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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bites: El Publico @ Highgate

El Publico has long established itself as a social dining scene where Mexican meets modern Australian.  Its food is colourful from good Australian produce and flavours are Mexican-ly robust.   But is it really all that good?

Before jumping into the cliche of tacos, we ordered a couple of shared plates.  From the ceviche to the marinated corn, beef mogo mogo and the classic corn chips & dips, each came with their own merits though special is a word reserved for the beef mogo mogo and chipotle creme.
In essence, the beef mogo mogo was a pulled beef morsel coated with green banana batter and deep fried.  Crunchy on the outside and filled with tender beef on the inside, this was just superb to eat and taste.  Looking in retrospect, the banana was always there to leave a fruity after taste that was not too overpowering to deviate this savoury dish in becoming a sweet one.

Our starter the corn chips & dips were typical and tasted OK, so it was hard to complain about but definitely not praise worthy.   Felt like the order was more of a norm rather than a must.


Looking at the menu earlier, my eyes were fixed onto the marinated grilled corn.  Unfortunately for me, it did not quite come out the way I would have liked it to.  I wanted something a little more charred on the outside and extremely juicy on the inside.  I agree with my sis that it was perhaps better served on the cob.  Pretty decent flavours nonetheless.
Tacos were pretty good here.  That night we had a round of cuttlefish tacos for the table.  The tender flesh was a highlight but its $7 price tag did not quite tickle our fancy.  Instead, I recommend the grilled chicken plate.  Large pieces of chicken with a sides of rice, beans and tortilla, this was DYI at its finest.  None of the elements really stood out on its own but put them all together, and it was burrito party!  So for you people who like to get your hands dirty, this one is for you!

Whilst we were all very full from the meal, we could not help but end the night with a delicious peanut butter parfait. Jim’s take on this was that it had to be the best dish that night!  It had texture, flavour and a general all rounder appeal.  Sweet peanut crumble with a salty and rich peanut butter was easily the highlight.  However, the textures of melting parfait, and crunchy peanuts were all too hard to ignore.  Yums.
So with a $181 damage for 4 people including drinks, El Publico is no standard fare for an everyday’s meal.  It is a little inflated part due to its location but more to its reputation.  Its food was not outstanding, but neither did it disappoint.  For the money we paid, it was a pretty decent eat.  But not life changing.

el PÚBLICO on Urbanspoon