Stepping into Méjico, the aroma of chipotle chili fills the air. A quick scan over the menu reveals the source; glazed pork ribs, "worth the mess, even on a first date".
Tonight, our dining group secures a table towards the back, overlooking the hustle and bustle of the long, narrow floor. The industrial space is drenched in brilliant pink; from the waiters' striped uniforms to the bar stools and the wall trappings, Méjico creates an energetic buzz. Bar seating along the open kitchen offers patrons quite the show while they are eating, Méjico loves a bit of food theatre.
Our first point of call is the enormous tequila list. YES!
Quickly moving on . . . our attentive waiter talks us through the menu. Share plates are scribed along the top half, and include signature dishes, ceviches, salsas and tacos, while mains are positioned according to heaviness.
To start, we order Méjico's signature market-fresh guacamole and blackened corn. Within moments a 'guacamole girl' approaches the table with a board of chopped Spanish onion, lime juice, pistachios, Serrano chili, coriander and a halved avocado. The guacamole is smashed with a mortar and pestle, and she presents us with golden plantain chips for dipping.
The Hiramasa Kingfish ceviche is prepared with ruby grapefruit, watermelon, pepitas, radish and pops of charred chili flakes. It is delicate and delicious. Soft-shell tacos come three at a time, with a choice of braised lamb shoulder, smoked pork belly or grilled ocean trout. We opt for a tasting plate with one of each. Do not be deceived; these little parcels explode with flavour.
Now on to mains, you simply cannot go past the glazed pork ribs. Presented on a steel rack with marinade oozing over the sides and polenta chips to soak it all up—they are seriously messy. But they're finger-licking good.
Portobello mushrooms arrive four on the plate, drenched in black bean puree and served with crispy croquetas of sweet potato, cumin, onion and Manchego. On the side, the queso fresco (similar to sliced haloumi) is wet with homemade agave syrup, topped with coriander and roasted pepitas. Yum!
As for dessert, the list is short and sweet. There's caramel fudge, a stunning fruit hat, or a milk chocolate shot that's sure to get your heart racing.
Top and middle image credit: Mejico
Bottom image credit: Food Is Our Religion