The decor is an eclectic mish mash of things Mexican, just like their stores in Auckland (you can see my review of the Britomart store here).
The restaurant is divided into two sections, with the dining area on the right and the bar on the left.
Depending where you sit, the lighting could be a bit too dark, where you may need some aid in reading the menu.
The menu is divided into thirds, with food on the left hand side while the remaining two thirds are about drinks. As we sat down, we were asked if we wanted any drinks, prior to us even looking a the drinks menu. The menu is centered around sharing of plates, with the exception of the tacos, which can prove to be difficult to share unless you are dining with your other half or good friends where you do not mind sharing the same bite.
Mexico offers slightly different Mexican food than other Mexican restaurants in town that generally offer burritos crispy tacos, enchiladas etc. So it is quite refreshing to get something different.
The staff are energetic and friendly i think this comes through the fact it is a new restaurant and new to waiting on people and tables.
We ordered a selection of the menu which was more than enough for two people.
Corn maize w pork in pomegranate, queso fresco, peanut & serrano – looks similar to a croquette with a slightly denser and tougher texture than an arancini. It was drier than I had anticipated, but there was enough sauce to help moisten each of the croquette balls. Good chunks of Serrano ham held in the centre. I did not think to much of this dish.
Empanada: roast pumpkin, black bean, tarragon, pink radish & fennel – I love empanadas, but at $14 I thought it was fairly pricey for what it is. The empanada had great flavours through the tarragon and fennel and the avocado cream. The pastry was slightly too thick for my liking, as I like my pastry to be on the thinner side. What I noticed which was covered by the dressing and salad, was that the empanada had been broken, perhaps due to it being stuck on the tray that it was baked on (you can see the opening in the picture below).
Quesadilla: Lamb w coffee maple adobo, red peppers, oregano, salsa borracha, This was a large sharing plate that consisted of 8 pieces of quesadilla. Simply delicious especially when eaten with the accompanying sauce which had a good kick to it. My dining partner B thought it was a little too spicy for his liking.
Taco: Beer & guajillo beef brisket, plantain, black bean, sesame crema – one word – “yum”. the beef was tender and full of flavour. The black beans were nicely cooked such that they had a slight bite to them. The fillings were of a good size, but I suspect over time the filling will decrease.
Taco: Roast eggplant, tomato, shitake, orange, oaxaca style queso – what drew me to this taco is the shitake, as you may know by now I am a huge fan of mushrooms and also like eggplant. You definitely get a good amount of shitake in these tacos, so there certainly is no skimping on the mushrooms here. good proportion of filling which I just loved.
Good flavoursome food matched with good atmosphere and interesting surroundings to keep your eye intrigued with conversation. Both B and I feld the service was a bit in your face, as we were constantly asked how everything was going. I recall we were still munching away on the same bite and one of the staff members had asked us twice how things were going. I counted over the course of an hour while we were there, we were asked in excess of 10 times. I certainly found that to be far to frequent. Do not get me wrong, I do like to be asked how things are, but not as frequent as that. The other annoying thing is the bar, they do not allow food to be served there, which I thought was a bit of a waste, as it is an encouragement for people to get intoxicated, as you do not have the ability to order any food. I certainly would not mind perching on some high tables drinking a tequila with some small bites especially if there are no tables available.
I was talking to Plus 1 about this place afterwards, I must have talked it up so much that he wanted to come for dinner. We came back in the evening but there was a 45 minute wait which Plus 1 did not want to wait. So I will definitely be back with Plus 1 to try other items on the menu.
There are certainly some pros and cons in dining at a new restaurant as things will be tweaked to make patrons dining experience more favourable. I suspect the filling sizes of the tacos will decrease and some item prices may increase.
Location: 41 Dixon St, Te Aro, Wellington