Asado chargrill burger joint opens in Auckland
When there’s a new eatery in town, I’m always on hand to check it out! I love the meld of international cuisines in New Zealand, and I particularly like it when the food feels and tastes authentic.
So of course, I was interested to discover that Alex Isik, the restaurateur behind Nazar Group, has launched new barbecue restaurant, NOA Chargrill + Burger, at The Eatery in Eastridge, Mission Bay.
Designed to showcase the best of long and slow barbecue cooking, guests are seated around an open kitchen and wood burning fire where free-range, grass-fed meat is chargrilled in front of their eyes.
Pork, beef, lamb, chicken and fish are cooked over embers using the traditional Asado technique. The result? Tender, full flavoured meat with subtle smoke tones, served with NOA’s own homemade chimichurri sauce.
Slow cooked lamb, twice-cooked Awhi Farm short ribs, Awhi Farm Tomahawk, Picanha Burger, a Chicken Mole Burger – hell yeah I’ll be coming back! Sides include hand cut fries, jalapeno poppers, onion rings, corn on the cob, slaw, mixed greens and corn tortillas.
The drinks list features a range of wines, beer and non-alcoholic options. Four of the seven beers on tap have been handcrafted to match with the chargrilled dishes and burgers. The selection offers a summer-ready, crisp and easy drinking NOA Lager and Nazar Pilsner. Beer enthusiasts will also enjoy the NOA New Zealand Pale Ale, NOA Dry Stout and the NOA Turkish Pomegranate Cider.
The NOA kitchen team is led by Head Chef Daniel Castro. Daniel is originally from Mexico where he began his culinary career fifteen years ago. His last stop before coming to New Zealand was Argentina, where he discovered his love for Latin American barbecue.
“Working with Alex has given me the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience and to be part of a new concept. I love the fact that customers can see the food being prepared – from start to finish – and that all meats are cooked over charcoal on the wood fired grill,” explains Daniel. “I’m excited to share my passion for one of the most amazing Patagonian methods of barbecuing food.”
NOA Chargrill + Burger is the latest addition to the Nazar Group family, one of New Zealand’s most successful and fastest growing restaurant groups. The group operates Bodrum Kitchen in Browns Bay, Feriza’s, Miss Istanbul, Ottoman Mezze Lounge, Devon On The Wharf, Deco Eatery, Casablanca and Mozaik Caffe as well.
“We have taken influences from across Latin America, North America and the Mediterranean and combined those traditional sweet, smoky flavours with our own unique approach. I am delighted to share the results with Auckland,” says Alex.
“The name NOA derives from the Hebrew word ‘nahum’, meaning ‘comfort’. I wanted warmth and nourishment to be at the heart of NOA, as it is at all Nazar Group restaurants. The ritual of gathering together with friends and family is just as important as the dishes themselves.”
With multiple restaurants, cafes and a successful roastery under his belt, Alex has mastered the art of hospitality and understands the importance of customer satisfaction. From humble beginnings in West Auckland’s New Lynn, Alex has developed a successful network across Auckland and its surrounds.
Migrating from Turkey, he settled in New Zealand with one aim: to do something spectacular. Starting out his career in the kitchens of Auckland, his drive was to bring a new concept of dining to Auckland, staying true to his heritage and sharing a way of dining that perfectly blends both tradition and family.
NOA Chargrill + Burger is open Monday to Sunday from 11am until late.