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Eating @ ... Mexico Food & Liquor

Mexico2

The salted caramel crystals are glowing like amber jewels scattered over the perfectly-formed xócolate and rosemary crema pyramids, themselves nestled alongside the golden crusted, (and heavily cinnamon-sugar-dusted), spiced churros. We’ve come to the end of a languorous Friday lunch (is there a better kind?) at Mexico Food & Liquor, where the cares of the world have melted away while we sipped perfectly mixed – and suitably summery – frosty coconut margaritas and the lychee, passionfruit and ginger stunner blanco sangria under the Halloween-esque day of the dead memorabilia radiating off the walls.

Inside, the fit-out is all Tarantino-cool, and the restaurant is buzzing with hip and friendly staff and an authentic south of the border soundtrack, while outside the rebuilding city is also starting to buzz with the promise of the weekend. But it’s the promise of a killer new summer menu courtesy of Mexican maestro Javier Carmona that’s inspired our visit, and Carmona doesn’t disappoint. Perusing the menu we’re delighted to see familiar faves (we’re looking at you Mexico fried chicken!) alongside feisty new additions and summered-up reinventions.

Suitably primed thanks to Senors Margarita and Blanco Sangria, we tap the crispy-shelled goodness of the taco dorado with its perfectly grilled chicken, crunchy slaw and piquant green tomato salsa, while the humming, next-level smoky beef skirt’s symphony of flavours and textures (courtesy of blackened onion and pork crackling) also becomes a new firm favourite after the first bite. The trifecta of golden-cased funky fungi bundles (aka mushroom chimichangas) soar with hints of salty olive, creamy leek and a bangin’ salsa asada.

New entries pomegranate lamb quesadillas, filled with a meaty goodness and rich tang perfectly balanced by the freshness of yoghurt, parsley and almond, and a salpicon salad of tender pickled beef married with creamy avocado, crispy radish and cut through with zingy pink grapefruit and served alongside a gussied-up and delightfully citric ceviche humming with chilli and tamed by cooling mango woo us for mains.

Fun, funky and super delicious, the spiced churros conclude the all-out assault on our taste buds as we dip the golden lengths into the rich pyramids of chocolate and savour the slightly salty explosions of caramel – summer has definitely arrived!

Mexico Food & Liquor
203 Manchester Street
03 374 5422
www.mexico.net.nz

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Guest 25 April 2017