Sunday afternoon lunch feels a little cheeky, doesn’t it? Almost as if you should be doing something more responsible, like cleaning the house……or doing your internet banking…….or making sure you have clean underwear for the week. It’s like a last little weekend hurrah before work clothes have to be ironed, milk and bread have to be bought and the general Monday morning chaos starts again.
But Sunday lunch with girlfriends and beers on a summery day in the middle of winter?
Yup…….I’m badass like that.
So it looks like someone out there is making an effort to address the severe shortage of good Mexican eateries in Sydney. Our favourite haunt has long been Flying Fajita Sisters in Glebe with its wall of pain and its homemade nachos. I have also heard good things about Cafe Pacifico but have not yet had that pleasure. When some friends and I heard that there was a new kid in town, we just had to try Mexico Food and Liquor in Surry Hills.
I think one of my favourite things about this place was the ambiance. The place had the feel of a trendy little taqueria, or what I imagine one would be like. Decorated in a traditional, homely and slightly whimsical way, it managed to be funky without being pretentious. Little touches like the mismatched jars of flowers on every table and the assortment of Mexico inspired wall decor made us feel a little like we were in someone’s home. A really cosy home with friendly hosts and good food on order.
Not big beer drinkers, my friend and I asked the waiter to recommend a ‘girly beer’ (our words, not his) and he swore by the Pacifico, which turned out to be just what we wanted. The others opted for mocktails which looked stunning and apparently did not disappoint.
The menu offered a respectable spread of quesadillas, dips salads and soft-shell tacos, with the surprising absence of crunchy tacos and burritos. We opted for a fully vegetarian menu and ordered the, patatas bravas, cauliflower salad, pumpkin and toasted coconut quesadillas as well as the three cheese quesadillas on the specials board.
The patatas bravas were the spiced, fried potato goodness we had expected and the quesadillas and their sauces were quite delicious, although the general consensus was that the three cheese won the quesadilla-off.
The star of the spread was that cauliflower salad with cucumber, black beans, avocado, olives and feta which totally blew my mind. That was the dish that I continued to eye throughout the rest of the meal, not wanting to be greedy and succumb to my urge of just shovelling the whole thing into my mouth with a fork, my hand or any other vaguely effective instrument. Happily I think the others cottoned on to my deep love for this salad and I was finally offered the last little bit while the others polished off the quesadillas et al.
Dessert was satisfactory but my no means earth-shattering. We were recommended the Bunuelos de xocolate with pine-nut crema, which turned out to be pillowy little donuts in a custard. They somewhat did their job for a lunchtime dessert after a very filling meal but would have been a little disappointing if we had actually saved room for and anticipated a good, sweet ending.
Mexico Food and Liquor is one step closer to filling the good Mexican food void in this city. I certainly will go back to but purely based on our experience, my suggestion would be to focus on the main meal and head elsewhere if your sweet tooth is tingling afterwards.
Mexico Food and Liquor is at 15 Randle St, (02) 9211 7798.
We paid $6-$8 for starters and soft shell tacos, $12-$16 for salads and quesadillas.
We paid for our own meal and this post was not commissioned.
<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/70/1716699/restaurant/Sydney/Mexico-Food-and-Liquor-Surry-Hills”><img alt=”Mexico Food and Liquor on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/logo/1716699/biglogo.gif” style=”border:none;padding:0px;width:104px;height:34px” /></a>