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Showing posts with label Mexican Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexican Food. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bites: South American Ribs @ Subidoo, Subiaco.

A week of sudden rib cravings led me to dine at two American diners last week.  First was a meal at Ribs & Burgers in Perth city and the other at Subidoo in Subiaco.  The latter was my pick to meet up with a few colleagues over dinner.

To start we ordered a main size buttermilk fried chicken with spicy mayonnaise.

These crispy boneless chicken came out promising.  It looked crispy on the outside but it was missing the outer crust with a deep crunch. What also felt lacking was the memorable buttermilk fragrance.  Subidoo’s buttermilk chicken had a thin layer of crust rather than a crunchy batter. In saying that it came out really tender and still yummy.  Apparently buttermilk works as a tenderiser too!

Fish Tacos; battered fish, slaw, and chilli aioli.

This unsuspecting taco is one of my surprise favourites at Subidoo.  Its flavours were spot on! You have the acidity of the slaw, the creamy mayonnaise and the crispy fish.  Sounds like a sure win does it not?  However, it could be super-sized though to make it real American if you get what I mean.  The tacos were a little small.

That night we had three serve of ribs which allowed us to sample all their specialties.  The first of the three was the beef back ribs.

The full rack for $30 was a steal.  Imagine thick and juicy fall of the bone meat that is tender, slightly fatty with its edges mildly caramelised. Basting was rich, and its flavours all worked so very well together.  Delicious.  

The other two rib dishes were based on pork.  The Five Spice Ribs and the Cuban Style BBQ Pork Ribs.

The Asian inspiration in the Five Spice Ribs were pretty obvious.  It had notes of tamarind and was topped with some chilli.  The Five Spice flavour was present and to bring all the flavours together you have that fruity sweetness from the palm sugar which carries a natural caramel flavour.  It was decent but I did not feel quite as impressed as I was with the beef ribs!

The Cuban style BBQ Spare Ribs was also something which I felt tasted OK but did not really live up to my expectations.  With all due respect, I did not get the smokey BBQ flavours one would normally expect.  Perhaps it has something to do with the Cuban style barbecue? Never had that before haha.  

As a side, we also had the chargrilled corn.  Boy, these were so good.  Sweet corn perfectly cooked and simply oozing with the chipotle sauce.  The added sprinkling of cheese made dreams come true and it was all a very common flavour that everyone on the table enjoyed.  Except AC of course as he does not like cheese at all!

Subidoo is a nice place to catch up with friends over a meal in Subiaco as its casual and airy diner means you have a lot more space without the feeling of suffocating.  But if you are here for the ribs which is the specialty of Subidoo, you will feel disappointed (with the exception of the beef ribs).  The plate of porky ribs did not feel as though there was enough love present in the process of preparing the dish. Clearly enough from the picture, it felt as though the sauce and the ribs were two separate components from start to end.  Sauce poured on top of dry ribs?  I wanted ribs tenderised by slow cooking.  Then set it on a grill and baste it with the sauce repeatedly to initiate the fusion between meat and sauce.   Subidoo’s execution of the pork ribs was mildly flawed but its lack of attention to detail made it deplorable.   In hind sight, I would return anytime for those gorgeous beef ribs!

Click to add a blog post for Subidoo on Zomato

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

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bites: Big El's Latin American @ Northbridge

Obscure little gems and half price discount restaurants have been my foodie’s go-to this week.  But rather than jumble all of them into a one-liner post, I have decided to do it one by one like I always do.  With the much lamented Sake Bar done and dusted from Francis Street in Northbridge, Big El has volunteered itself to be the new kid on the block.  It promises Mexican tapas and I will be honest.; I love Mexican.  The spices and its almost South-East-Asian approach in taste combination (the sweet, salty, sour and spicy) has never failed to tingle my appetite.  So did Big El manage to get me all excited for me to return with my friends next week?

First of all, it pays to know your chili at Big ElsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut bugger that! With me finishing a fair bit of Novembars Chili burger or drinking the blisteringly spicy Tom Yams in Bangkok, I have little fears for chili. Although you-know-where is going to hurt the next day :P!

Non-alcoholic drinks were priced decently in Big Els.  Most drinks were $4 max.  But if you want to go Mexicana, there were a few Mexican beers to get you started before getting into hardcore stuff.  The drawings on the wall were definitely not the most juvenile at Big Els.  But with so much liquor on offer, I least expected the pictures of Sesame Street in Sombreros to grace the wall .


The dining style in Big Els is a tapas inspired diner.   For that we called a few things to share among the table, but we ended up with way too many.  But lets be merry shall we?  To get the appetite rolling, we called a few starters like Piquin chips(fries), stuffed jalapenos and tortillas with dips.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOf the lot, I have to say that my favourite was the deep fried stuffed Jalapenos. Be warned.  As keen as you may be, your weak tongue might suggest otherwise.    Deep fried Jalapeno popper has always been a crowd pleaser.  Store bought or homemade.  The version at Big El did not fail to deliver. I loved it. But I question the stuffing which consist of “various Mexican cheese”.  That bit failed to take off in my mouth.    I would recommend you to have these little beauties whole.  Dipped in its accompanying sauce, it was heaven.  Spicy as it may be, it was a kickass bite.

