31 August 2011

Barrio Chino Launch: Mexican Taqueria & Tequileria, Kings Cross (30 Aug 2011)

28-30 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross NSW 2011

Tequila, tostadas & tacos

Thanks to part-owner Peter Lew for inviting me along to the launch of the new Taqueria & Tequileria, Barrio Chino. It didn’t take long to realise the Mexican served here was a huge step above your average Westernised cheese and sour cream smothered renditions of the past I've had. Actually I can’t even remember seeing any cheese. My first flavoursome bite of the Camarones taco ($6 each) with grilled market prawns, kiwi fruit salsa and chilli jam transcended by taste buds to a new experience — Mexican that will want me coming back for more, and more. But at $6 a pop I better watch my wallet too although I've been told they are a bit larger on the normal menu. The signature Tuna Tostada ($14 for 4 pieces) of tuna sashimi, avocado and chipotle mayo on a corn chip lived up to its hype. I could have easily finished off a whole tray although at $3.50 each it's the same price as freshly shucked oysters in a restaurant. I never would have thought raw fish on a corn chip would work but it does. It also became one of my favourites of the night. Apparently the tortilla and yellow corn chip bases are available from the Mexican products supplier Fireworks Food.

All the tostadas and tacos I tried were worth trying but some I preferred more than others including the Roast Corn Tostada ($12 for 4 pieces) of sweet corn, avocado and chipotle mayo and Chicken Borracho taco ($6 each) which had a good balance of chipotle-beer braised chicken, cream, avocado contrasted with refreshing iceberg. The Spicy Albondigas ($15 for 3 pieces) of pork and beef meatballs with roasted tomato-chipotle sauce had a nice flavoured heat to it like most of the dishes tried. Although I’m not sure if $5 a meatball will be value-for-money for many people — ouch! But again they're supposed to be larger on the normal menu than what was served as a cocktail style for the launch.

When it comes to tequila I don’t seem to be a huge fan — perhaps too many awful memories in the past of bad quality tequila 1, tequila 2, tequila 3, floor. Their house margarita Tommy's Margarita ($15) is humorously described as ‘No Shitty tequila. No sour mix. Just hand squeezed lime & organic agave netar. You're welcome!’ It packs a punch and I’m sure lovers of the margarita will probably enjoy. The Stealth Margarita ($16) is equally lethal with the added kick of jalapeno and chilli salt — can it get any more Mexican, I think not. The food has certainly left me wanting to return to try more. I’ve been recommended to try the ribs and ceviche which are now on my wishlist when I get a chance. This place has certainly opened my eyes to the taste sensations of delicious Mexican cuisine I've only heard about but have never had the opportunity to try until now.

PROS: Very tasty tostadas and tacos, Fresh and quality ingredients, Flavoursome dishes to enjoy with a drink that's not too heavy, Mexican that isn't covered with cheese and sour cream
CONS: I'm suspecting the cost of filling up your stomach could get expensive if you're a big eater, Bite sized servings
MUST TRY: Tuna Tostada, Camarones taco — For next time the ceviche and ribs have been recommended to me by the entrance hostesses

Roast Corn Tostada - Corn chip, sweet corn, avocado and chipotle mayo ($12 for 4) pieces

Pulled Pork Tostada - Corn chip, pulled pork, burnt orange and jicama ($12 for 4 pieces)

Tuna Tostada - Corn chip, tuna sashimi, avocado and chipotle mayo ($14 for 4 pieces)
SIMON FAVOURITE :-) — One of their signature dishes

Camarones taco - Grilled market prawns, kiwi fruit salsa and chilli jam ($6 each)

Beef Barbacoa taco - Brisket, red chill sauce, lime cured red onion and oregano ($6 each)

Calabaza taco - Roasted pumpkin, capsicum, cactus and toasted pepitas ($5 each)

Carnitas taco - Traditional crispy braised pork, onion and cilantro ($6 each)

Chicken Borracho taco - Chipotle-beer braised chicken, cream, avocado and iceberg ($6 each)

Spicy Tuna taco - Seared yellow fin tuna, jalapeno-garlic sauce and pineapple-jicama salsa ($6 each)

Spicy Albondigas - Pork and beef meatballs, roasted tomato-chipotle sauce ($15 for 3 pieces)

Chefs daily postre - Horchata flan with rum syrup

Chefs in the kitchen

Drinks are up

Tommy's Margarita - Our house margarita. No Shitty tequila. No sour mix. Just hand squeezed lime & organic agave netar. You're welcome! ($15)

Stealth Margarita - Calle 23 blanco, St Germain, lime, agave, jalapeno and chilli salt ($16)

Segura Viudas Brut, Spain

Luchador Shiraz 2008 and Yada Yada Yada Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Santa Vittoria water

Margarita menu

Extensive tequila menu

Fully stocked bar of tequilas

Entrance hostesses with hats and boots to match

Nicole Galloway (part owner) in the middle flanked by models(?) that aren't fans of smiling perhaps

Scary face, pretty face — you choose

Sombreros and boots

Cocktail flairing and fire-breathing — call the fire brigade

Launch party in motion

Official photographer

Nice lighting features — it's the finer details that count

The calm before the party storm

Colourful Mexican skulls

Last minute final touches on the signage


Chanel said...

It was great to meet you last night Simon! Your video is great, especially the fire twirling. Such good fun :D

Tom H said...

Wow - looks like a great party - looking forward to seeing your pics of the food!

Richard Elliot said...

Liking the new videos you've started doing, they give a great impression of atmosphere that doesn't come across in photos alone.

Must make the blogging process longer though!

Vivian - vxdollface said...

This place looks great! heeh tequila is my best friend :)

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

That fire breathing looked really dangerous from where I could see. I'm in love with the tostadas... :)

Madam Wu said...

The food looks incredible and seems much more like the kind of fresh, light and genuine Mexican food that they do so well in the States. Mamasita in Melbourne also offers some fantastic tostadas. I'm also loving your funny commentary and your photos as per usual. I'd love to try this place.

sugarpuffi said...

wow this place looks hot! love to try the tuna tostada

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