Perfecting Mozambique/Portuguese flavours with an added barbeque fusion has been the focus of the menu at Ōrewa’s new takeaway, PortuGrill, which opened in June.
“We make all of the sauces and marinades – everything is created in-house,” owner Larry Lincoln says.
“The chicken and ribs are probably our signature dishes. We order the meat in fresh every week and then marinate it for up to four days.”
Larry, who is originally from South Africa, was inspired to create these flavours by his Portuguese-Mozambican wife, Grace, who is a chef. He has also regularly travelled to Mozambique for diving trips with his family.
In South Africa, Larry owned a steakhouse style restaurant, as well as a lighting company.
“The restaurant nearly killed me and my passion for food, which is why I decided this time to have a takeaway.
“Food is much harder than lights, and lights can make much more money, but this is not about the money; it is about my passion for food.”
The menu is a collaboration with PortuGrill’s chef, Amar Singh, who has experience with a variety of cuisines.
“Amar has been part of the process from the beginning as we share the same passion for flavours,” Larry says. “I have made him this promise – when this business grows, he will grow with it.”
Amar says this is the first opportunity he has had to really explore his own ideas.
“Larry and I don’t care how much wastage there is because we will keep making food until it’s perfect.”
Larry says he and Amar are like “two nutty professors” and are looking forward to continuing to develop the menu.
Getting PortuGrill going has been a family affair, from family friend Tazmyn Burt creating PortuGrill’s logo and wall art, to Larry’s daughter Kelly helping out front-of-house, and son Justin sacrificing many hours despite hospitality “not being his thing.”
“I also have to thank my wife for having so much patience with me.”
“We’ve put a lot of love into this place, so I really hope the family-friendly feeling comes through to our customers,” Larry says.