The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

Hola Mama, that’s hot

Authentic Mexican cuisine and the ancient spirits of agave are a lively mix in this super cool West End taqueria

- Review ANOOSKA TUCKER-EVANS

Tequila-fuelled laughter bellows over heaving house music. A wrestling match is projected onto a wall, while the highly knowledgea­ble service team work the almost-capacity, art-clad room with alacrity.

As the neighbouri­ng restaurant­s along West End’s Hardgrave Rd culinary precinct close around it for the night, Mama Taco is pumping.

Opening in March this year, the lively, buzzy Mexican eatery has fast become the hottest venue in the hospitalit­y-heavy suburb – and not just because of the chilli that finds its way into almost every dish.

This is a Mexican restaurant dedicated to authentici­ty unlike anything else in town.

According to its website, all produce is sourced organicall­y, while only ethically raised animals are used, with the preparatio­n of each dish beginning with marination before cooking low and slow and finishing on charcoal.

The menu is a tight affair, just four tacos and four main options, while guests are encouraged to build their own meal through a series of sides such as charcoal beef, frijoles (refried beans) and the tomato and onion salsa, pico de gallo.

There’s also an ever-changing empanada, on this visit the Mexican version of a pastie is filled with a spinach-stained liquid cheese that flows like a river after rain from the bubbly, shattering pastry shell. Laced with English mustard for piquancy, it should be considered by chefs Raffaele Persichett­i and Harry Antoniak for inclusion in the regular menu.

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Aguachile with tostadas
4/59 Hardgrave Rd, West End mamataco.com.au Open Wed-Sun noon-late
Overall Aguachile with tostadas 4/59 Hardgrave Rd, West End mamataco.com.au Open Wed-Sun noon-late

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