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Tuesday 3 February 2015

El Topo Mexican: REVIEW

El Topo Mexican - have you tried it yet?

If you call yourself a Mexican food aficionado, you very likely already have.

If you haven't, get yourself there, pronto!

Here's what the El Topo website says, and below, my review:

Best Mexican Food In Sydney
El Topo has built a reputation as one of Sydney’s most loved and talked about Mexican restaurant and rooftop bars.  The moment you step into El Topo, it’s like stepping in to Oaxaca (pronounced 'Wahaca'), Mexico.

Executive Chef Amir Jamil’s modern interpretation of Oaxacan cuisine combines authentic flavours of tamarind, guajillo chillies, avocado leaf, jicama and cactus with modernised methods and local ingredients. 
The menu provides a variety of options for vegetarians those that are gluten intolerant. It also features earthy Mexican staples and home made produce including tradition moles (with up to 20 ingredients in each).  
The El Topo beverage menu features close to 100 Mexican white spirits including five sotols, 20 mezcals and close to 80 tequilas. To create its world-class cocktails, the bar sources rare and authentic Mexican ingredients, while the wine list features varietals from Spain, South America and Australia that are suited to this popular style of cuisine. 
A trip to El Topo is an essential Mexican experience that is sure to spice up your life.

Here is the EXCEPTIONAL El Topo menu:

See the whole El Topo menu here.

And see more about the restaurant here.

And now… feast on my photos from my visit, which was enjoyed by Josie's Juice, and guests, the editor of Grazia magazine South Africa and her partner, below. FIRST - the star of the show, the famous El Topo Mexican crickets (called 'chapulines'):

Surprisingly delicious. Crunchy, moriesh. Close your eyes and give it a go. Then, you will be addicted. The chilli and lime spices are perfection, the texture completely palatable. I have been craving them since.

My impression of El Topo? Nothing short of the BEST Mexican I have ever had. It's that good. Everything from the drinks, to the atmosphere, to the very knowledge staff, to the interior design and decor (incredible, vibrant colours and Mexican Day Of The Dead skulls and paraphernalia, and booths to slide into and stay a long while), to the star of the show, the delicious, never-have-I-seen-anything-like-this-before FOOD.

Here's a tip: ask your server what he or she recommends. There is a very good chance they've tasted everything on that extensive El Topo menu, and they KNOW what you should indulge in. The hero dishes are: the crickets, always the crickets.

Then, the plantains. The corn (maize carbonizado) - corn cobs rolled in queso fresco cheese and a crunchy layer of chiltepil (a mixture of chipotle, pumpkin and sesame seeds). The char is perfection.

The soft shell crab is EVERYTHING. The cactus salad. Yes,  cactus. The ceviche. The variations on the quesadilla. You guys, leave your preconceptions of Mexican fare at the door, and let your taste buds go a little nuts with the El Topo Mexican menu options. Try the tacos with every filling you can, ALL the incarnations. They are all fantastic, big pockets of flavour and I can't pick a fave.

Oh! And THE DESSERT! The flan roto de coco con chocolate y cajeta. No words. Okay, one: more-ish. Delicious. Divine. Yeah, I know. That's three. It's a smashed coconut flan filled in a mason jar, with single origin Mexican chocolate shavings, hazelnut mousse, and goat's milk, sesame seeds, and toasted coconut atop. SO good, and can be shared with two people. 

Oh yes… and the buñuelos con chocolate ($10) are Mexican doughnuts which you dip in the chocolate it's served with. SO divine. Check it:

AND: the cocktails. Here was my chilli encrusted number:

El Topo is located on the third floor of the Eastern Hotel, which is part of Westfield Bondi Junction. Park inside the Westfield carpark or there is on street parking.

The address is:

Level 3, 500 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction, Sydney.

Hours: Mon 4:00pm - 10:00pm
Tue - Sat 12:00pm - Late 
Sun 12:00pm - 12:00am

Call: + 61 2 9387 7828

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