Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Mexico - Food & Liquor

Pier, Ad Lib, Assiette, District Dining, Becasse franchise, Balzac, Bilson's, Berowa Waters Inn... What do these restaurants all have in common? They're all heavy hitters in the hospitality industry that have recently closed down. They also happen to be French. Does Sydney not have room for the luxury, the refinement, the richness that is French cuisine? It's only speculation up to this point. 

Of these restaurants, one of my favourites; District Dining by Chef Warren Turnbull, sadly closed it's doors a few months ago, a restaurant Randle St would have surely missed. A fortnight ago, however, a new Mexican restaurant simply called Mexico has risen from the ashes and given the premises new life. 

It's what you'd imagined a Mexican bar to be like. It can get dark and moody yet at the same time vibrant and animated. 

They've really gone all out with the ambience here, not a inch square isn't filled out with some sort of skull, pot plant, booze bottle, bull, candle, flowers, paintings or mural memorabilia. 

There's evidently much to look at if the food hasn't already caught your attention. Of particular interest is the specials menu that get changed daily and represent the exciting possibilities for this restaurant.

DIY guacamole with fresh coriander and jalapeno and lime with house cut corn chips 8
We begin with a special on the day: a do-it-yourself guacamole that arrives with a generous portion of well seasoned house made chips  a fun dish that invites you to burn off as much calories are you're about to take in. Some good old fashion elbow grease is need as you shake, mix and smash your way to creamy goodness. Its simplicity is delicious but something needs to be done to make it easier to break apart the coriander. It can be a bit difficult for those who don't like it as much in huge chunks.

Mexico's Fried Chicken 12
It's not insanely juicy and tender or even sadly crunchy for that matter, but the spice rub on the chicken is seriously something to go on about. A dip in either the mayo or guacamole mayo will send you into a foodie coma. It is seriously finger-licking good.

Beef Brisket Taco 6
J's eyes immediately lit up on first bite. "It's the coconut!" she exclaimed. It really was. It just lifts the whole taco with its nutty exotic aroma and it may be her favourite taco to this day (she hasn't eaten many).

Pibil rubbed pork 6
Our next dish is a taco that features a pulled pork marinated in pibil accompanied but a sweet and tart cabbage salad.

Grilled Squid w mole amarillo de oaxaca, pink fir potato, yellow carrot 
I didn't quite like this dish because they took the squid a little too far; it just tasted burnt and bitter although I suppose a redeeming point was the use of the oddly yellow sweet mole amarillo (a specialty sauce of the region Oaxaca) which gave it a much more pleasant taste.

Prawn, smoked paprika, chilli & orange with corn salsa 12
The smoked paprika almost overwhelms the dish, almost save for the fact that the prawns were just beautiful and springy and laced with a tad less cheese then I would have liked but with a good kick of chilli for good measure and look at it! It's a huge portion.

Service was incredibly helpful, particularly our waitress, thick with a South American accent. It can get borderline intrusive but it's hard not to be enamored with their amiable nature. I am absolutely smitten over the braised beef rib on Chocolatesuze's post. It's a shame it wasn't there on the day I went but you come to realise; you don't really get what you expect.

It has big shoes to fill but it packs those shoes to the brim. It packs it with life and with exciting possibilities. Maybe this restaurant might just last.

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Dear Neil,

I have never quite warmed up to Mexican although I like to make my own tacos at home once every few years.

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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.

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