From the folks who gave us Burger Geek comes their newest venture, Ain’t No Taco. And, trust us when we say that all of your taco and tequila dreams are about to come true.
This sweet Symonds Street spot has been completely revamped and transformed into a bright, colourful restaurant, filled with palms and indoor plants. It’s a space that feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The walls are dotted with murals courtesy of a myriad of local artists, and, hot sauce enthusiasts rejoice, there is an ENTIRE WALL dedicated to the most comprehensive hot sauce collection we have ever seen.
Described by co-owners Peter and Pene Barton as “tacos without borders,” Ain’t No Taco has a menu that is succinct in its offering. With an affinity for fresh food, served at lighting speed you’ll find the likes of Korean-inspired bulgogi pork, with daikon pickle and slaw, tequila and lime chicken with coconut yoghurt and lettuce and Jamaican jerk tofu and mango salsa. No Mexican feast is complete without guac and chips and Ain’t No Taco take theirs to a whole new level. With lashings of queso fundido (cheese and jalapeno fondue) atop a mountain of corn chips lathered in guacamole, we just can’t get enough of them.
We also recommend the traditional Mexican flan—creamy and rich, it’s infused with orange and vanilla bean. If you’re vegan, it’s no problem at Ain’t No Taco! You’ll love the chocolate mousse with toasted coconut, chocolate soil and vegan meringues.
It’s no secret that we think tequila goes with...well, everything and it turns out the team at Ain’t No Taco are right on board with this. Here, you’ll find a cocktail list laiden with agave treats. Margaritas, boozy rito’s (tequila with your choice of Jarrito Soda) and, our guilty pleasure, the tequila sunrise. For those who don’t like to indulge in tequila (who even are you?) there’s a craft beer list alongside the must-try, Desperados. This crisp lager, brewed in Mexico and aged in tequila barrels, is out of this world.
If you’re on the run, ordering a takeaway salad is easy. Choose your base, such as maple miso kumara, cauliflower rice and turmeric and lemon quinoa. Then, add your toppings—we loved the pickled shaved fennel, chipotle lime pumpkin seeds, green apple and street corn lime Chipotle. Throw in an avo cream dressing and this is the stuff dreams are made of—and healthy dreams at that.
Naturally, you’ll find a trio of hot sauce on each table, and then there is the aforementioned wall of hot sauce too. The staff are all well-versed in chili lingo, ask them for a recommendation and you’re sure to find something right up your alley. If you’re feeling particularly daring, try the cool million chili pepper extract. Kept behind the counter, and dispensed via a dropper, this is serious stuff. Just one drop is enough to light your whole mouth on fire. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Serving up some of the best salads and tacos in town, bring your vegan, tequila-loving friends and get amongst this great new Mexican joint that’s heating things up in the heart of the city.
Image credit: Kate Rose