It was getting pretty late for lunch and I needed a good idea for something somewhere around the Orchard area that would appear satisfying enough. I remembered a colleague telling me that he often gets the ‘Burritos‘ at ‘Baja Fresh’ and since they also have tacos I started my Saturday activities by heading their way.
I instantly was a bit skeptical because of the ‘Subway‘ look-alike setup of the shop but now that I had already come all the way out here in the burning sun I thought “what the heck” and ordered three different flavors, ‘Grilled Mahi Mahi‘, ‘Char Siew‘ (Pork) and ‘Chicken‘. I received a complimentary portion of nacho chips and while they were preparing my food I made my way for the condiments taking samples from the different salsas and loading up on chopped cilantro. Only a few minutes later I had all my tacos sitting in front of me. Because I love fish tacos I started with the mahi-mahi which sadly didn’t taste nice at all. It was unpleasantly fishy which overpowered all other flavors. The chicken tasted like nothing really but at least the pork taco gave me some sort of satisfaction. The meat had been slow cooked tenderly and was pretty juicy so that this was the only one I actually had to use the second tortilla – that came with all tacos – to avoid it all ripping apart. This one was really good even though the tortillas were generally too dry and starchy which I counter fought by adding heaps of the ‘Baja Salsa‘ that had a mild heat and a char tang of grilled peppers.
Well, unfortunately this was rather disappointing and as ‘Lucha Loco‘ as well as ‘MexOut‘ have some tastier tacos to offer and one of them even cheaper, ‘Baja Fresh’ probably won’t see me again too fast.
9 Bras Basah Road
#01-03 Rendezvous Gallery
Tel: +65 8157 4136
Octopus and Taco Thieves
After a while I finally came back to ‘Lucha Loco‘ for a friend’s farewell party. For starters I had the ‘Ceviche de Camarones y Pulpo‘ a fantastic refreshing dish full of fresh and sweet prawns and octopus. The texture of the octopus was amazing and just on the spot, firm without being chewy and the lightly sour taste of the lime juice together with the cilantro and herbs made this simply delicious. My favorite non-taco dish here.
For my taco selection this time I went for one of their specials, the ‘Taco de Barbacoa‘ with lovely tenderly braised lamb meat that was juice and strong in taste. A great taco but I would have wished for some more mint in the salsa as it nearly disappeared between all the the other flavors.
By default I had the delicious ‘Taco de Carnitas‘ but this time I also ordered the ‘Taco de Pescado‘ which I didn’t have for a long time. It usually is a little bigger than in the picture but my colleague stole a piece from this nicely grilled snapper before I could stop her. The smaller size didn’t change anything, it still tasted great. The fish was moist and slightly charred on the outside and the combination of the freshness from the salsa and the spiciness from the chipotle made this work perfectly.
Another dinner much and well spend with great food, strong drinks and an outstanding friendly service. Still my kind of place, thanks a lot.
Lucha Loco – Mexican Taqueria Y Garden Bar
15 Duxton Hill
Tel: +65 6226 3938
New Mexican Shop at Boat Quay
I went to Circular Road for lunch to meet two of my friends and to check out a new Mexican restaurant – ‘El Rocho’s’ – which just opened here not long time ago.
First up was the ‘Beef Taco‘ that looked promising when it arrived. Unfortunately the beef chunks were chewy and stringy and reminded me of a cheese steak sandwich from one of the big sandwich chains.
The second round I ordered the ‘Chorizo Taco‘ which besides the sausage used the same ingredients as the beefy version – cilantro, chimichurri mayo, lime and veggies but tasted much better. I liked the freshness of the herbs and the seasoning and saltiness of the chorizo. This one worked for me and was much more satisfying.
Unfortunately the ‘Fish Ceviche‘ we ordered for sharing was also rather a disappointment.The portion was big and the taste wasn’t bad really. I also liked the crispy corn and crunchy jicama sticks (mexican turnip) in it but the dressing was quite viscous and the fish cut in way too big pieces for my liking.