Then came the tortilla chips.  Its colors were nice and reminded me of a type of corn which had two colors but definitely not tri-color as the menus suggested.  But what I felt was not so impressive was that the chips felt less crisp than the ones I’d get from a packet of Dorito. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
There were two sauces that night. A creamy Chili con Queso which was yummy and tasted very buttery.  No idea what this was but it was unique and pretty good.  Never have I tasted this in Perth before.  Then comes the Mexican staple, the Guacamole.  Here, you can pound it yourself or let Big El’s wait staff do it the Big El way.  Needless to say, I wanted to taste what the restaurant thinks is an ideal Guacamole should be.  My first bite in and I was filled with dissatisfaction.  It needed more seasoning and acidity for sure.  If it had enough seasoning, it lacked resting time.  I like to let me sauces like Guacamole, Salsas, Pickles, and Raita sit for awhile before serving.  Ideally two hours.  That brings out the best flavors which appears true for most parts.

After having a few starters to share around the table, our shared dishes started arriving at the table.  But none looked more gimmicky than the Mexican Hot Dog.  A simple hot dog bun, toast before being having a hot dogs stuffed in the middle topped with spicy chipotle and Jalapeno slices.  Served on the side was a large serve of Chili con Carne.  But was it gimmicky good?… or bad?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn all honesty, there is little rave about a little $1 hot dog you could get from Ikea.  Plus, I remember looking forward to lunchtime in school when these were packed in my lunch boxes.  Sincerely, there was very little to hate about such simplified pleasures.  It was minimalistic and all the condiments were in its rightful place.  Too add on, it came with a large bowl of chili con carne.  The chili con carne was nice and definitely something I would have over and over again.

To share amongst the table, we also ordered the soft shell tacos that arrived with an army of sauces and salsa.  I got pretty damn confused to be honest.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFortunately, there were some standouts which would really suit the chili wusses.  My friends around the table found the roasted tomato and garlic salsa along with the mango jalapeno salsa one to be the most palatable.

But when it comes to the meat, I found the pulled beef to the best.  It had flavor and the spices were spot on.  If only I had one complain, I think it was a little over-salted/spiced.  When something tastes so strong, my tongue almost instinctively expects it to be a little gritty.  But it was not.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADefinitely try the pulled beef.  I found the ginger torched salmon to be a little dry to my liking and with the chicken, it was far from its description of crispy.  It was just grilled chicken!

Also on the table was the Cascabel Chicken Wings.  Tasty little things there were, but they did not quite blow me off my socks. It was OK.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADeep fried chicken wings seasoned with rattle chilies and served with a side of chipotle mayonnaise.

Last but not least for the night were the Elotes Callejeros or Mexican street corn dusted with Big El’s special spice mix.PB280736On each plate stood 3 beautiful corns and needless to say, I loved it.  Its flavors were just right and there was so many things happening at the same time.  The sweet and juicy corn, the yummy cheese and the spices.  Looking around the table, most seemed to enjoy it especially the cheesy bits.  But my sister whose eating experience was broader than mine, her experience at Melbourne’s MamaSita produced a more significant corn compared to the one here.  Nevertheless, if you are in Perth this would suffice :)!

Over all, I had a pretty decent meal at Big Els.  Taking into account that I only paid half price, it was probably a bargain.  We had a feast for the price of a Mexican takeaway.  But I somehow feel let down by the fact that the restaurant does not bring anything exciting to the existing Mexican market.  It is already in a prime location to start something new.  Perhaps throw some meat on the grill you know, some Mexican spit roast to fend off the Greek/Spanish/Brazillian ones?  While this was in no way a bad start, it left me longing for more of something.  Good potential to be part of something bigger although as is, it is probably just going to live on as an ok eatery.

Big Els Latin American Fusion on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bites: Guzman Y Gomez, GYG @ Northbridge

My fellow colleagues decided to go out for lunch one day and I took this opportunity to show them a bit of what food blogging is on my side.  It clearly felt awkward with me putting so much emphasis of food photos and not them haha.  They probably wonder why have I not even taken any photos of them lol.  Anyways, that day we went to Guzman Y Gomez which for me is a perfect chance to try this new Mexican place.  My first attempt fell short when the queue for free burritos extended to the end of the shop houses and even went around the corner.  Fortunately, it was just a small group of people this time.


GYG is probably one of the latecomers to enter the wave of Mexican restaurants that swept Perth a few years back.  Since then, we have seen Mad Mex, Salsa Mex and other Mexican places appear so quickly around town.  Typically, I would have that coming late would mean a little more than ignorance.  So, is this a case of “last in, best dressed” or “ GYG –> GG”?  GG pretty much just means flop!                                                                                    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The GYG list is not the most comprehensive but covers all the Mexican basics like Tacos, Burritos, Bowls, Nachos and Quesadillas.  A small range of salads are also present for the weightwatchers.


