Da-na-na-na-na-na-na, tequila! When a place has a dedicated tequila menu, you know that the night could get dangerous. Enter Mejico, the latest in the “wave” of Mexican restaurants that everyone says is happening in Sydney. To me its more of a ripple, because we need the number to be multiplied by about a thousand to catch up to the number of neighbourhood Thai places.
Curious, I ask our friendly South American waitress about the owners and she tells me its owned by the guy who owns the chain Zumbrero (Sam Prince), a Mexican chain, and that he’s travelled extensively through Mexico learning about their cuisine. I plead ignorance, haven’t heard of Zumbrero (she says there are 27 in Australia!) – and discover that there is one in Darlinghurst, but the other locations in NSW are in Queenbeyan, Wagga, and Wollongong – that might explain why.
Its an appealing menu with plenty to choose from, but we have to start with the fresh guacamole made at the table with plantain chips. My friend comments the plantains must be some kind of bananas (“no, they’re plantains!” says our waitress), and I can see why, they honestly look like dried banana chips, which I can’t stand, so I hope she’s wrong (“they don’t taste like bananas, they’re plantains!” says our waitress again). A bit of proogling says they’re both sort of right, plantains and bananas are actually related, but unlike bananas you can’t eat them raw. And thank goodness they don’t taste like banana chips, but like potato chips. Anyhow, whatever they are, they are great for scooping up the fresh guacamole with a right hit of chilli, and I really liked the addition of pistachios, great crunch (or you might get walnuts, depending what night you go) and we’re off to a good start.
We then have Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche with ruby grapefruit – again a nice fresh feel with a good tang from the grapefruit, but may be too acidic for some
Smoked Pork Belly with black bean hummus and tomatillo salsa – this one was a bit too fatty for us and we didn’t enjoy it, but nice smokiness.
Chargrilled Black Angus Sirloin with chimichurri and quinoa and pumpkin. That chimichurri – fabulous – and beautifully tender meat
Queso Fresco with homemade agave syrup. This was recommended as a side, and it was a good one, I was scooping up every bit of that agave syrup.
Agave-glazed Caramel Fudge – a very rich little finish
Am I coming back – yes I am – there’s more I want to try – the lamb tacos, the salsas, the ribs. This isn’t street food Mexican and it isn’t cheap – so don’t expect it to be such or you’ll be disappointed (keep in mind that even a takeaway chicken salad from Guzman is $11 these days), but you’ll get some great flavour highlights. I looked at all the poor hopefuls in the line waiting to get into Jamie’s Italian for dinner, which is right next door, and I know which one I’d pick.
Mejico, 105 Pitt Street, ph (02) 9230 0119