Finally Sydney’s Mexican community has produced a restaurant worth writing about! Embark on a fabulous journey to a subterranean Mexican cellar; listen to funky flamenco; look at Mexican pulp fiction on faux adobe walls and most importantly eat tasty, authentic dishes.
To drink there’s excellent frozen Hibiscus Margaritas ($15), a selection of Mexican beers (which you can even enjoy the Mexican way - with an inch of very aggressive lime juice in the bottom of the glass, we tried, can't say I enjoyed) or bright, easy-drinking Sangria ($5/glass, $13/500ml jug). I quite liked their Sangria - the red wine they chose had a strawberry note, and it felt like the kind you could drink for hours (not too many tannins, not too thick or chunky). Strawberry Margaritas ($15) are also excellent, more acidic than the Hibiscus one pictured.
Don’t come here looking for Tex-Mex, sour cream or burritos; but if you like cheese, the Queso Fundido ($12) is an excellent start with pockets of chorizo, mushrooms and chilli folded through a bowl of melted cheese, eaten with pico di gallo on a stack of cloth-wrapped tortillas. We ate this dish in Las Vegas as well, and fell in love. I actually enjoyed this version more! And aren't the hand made imported Mexican plates beautiful? Great presentation.
Equally good is a warm bowl of Sopa Azteca ($12), a spicy tomato soup poured over crunchy tortilla strips at the table.
Mains include flambé Camarones a la Diabla ($25), king prawns marinated in chipotle and tequila. They might look fairly simple, but there is a rich, roundness to the spicing that keeps me coming back for more.
More unusual is the Puerco en Salsa Verde ($22), or pork blade cooked with cactus in a tomatillo chilli salsa. Cactus is quite an unsual taste, this dish was difficult in some ways, as it tasted quite unfamiliar.
Heat seekers must try the superb Chipotle Salsa ($2) – a side of Crema ($2) is wise. Probably the best chipotle sauce I have ever tasted. It's serious heat, but somehow none of the rich layered smokiness of the chipotle is lost. Crema is more like thickened cream, and it is a nice relief from the heat.
I really liked all the colour in the restaurant, it sort of had a Mexican set feel. The tortillas came wrapped in cloth, and it was also used as decor on the poles.
The Flan ($8) is a sweet, texturally perfect, creamy, vanilla-infused mound of joy. Enough said.
Daily Happy Hours (5.30pm-6.30pm) and ten buck Margaritas on Mondays and Tuesdays too? Be still my beating heart. I will definitely return for a drinking night, very, very soon. They also do brunch!
2/410 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9326 9072
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