Hola. Geez I have been a busy gal about town lately as have have been out for lunch and a dinner this week. Heaven, I’m in heaven. I was going to try one of the new restaurants up Cuba St (the Cuba Quarter as it’s now known as), but it was closed. A negative always turns into a positive, so we were excited about returning for my fourth visit to Matador, Cafe Asador (Argentine grill) and bar.
I love the decor as it’s really rustic with the New York tiles and posters up on the wall, with a bit of peeling paint. They have an open kitchen and booth seats which I really love also, and it gives it a kind of cosy diner feel. This place buzzes all day until late at night. It never fails to please. It’s so cool to hear Spanish spoken all around you, not only by the chefs but also the wait-staff, and they play groovy Latin music. You actually forget that you are in Wellington and could definitely be in Argentina (the ‘g’ pronounced as an ‘h’ if you speak Espanol). Staff are friendly and knowledgeable without being intrusive.
For brunch/lunch, try the Spanish omelette as it’s so good, as are the churros with chocolate sauce (or for dessert) with coffee, but you can also have a burrito, pancakes, eggs with lots of delicious and healthy sides. For dinner you can either share tapas (small plates made for sharing) and we tried the delicious chicken pinchos (skewers), flank steak with chimmichuri with some sides. Or they have meat (chicken, lamb, steak, ribs), seafood and vegetarian platters. You can have your own meal if you don’t like sharing.
Many people comment about this place and say it’s great if you’re a carnivore. Oh yes siree it is, however vegetarians are in foodie heaven just as much, and they cater for those who are GF (gluten-free). As for the veges, the roasted beetroot and watercress (the new superfood that’s taking over from kale) salad, was to die for, as was the cauliflower, red pepper, and pecorino bake. The food is also just perfect for those Paleo/Primal followers. I want to go back to try the Brussel sprouts as strangely enough, I’ve really gotten into them late in life much to my husband’s delight, and they’ve become really trendy. They are not only good for you but can be cooked in a variety of ways. Their coffee is great also as is the comprehensive wine list. You have to have a glass of Malbec, as this grape is getting such good press at the moment.
Hey I just realised that no-one seemed to notice that I, coincidentally, had my Argentinian cowhide handbag with me. Just saying.
We are so lucky to live in Wellington, as we can be transported to many different countries in a matter of minutes. We don’t need pop-up cafes like Auckland.
Gaucho hats off to you Matador. Good luck with the football team. Muchas gracias e hasta luego!