Mexico in Ellerslie
Executive chef Javier Carmona who is a Spanish-born Australian, previously owned The Codfather fish restaurant in Sydney and has more than 20 years of kitchen experience around the world. When the opportunity arose to get involved with Mexico, Carmona set out on a mission to change kiwis views on Mexican food. The polar opposite of Tex-Mex fast food outlets that we have become accustomed to, Carmona's food illustrates how Mexican food has many more layers and more complexity that what people give it credit for. The restaurant only uses fresh chillies (5 different varieties) and never uses pastes or powders. Carmona prides himself on making dishes with lots of textures, flavours and a lot of depth. Upon walking in the first thing you notice is the incredibly warm and fun atmosphere. The walls are decorated with Mexican artwork, and the space is huge, with the tables (and menu) perfect for communal dining. Order several dishes so you get to try a range of flavours, order a drink from the extensive drink menu and sit back and enjoy. Our service was friendly, fast and attentive. A truly delicious lunch! My must-try dish is the Taco Dorado. Wow! With that deep fried shell filled with papa, chicken, green tomato salsa, garlic chips and cucumber milk....first you get the crunch of the taco shell, then the punch of the vibrant salsa, with the heat of the chilli coming through. The cucumber milk adds a nice contrast. Definitely a flavour-layered taco!
Here's what we ordered:
Black bean & smokey bacon dip with cumin, orange, queso & plantain chips ($8) (Main photo).
Taco Dorado: papa, grilled chicken, green tomato salsa, garlic chips, cucumber milk ($7)
Quesadilla with roasted cauliflower & chorizo, with fresh mint, garlic chips and salsa ($15)
Mexico: 120 Main Highway, Ellerslie (and other locations).