Archive for ‘Mexican’

June 12, 2011

Cafe Pacifico

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Cafe Pacifico

On the outside, Cafe Pacifico is like an abandoned restaurant decked in red and laced with an ol’ school sign. But at night is where all the magic happens, walking down Riley St, you’ll begin to hear music and laughter, bright lights and the clanking of tequila shot glasses.

Walking up the seedy and colourful staircase, we’re welcomed by smiling faces at the door who walk us over to mismatching coloured tables and chairs. Dim candles light up the table along with crunchy nacho chips to keep the waiting happy.

Cafe Pacifico

To be honest, Mexican cuisine isn’t too much drama, it’s always the same ol’ refried black beans, meats, lettuce, guacamole and tomatoes – whether they are pre-prepared or DIY. As a group, we’ve opted for the Mexican banquet menu ($33 per person).

For our entrees, crunchy nachos kick us off and for our mains, it’s DIY time with a generous wooden platter of the goods for us to wrap in fresh soft tortillas. Douse with tabasco and viola!

Cafe PacificoPina Colada 

The food isn’t spectacular but feel truly transported to Mexico with friendly staff, cocktails and amazing tequila tasting platters (yep, that’s right – tequila platters).

Cafe Pacifico
95 Riley St
Darlinghurst, Sydney
www.cafepacifico.com.au 

Cafe Pacifico on Urbanspoon

June 5, 2011

El Loco

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El Loco

Three day weekend means, tequilas and tacos! And there was without a doubt that there were plenty of people thinking the same with either a Corona or a margarita in their hand. Attached to The Excelsior Hotel by the hip, Dan Hong’s next adventure is here at El Loco; dishing up simple tacos, nachos, burgers and some tequila liquid courage to down everything down with.

El Loco

Knocked up in 7 days, the exterior is bright and colourful giving some life to the easily missed Surry Hills street. Inside, it’s a mix of new and old with crazy colourful prints across the wall, heated lamps, fairy lights, a bungalow looking bar and open kitchen with chefs crazily working away.

El Loco “Carne Asada” Taco

El Loco Excelsior Hot Dog & “Al Pastor” Torta

It’s hard to snap up a table, so we’re huddled around the corner bench chowing down our Mexican feast. There’s tacos to suit all from pork, beef, tofu and even the secret taco of the night. My Carne Asada Taco; lemongrass beef with salsa verde quickly arrives in a paper boat, warm and delicious.

For my cheese loving companion, he dives into the Excelsior Hot Dog; a grilled pork frankfurt on a super soft bun with picked jalepenos, pico ge gallo (salsa), mayo and plenty of soft, finely grated cheese that melt in your mouth. The cheese looks crazy and scary (I am slightly lactose intolerant), but I was being reassured that there really isn’t as much as it seems! Peeking from the corner of the photo is the Al Pastor Torta; the grilled marinated pork from the spit sandwiched between a seeded soft bun topped with crunchy cabbage, pico de gallo, mayo and with asian twist, coriander and spring onions. Mmm, it has to be my favourite.

Even though Mexican is not too fancy, it’s amazing that quality ingredients makes all the difference – meat that have been given tender loving care, and damn fresh bread.

El Loco

The bar is overflowing with slushie margaritas, Mexican beers and tequila shots. My favourite is the the El Loco slushy of El Jimador tequila, pink grapefruit and lime mixed with homemade coriander and raw ginger syrup. Definitely my sweet pick over the Classic Margarita.

When asked whether this is just a “pop up” or here to stay, the waitress was a little hush hush… so better get in regardless!

El Loco
64 Foveaux St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.elloco.com.au 

El Loco on Urbanspoon

November 10, 2009

Amigos, Melbourne

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Signature burrito with chicken, pineapple & coconut curry

Chicken breast & chorizo paella

Last year, we couldn’t find Lygon St – for some strange reason, we ended up in dark suburbia with little street lamps and no lavish restaurants or even people in sight. With our Melbourne directional skills leveled up this year, we found the street with little effort and to our delight, we discovered too many restaurants to choose from!

Oddly enough, I did not feel the appetite for Italian and as I am still on my annual pizza ban, we opted for a buzzing Mexican restaurant. With a craving for rice, I opted for the paella – although it was served on a hot sizzle plate, I was disappointed that it wasn’t the traditional paella – where you fight over who scrapes the bottom, and the light saffron infused rice. The chorizo gave the dish a nice kick, but the overly saturated rice definitely let the dish down.

My companion choose the signature burritos with chicken, pineapple and coconut curry. It was an interesting spin on the typical burrito dish, but too much curry drenched the softness of the burrito – it would have been better served in a side bowl so we could control the portion of the curry sauce.

Without the drenching, I think the dishes would have definitely tasted better – but who knows, after a few shots of tequila, the food may be perfect for the tastebuds.

Amigos
171 Lygon St
Carlton, Melbourne
http://www.amigos.com.au

Amigos on Urbanspoon