Taste of home - Nico Mendez

. April 13, 2020
Taste of home - Nico Mendez

Barulho restaurant in Parnell has been a favourite of the dish team for several years, for good reason…

Nico Mendez
Chef/co-owner, Barulho and Fonda

Uruguay-born Nico and partner Sarah Ginella created quite the buzz when they opened tapas bar Barulho three years ago. It was like a little corner of the Mediterranean had flown off and landed ka-thunk down an alleyway in a quiet Auckland suburb. As the queues grew, so did Barulho’s reputation – so much so that it outgrew its premises. A new, expanded Barulho now sits alongside the couple’s latest venture – Fonda, a Mexican street food-inspired eatery that’s already the hot new kid on the block. 

Nico: I grew up in a very small town in Uruguay – Garzón. The population was 180 and it’s probably even less now. All the kids there were ‘free-range’; we went to school at 10am, finished at 3.30pm and then quickly ran to the river on summer days. Sometimes we didn’t go back home till midnight. We would take meat, sausages and bread from the only local store. We would take along our parents’ terracotta pots, iron pans and grills, and we cooked, swam and fished by the river. We loved it. One of our favourite dishes was this dish, Guiso de Porotos (bean stew) – it was filling, tasty and cheap... Of course you don’t have to make it over an open fire; the stove top will do.

Find Guiso de Porotos recipe here