The real deal
Buzz is building around this street-food-focused taqueria that opened in Melbourne’s Seddon in May. Delving into different regions around Mexico, Súperchido (the name means “super cool”; superchido.com.au) offers some offbeat selections, including birria de res Jalisco, a speciality of, yes, Jalisco, featuring slow-cooked Angus beef with salsa roja and tortillas for dipping.
Rosa Cienfuegos launched this casual restaurant and deli (mexicanfoodaustralia.com) in inner-city Redfern this year and lovers of everything Mexican couldn’t be happier. Cienfuegos, author of the Comida Mexicana cookbook and well-known in Sydney’s Mexican community for her Dulwich Hill eatery, Tamaleria, makes all her food by hand using traditional recipes. Her tamales are legendary and the tacos are hand-pressed locally for the freshest taste. Itacate is like a trip across the Pacific without leaving Sydney.
A sister venue to the hugely popular Latin-inspired Tequila Mockingbird in Paddington, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, this CBD laneway restaurant (estebanrestaurant.com.au) brings Mexican flavours into a high-end setting. Canadianborn chef John Frid blends native Australian flavours – muntries, saltbush and bush tomatoes – into a menu that draws on classic Mexican flavours. Try butternut squash tostada with chilli pasilla, salsa pipián, charred avocado and Davidson plum for a modern take on the cuisine. The space occupies two floors of a heritage building that nudges Mexican towards fine dining rather than street food.
Of the three new restaurants that Milpa Collective is opening this year, Londres 126 (milpacollective.com.au) is perhaps the most intriguing. Named after artist Frida Kahlo’s Mexico City address, the concept is to bring some of that city’s liveliness and artistic spirit to Sydney. The 60-seater, set to open this month, is part of a food precinct being built around Quay Quarters Tower, a new skyscraper on Bridge Street in the CBD. Milpa’s Pablo Galindo Vargas says he’s been influenced by the stories of Kahlo and her partner Diego Rivera and the legendary parties at which they hosted artists from around Mexico. Londres 126’s menu will be based on Mexico City’s street food and the cocktail list built on a selection of wild agave mezcals and tequilas sourced from small outlets.
With its front-row view of Bondi Beach, this tiny eatery (calita-mexican.com.au) luxuriates in one of the best locations in Australia. Part of the Milpa Collective group, Calita brings the flavours of the Baja Peninsula to Sydney in plates such as kingfish ceviche with grilled pineapple and canchita, and slow-cooked octopus with chorizo, potato and chipotle mayo. The vibe is Bondi meets Tijuana, with the menu focused on house-made tacos and botanas (share plates).
Having evolved to bricks-andmortar after starting life as a food truck, Eat No Evil, this Western Australian taqueria (lacabana.com.au) has become a crowd favourite for its sunny atmosphere and fresh, easy menu. Chef Ben Foss and his business partners, Madi Fay and Jarrah Stevenson, have created a beer-garden-style setting across from South Beach in Fremantle, with the bonus of pumping music, lively food and cold beers. Go for tacos with coconut-battered local fish, black chipotle mayo and pickled cabbage or a raw beef tostada with seaweed salsa verde, horseradish, coriander and red chilli.