So is there really enough substance for it to differentiate itself from others?  I started with 3 soft shell tacos for $10.90.  These felt like good value but what made my day was the fact that I could have all 3 in different flavors.   I started this taste test with a spicy chicken guerrero, a beef guerrero and a pork chipotle.                                                                OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         My first bite into the taco, and I enjoyed the delicious flavors Mexican fare always offers.  The sweetness, and acidity mixed with a little heat from the free flow of jalapeno.  It was gorgeous.  The spicy chicken guerrero was well flavored, with its meat still tender.  Bean provided the carbohydrates and over all it was a satisfying eat.  But when I tried to repeat those with the beef and the pork tacos, it felt way too similar.  There was no differentiating factor between these meats.  Maybe because they were all called guerreros or something.  But even then, the pork chipotle had little to offer.


My mates on the other hand called the burritos in a wrap.  These were really huge stuff with rice, meat and vegetables with a finish of salsa.  Seeing them chow down those whole burritos in under 10 minutes really shows how much the boy enjoyed their wraps.  But I do not blame them, I would have these over Subway anytime. 


GYG is a pretty good eat when you take into consideration how quick and fuss free it is to get decent Mexican.   But what does it offer that others do not?  Perhaps more flavors for your burritos or tacos but then again, I had difficulty telling which is which if not for the color and texture of the meat.  So if I ever had to decide whether it was going to be Mad Mex or GYG or others, it would be important to see who is nearest.    GYG?  Definitely not GG.  A worthy bite!



Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taqueria Northbridge on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bites: Mad Mex @ Subiaco

Two days ago, my sister and I decided to go for some simple dinner not Japanese, or Chinese.  Having Italian on Monday did not help either, so Mexican it is.  For those who live near the city, Mad Mex might look like a Zambrero copy cat. But to those who know, Mad Mex is already a household name for fast, fresh and tasty Mexican food when it established its first outlet in Hillarys.  A workmate of mine has mentioned this a few times now, but with Hillarys being the only option before, I am glad we now have one in Subiaco.

To share my sister and I called a Quesadillas and a Grande Melt to share.


The quesadillas was a monster and it is definitely good to for sharing.  Four large triangles filled with melted cheese and meat was good but so rich.  For this one, I called the beef which was tasty but perhaps slightly overcooked but not to extent where it is dry and stringy.  Cheese was good but the overload made it salty! But fear not, guacamole, sour cream and the salsa made this all very easy to eat. 


As for the Grande melt, I had it with the chicken.  And to be honest, the chicken was more succulent and the marinade just tasted really good.  Sister did not quite like the black beans in the Grande wrap but I found it ok.  A little dusty sort of textural component which is OK.   No dislike or significant like!  As its name suggest, there was heaps of cheese again here.  But luckily enough, not as much as the Quesadillas!


Overall, Mad Mex is a really good bite that feels wholesome and is prepared well under 10 minutes of waiting time.  The concept was simple and more importantly, clear.  Taste wise, this definitely beats Subway hands down.   I like the cheese, and chicken,.  In fact, the guacamole was pretty nice despite lacking in acidity and missing the pungent taste of diced onions.  So next time if you’re catching the footy or simply wondering about Subiaco, do not forget that there is a little something there that does not make a hole in your pocket :)!



Mad Mex on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bites: Zambrero Fresh Mex Grill @ Leederville

Pigging out with your best pal is probably one of the best fun possible! But after one to many meaty meals, it was good that we finally decided to go off track and have something a little healthier.  Nevertheless, a healthier one does not equal us mutating into cows feeding on salads or sandwiches, instead we were off to something a little less alien.   Yobi and I decided to give Zambrero Mexican @ Leederville a try.  So is this Mexican enough or wannabe?
Looking at the board, choices were extremely limited only to be varied by sauce and meat.  But that was alright, so long as it tastes good!  For me, I decided to go small with a taco @ $6 filled with chicken, tomato salsa, and the verde! 
Seeing how my meal came together really had me wishing that I ordered something else.  With no more than 2 tablespoons of meat followed by a tonne of vegetables, I literally moo-ed my way to the counter.  Sceptical as any T-Rex would be, impressions were not lasting as my first bite had me go “Wow this is tasty!!”.   Yobi had the Burrito @ $11 which was somewhat similar but instead, they had rice in it too + it was A LOT bigger.   

Overall our meal was here was pretty decent! But to be honest, it was just tasty filled tacos/burritos.  If there is anything simpler than pasta, it has got to be Mexican food.  For me the art of guacamole is easy.  Pair it with a box of tacos for dinner and you would have every one smiling at the dining table (+ a plate of nachos too).  Would I come here again?  Sure why not?  Would you bother going back to all the trouble just to feed one person?  Probably not!  Also, this over Subway any day!! :P!  Mexicana!!!


Zambrero Fresh Mex Grill on Urbanspoon