Where the smokey flame grill warms your skin and the smooth Argentinean wine warms your soul.
Wood-fired BBQ style food is undoubtedly the latest trend to hit the country with multiple establishments serving up a cut-load of meaty dishes. So if you haven't yet filled your body with a range of slow-cooked smoky meats until you get a light sweat on the surface of your skin, you're missing out.
Lucky for you, nestled in Takapuna's latest dining precinct, Fortieth & Hurstmere, you'll find Colombian BBQ joint, El Humero, who serve up a selection of tender slow cooked meats from the multi-cultural South American country; using their authentic recipes and cooking methods to create smoky wood-fired flavours, in an atmosphere as charged as the food.
Upon walking in we were welcomed by a bubbly attendee; El Humero bursts with energy, from their open kitchen to loud Spanish music and bright colourful decor, even on a Monday night. We decide to perch ourselves on one the lower tables, with the options to sit on their private back area (although tonight it was occupied by a gaggle of teenage girls), or up at the long wrap around kitchen bench.
El Humero's offering is a mouthwatering selection of meats to sink your incisors into. Choose from chicken, short ribs and pork chops to Sirloin steak and pork belly, all which are marinated in a range of authentic Colombian ingredients. Then, either slow cooked for over four hours in a traditional woodfire oven or grilled in their open fire, allowing it to soak up the smoky flavours produced by the smouldering Manuka wood and charcoal. If you can't bring yourself to select just one meat, don't fret, grab yourself the Picada El Humero which is a selection of their best meats, where talking beef, morcilla, chorizo and pork, served with Cassava and salted potatoes for some vegetable substance.
After being explained the menu, we order the Pechuga Asada (chicken) and Lomo Ancho (Sirloin steak) each coming with your choice of a side and odd combination of sauces (yes, the lack of T-sauce was a huge concern for my dining date). To match, I had a glass of Septima Malbec from a very heavy-handed waiter, who must haven known how I deal with Mondays, and a tall lager for the man.
While waiting for our meal, the smokey flame grill warms our skin and the smooth Argentinean wine warms my soul. Definitely a place you could have a longer-than-usual dinner. The meats quickly arrive, oozing all over the boards which they were sitting upon, chargrilled and severed with a surprising side salad (goodbye scurvy). The steak is beautiful, thick cut and juicy, but if you want it cooked a little more than rare, mention it to your helpful waiter, which I'm sure they can accommodate you. The chicken had a delicious smokey flavour to it, butterfly cut and covered in delicious flavours. You know they focus on the meat, making it the hero of the dish as the sides for each had little to rave about.
El Humero is the new local go-to for some delicious meats, and at a lower price point than your usual dining spots over Auckland, it'll sure become a local North Shore meatery soon.