a side of smoked salmon (wanting a slightly bigger meal). The waitress who took our order was quite hostile, there may have been a language barrier or something of the like, but we seemed to be causing her great inconvenience by our menu inquiries, she made us feel very uncomfortable. My family ordered some coffees, I ordered an OJ.
My mothers flat white was appalling – terrible art on top, no care taken, it was a cappuccino, not a flat white and I’m afraid the coffee, when I tasted it, was over roasted/burnt/carbony… And I don’t think this was all the baristas fault, I’ve never actually had a good Havana coffee.
Our meals took some time to arrive, this was OK though, we’re reasonable folk and appreciated that they were busy and happily accepted the apologies from the wait staff when they did arrive, however, our meals were very disappointing.
Of all the 4 Benedict’s that were consumed, the eggs on all were over cooked, hard inside. My additional side of salmon, of which I paid $6 for, was a slither no bigger than my thumb and my sister, who had ordered the Benedict, didn’t get the smoked salmon, but was instead salmon gravlax, which frankly has no place on an eggs benedict plate IMO. When my sister asked the waitress about the salmon, she was greeted, not with an apology rather an excuse as to how they’d run out. This may seem trivial, but my sister went here because ofMore the benedict.
$135 for 5 people – fairly reasonable price I thought, but not when the food and service were so bad. I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t ever go back, bad experiences happen sure, but it’s all about the recovery, which other than a gradual apology, lacked somewhat.
Very friendly good service and very unique menu. Their Argentinian tapas menu are excellent-especially grilled provolone!
I’d love to go back for proper dinner sometime.
Meat was extremely tender and while it was seasoned very well; though due to the large portion size, it did get a bit bland after a few bites. (I think our order was missing chimichurri?)
We were looking forward more Argentinean music to match the setting, rather than a top-40 play-list, and it was a bit of a cringe having to Anglicize the Spanish on the menu so the kiwi wait staff could understand
But these are minor points for what I hope will be a great additional to the Wellington restaurant scene!
would love for them to offer choripan!!
Defs worth your 45bucks for two people!
The chicken, oh the chicken was so tender and the lamb was pretty amazing, melt in your mouth kinda amazing.
They kinda need to work on the steak pieces but other than that, it was pretty good.
Ordered some delicious items of the menu (both tapas and mains). Must admit the serving sizes were way to small for the price we paid. (it was a couple of mouthfuls) – unsure whethere the serving sizes have changed or not.
Must say its not the same as the parrilla that you get in south america, but close to it.
you can easily spend a lot of $$ without knowing..
I did feel that I was being pushed out the resturant after we had our mains….
We didn’t have a booking, but were told it would be about 45 minutes. Left our name, went for a drink , and 45 minutes later we actually had a table – great when what they tell you is actually correct.
Good wine list being an Argentinian place you have to go for the Malbec.
The Paridilla (meat platter) was pretty good. A mix of flank steak, beef short-rib, sweetbreads, Lamb, sausage, lamb, black pudding and chicken for 2 (with a very mild chimchurri). The meat could have done with some more seasoning/salt, and the chimcurri was not as flavoursome as some I have had. The main took quite a while to come out – almost an hour I think, but the atmosphere was so nice that this was fine.
We are carnivorous in the extreme, but could not finish it.
Nice tapas, grilled provolone, and some great broad beans with bacon and cream, and lovely grilled asparagus (something so simple can be great).
Overall a great night if you like meat (and who doesn’t?). Great wine and beer list, good menu, great atmosphere. Recommended.
Our drinks and entrees came quickly and although the food wasn’t that great it was agreeable. The main was a different story; we waited nearly an hour and had to ask more than once if it was coming soon. Mine arrived and was not what I ordered so I went to check and the waitress had taken it down wrong. The chef did offer to change to what I’d asked for but after the already long wait I chose to stick with what I’d got. Unfortunately this was not to my taste, although my friend really enjoyed her dish. My friend then chose to order a desert and ordered churros and hot chocolate which she thought would come together but had to wait at least 20 minutes between the drink and the churros coming out. She did thoroughly enjoy it though when it finally did arrive – again after asking for it!
I had heard mixed reviews from this restaurant and was very much looking forward to trying it but unfortunately I do not think I will be returning and would probably not recommend it.
They also need to do something about that door…..
We arrived about 6pm on a Friday night to have a drink and tapas. We took a table in the window but when we told the waitress there was just two of us we were told quite abruptly that we couldn’t sit there, we asked to sit at another table across the room (which was set for two) and were told we couldn’t sit there either (in case a group of 4 came in and they needed to push the tables together). So were seated at a table in the draught of the door which was really cold. The door doesn’t shut properly so I had to keep getting up to shut it.
Had a nice glass of red and then went to order some empanadas but were told we couldn’t order them because they were reserved for Wellington on a Plate customers…I know restaurants reserve tables but reserved food is a new one!
A couple were seated at the table for two that we wanted which didn’t impress me. But the nice table for four in the window remained empty for a time even though the restaurant filled up…until David Burton (Dom Post food reviewer) was seated there with his companion…yes a table for two!
By this stage I was cold (from the draught), hungry (from lack of empanadas) and fuming (from the double standards). We had a word to the manager who offered some waffly story about a table for 4 changing their reservation just after we came in which is why we couldn’t sit there….uh huh…
You get one chance at a good impression. We won’t be going back.