The place is actually quite nicely located around the Boat Quay area and I guess also convenient for the banker’s lunch break and afterwork, the staff was very friendly too but unfortunately the food just didn’t cut it for me this time. They sell ‘Pacifico Cerveza‘ though and some menu items like ‘Ox Tongue Tacos‘ sound pretty interesting so I might come to back some time to check those out.
36 Circular Road
Tel: +65 6438 7879
Back to My Taco Roots
I was at ‘Brickhouse’ for the first time a few years back and this is where I had my first proper corn tortilla taco. As always when coming to Hong Kong my schedule – my food schedule in particular – was packed full so I requested for a second dinner here a few hours after the ‘Double Happiness Cafe‘ and when it became more likely to get a seat.
After starting up with some of their delicious ‘Diablas‘ (vodka, rasberry and jalapeno) I ordered a slap of three ‘Tacos‘ – beef, fish and pork. Startup was the ‘Ribeye Taco‘. They obviously make the corn tortillas themselves as they first had a more rustic look than their assembly line manufactured cousins and were also much thicker. Latter made them also slightly dry and starchy but I didn’t mind due to the fact how much effort they had put into making them. This one was layered with a couple of thin slices of lean steak and gratinated with some sharp tasting cheese, simply sprinkled with some cilantro and a dash of lemon. Not bad at all but quite cheesy. The fish was a bit dry which was partially resolved by the avocado, the chipotle like sauce and the coleslaw but I couldn’t help but remembering this one to have tasted better at my last visit. Lastly I attended to the ‘Pork Taco‘ with it’s nicely moist slow cooked meat and which used the same sauce and avocado topping as the fishy version. Great taste still.
I still love this place for it’s great food, the amazing drink(s) and the bustling atmosphere so that we were lucky to get a table even at 11:00 p.m. at night. Maybe next time I’ll try to queue up with the crowd upon opening and finally get to taste some other dishes like the ‘Do-It-Yourself Bone Marrow Tacos‘ that unfortunately weren’t available til late. Muchas Gracias.
G/F, 20A D’Aguilar Street (via Bricklane)
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Diner/Bistro Concept at Pacific Plaza
A friend told me about this place at Pacific Plaza which is a fusion of ‘L’Entrecote‘, the steak & fries place from Duxton and a modern burger joint with the concept created by Michelin Star Chef Bruno Menard. Half of the shop looks very similar to the french bistro using the same tablecloth and all and the other half looks like a modern style diner with an open concept directly in the mall.
I ordered the ‘Lamb Burger‘ with ‘Truffle Fries‘. When the burger arrived it looked a bit small at first but turned out to be very sufficient and filling. Squeezing the burger into manageable size only very little juice dripped out which could have been a sign for very dry or very well hung meat, thankfully it was the latter. The meat actually was nice and chunky and still juicy inside, maybe a bit too soft for me but well seasoned and meaty in taste nevertheless. The bun was spiked with black sesame seeds, was soft enough but held up pretty good all the way. I was really looking forward to the combination of the mint sauce and the fresh cilantro which I absolutely love but they unfortunately were only hints in the total mix of flavors. In comparison to that the caramelized raisins and onions came out much stronger and dominant.
The ‘Truffle Fries‘ were nice and crispy with a slight touch of truffle oil which didn’t come out too strong either but there was hardly any salt on them. This might have been just a personal preference of mine and was solved quickly by the friendly waiter bringing me a salt grinder.
‘&Made’ is a nice casual place with very friendly staff and most important decent burgers. However I will ask them for a double slap of mint and cilantro in case I should come back here next time which I’m not too sure about as it’s also not the cheapest of places with twenty five dollars ish a burger++. For steak & fries I probably stick with the Duxton branch as the atmosphere is just more bristro and less mall like.
&Made by Bruno Menard
9 Scotts Road
#01-04-06 Pacific Plaza
Tel: +65 6690 7566