Growing up in Florida my entire life, we would eat Mexican food at least once a week. Being so close to Mexico, we had our choice of authentic Mexican restaurants on every corner. Even our chain Mexican restaurants had great food, and subsequently lines out the door every night. Holla at Chipotle on Call St. in Tallahassee for feeding me for three years straight. Us Floridians love our margaritas, tacos and guac. We even take celebrating Cinco De Mayo very seriously.
Needless to say, I was very much so disappointed when I first arrived in Sydney, asking friends where I could get Mexican food, and they couldn’t even name one restaurant close by, let alone at all! I’ve attempted a few restaurants in the last ten months, searching for a semblance of a taste of home. For an extremely exorbitant price, you can have an extremely average taco and margarita at other venues. My search seemed it would continue indefinitely.
That is until I found Mejico. Tucked away on Pitt St in Sydney’s CBD, lies a kind of Mexican restaurant Sydney has yet to see. Mejico prides itself on its authentic cooking methods and market-to-table techniques, and you can truly see, taste and feel the difference. A little while back, the owner of Mejico had traveled through Central and South America. After arriving back home in Australia and discovering the lack of true Mexican restaurants, he decided to open one up himself, sending Mexican chefs over to live and work in Sydney in order to provide a real experience. It doesn’t just stop at the food either. There’s over 300 types of tequila to choose from, as well.
Sam and I had the pleasure of dining at Mejico, and the entire experience, end-to-end, was unbelievable. According to them, the definition of Mejico is “a place where you will find honest and inspiring dishes, to be decided, to be devoured. From market-to-table, this is how we eat.” I found this to be extremely accurate! From just walking in, you can feel the chic, modern style mixed with the Mexican, rustic feel. The staff was what made the first and last impression on us. Jimmy, our host, gave us a detailed description of every tequila and dish we ordered. He even recommended the “Feed Me” option for our meal, which is $55 pp. It was a very good choice, indeed!
Sam and I ordered a Tommy’s Margarita, which is very simply tequila, lime juice and agave, and a Smoky & The Bandito, which was a great mixture of tequila, mezcal, grapefruit and other goodies. Both of which were extremely tasty, and perfectly mixed. We waited for the mass amounts of food to come!
First off, Jimmy came to our table to smash and mix the avocado, coriander, pepper, chili, onions, lime juice and pistachios (yes, even pistachios), to make the guacamole in front of us! It was like a Mexican Benihana! The guac was served with plantain chips, which I’d never had before, but made a world of a difference.
Next came the corn lollipops topped with popcorn, chipotle mayo and queso fresco. Soon after, the salmon ceviche showed up. It was an incredible mixture of flavours done perfectly. I was starting to feel full, and quickly remembered we had a few more massive plates to go!
Next up was one of our absolutely favourites of the night – Salsa De Choriza. Cooked with Pedro Ximenez Sherry, the chorizo has a sweet yet burnt taste to it, mixed together with smoked black beans, paprika and a block of feta cheese. This was also served with plantain chips. We were in awe and wonder over this dish. As I type this, I’m drooling just at the thought of it. Clearly, it’s one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant, and it’s earned that popularity.
The “Feed Me” deal also included four tacos – two chicken and two braised lamb. I’m pretty sure time stood still as I bit into the chicken taco, served with chorizo, cucumber, cumin and chives. I had a bit of a love affair with this taco, as Sam blankly stared at me. But he, too, would come to realise the completely necessary overreaction to such an amazing taco. It was then that I realised how much I actually missed good Mexican food, and how grateful I was to finally find it! The braised lamb taco was also great, but the chicken one, in my opinion definitely takes the cake!
It soon dawned on us that we hadn’t even reached the main dish yet! Our wait staff was very accommodating, and allowed us to order another drink and have a bit of a break in between dishes. I ordered the Mejico Signature Margarita, and Sam had a go at the Tommy’s Marg I gulped down an hour before. The Mejico Signature had a frothy finish to it, and a completely different taste to the other drink, but nevertheless, so tasty!
So after we had a bit of a breather – we ordered the Achiote Chicken served with Patatas Bravas and Black Rice Salad. The chicken was so moist (and I hate the word moist…), but it really was just so juicy and melted in your mouth. It was topped with a yucatan-style mango salsa, spicy almonds and a habanero sauce. Between the rice, patatas bravas, chicken and toppings, we were well on our way to a food-induced coma.
But of course, we weren’t done yet! You can’t go to an authentic Mexican restaurant and not get yourself some churros! The churros, which were the perfect combination of crispy and soft, were topped with a light caramel sauce and a thick chocolate melt.
At the end of the meal, Jimmy encouraged us to “spin the wheel.” Mejico has a rubix cube type game, where you match up different adjectives that describe the type of tequila shot you’d want. The first column describes the price – anywhere from Basic to Aristocrat. The second describes the intensity – scaredy cat to daredevil. The third describes the flavour – fruity to earthy. Sam and I both chose our respective “styles” of tequila. (He’s a scaredy cat, apparently..) We had a chat with our waittress about the tequila, toasted to the next few adventures in our lives and knocked it back, not even needing a chaser to wash it down! That’s when you know you’ve graduated from university bar tequila!
I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but everything and everyone involved was just so incredible. The food and drinks were beautifully done. The wait staff were knowledgable, helpful and even a bit funny! The ambience was like a chic New York garage-styled bar set in Mexico. To say we were extremely satisfied and happy would be an understatement.
- If you’re extremely hungry – Feed Me Option, $55 pp (fed both Sam and I more than enough, but could definitely be shared by 3-4 people)
- If you’re wanting a snack – Guacamole, $14 and the Salsa de Chorizo, $14
- If you want a taco – Chicken Tacos, $12 for two.
- If you want to drink – Tommy’s Margarita, $18
- If you want a shot – Nayar Anejo, $17
Whether you’re a tourist, expat or local, you have to give Mejico a go. They even have a restaurant open in Bangkok for all of my SE Asia bound friends! Check it out 🙂
Have you been to Mejico yet? Let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Mejico in exchange for this review. My opinions are my own, and I only write honest and truthful reviews.