29 January 2018

I've been meaning to check out at Mexico at Sylvia Park for ages now, I knew it would be the perfect location for a relaxed and delicious date night dinner so you can imagine how thrilled I was to be invited to try this out!

The restaurant is nestled in the lush surrounds of their exciting new dining district, The Grove. Mexican cuisine is close to my heart so I had high expectations of Mexico Sylvia Park and the traditional Mexican dishes they would offer up. I had a quick look at the menu online (c’mon, you’ve got to research first, right?!) which revealed that not only was there muchos authentic Mexican favourites, there are also plenty of innovative and ambitious flavour combinations on the menu, a torrent of refreshing beverages, and most importantly for me personally, there’s a huge array of vegetarian and gluten free options on offer.

When I arrived at Mexico, I felt that their staff took extra special care to find my partner and I a date-appropriate spot in the restaurant. We then settled in at an intimate spot inside, where we were surrounded by vibrant wall murals, over-layed upon the general industrial feel to the fittings and space, while wait staff channel Frida Kahlo moving through the restaurant, crowned with flowers.

It was a scorching evening, so I was definitely interested in Mexico’s range of sodas all made with natural flavours, colours and sugars. There was a huge range of flavours to choose from, to a name a few: Pineapple and Vanilla; Raspberry and Cucumber, Citrus and Ginger Fresca, Lemonade, Blackberry and Elderflower, Cherry Creaming Soda, Coriander Lime Fresca and White Cola. I ordered the White Cola, which was listed as ‘not to be missed’ – it was so refreshing with bursts of bitters and cinnamon. I can’t wait to go back and try the rest, it might take me a while to get through them all!

We ordered the esquites as a starter and loved the smoky blackened onion crema and chipotle buttered corn which was paired with the moreish queso fresco cheese. On the specials board was the unassuming elotes or corn on the cob… But trust me you’ve never had corn like this! Basted in butter, dusted in paprika, sprinkled with micro coriander and liberally wrapped in parmesan cheese, this dish was definitely making the most of in season veges. I had an Anthony Bourdain moment before I’d even finished eating the corn I had, I had to order another one; with butter smooshing up the side of my cheek and running down my hands to my blackened fingers from the grill it had been charred on. I think I was the happiest I’ve been in a while!

It would have been rude not to order some soft shell tacos, so I had the exceedingly good eggplant version with blackened corn pico, baby spinach and akaparra crema. My date snatched up a spiced duck leg version, which he said was rich and gamey paired with its kumara and ginger confit and also a xocolate mole beef that he commented was chocolatey, thick and perfectly offset by the charred pineapple. Mexico are widely known for their fried chicken which means that someone at the table always has to try it. My date loved the salty and seasoned, crispy coated medallions of sumptuous white breast. Heading back to the specials board for the finale, we shared a piece of lemon lime pie with coconut cream which was a Mexican flan-type take on key lime pie and it was sensational. We regretted not ordering a piece each as we both loved it, we were even doing that clash of the spoons for the last part to chomp up and that coconut cream… I need the recipe in my life!

With super reasonable pricing, the vibrant atmosphere and diverse menu, Mexico is made for sharing and reveling with your amigos, familia or lovers. I most certainly will be back again very soon when I want to take some time out before or after a movie for some scrumptious and exciting Mexican cuisine.

Kate Taylor of One Take Kate.

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