Bangkok Post reviews
A Mexican Time-Out
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: July 1, 2011 at 9:39 am
With every move around town Tacos & Salsa has become better and better
The Mexican Platter of enchilada, tacos and quesadilla.
Having dined at a few Mexican restaurants in Colorado and being a fan of Nacho Bell Grande by a famous Mexican fast food joint doesn't make me a well qualified reviewer of Mexican cuisine.
But much as I'm aware of such fact, I'm also eager to tell my readers how much I was impressed by the food of this week's subject of review. My dinner there last week has nicely brought back a culinary sensation that had been missed over the past several years.
Tacos & Salsa was first launched in 2008. Since then it has relocated twice but stayed within the central area of Sukhumvit. The restaurant now occupies a small unit in a run-down 40-year-old shophouse row at the end of Sukhumvit soi 18.
With vividly coloured interior decoration, Tacos & Salsa is the only Mexican restaurant in Bangkok that is owned and run by a Mexican. And the cuisine here is rather authentic to central Mexico than the more familiar Tex-Mex and Cali-Mex styles.
Alambres with chicken, bell peppers, onions and melted cheese.
The restaurant's extensive collection of home-cooked Mexican fares is prepared to the owner's family recipe. It is presented in categories like all-day breakfast (for example, huevos rancheros, or tortillas with fried egg and bacon), starters (guacamole and chips), soup (frijoles charros or red bean soup with chorizo), tacos, burritos, steak and seafood on a two-page menu.
As the restaurant's name suggests, three kinds of salsa _ red chili sauce; salsa verde, made with jalapenos and cilantro; and salsa cruda, a mixture of fresh tomato, lime and bird's eye chili _ will be placed on the table as soon as the guests are seated.
A great option that allowed us to deliciously kick off and enjoy three of the very popular delicacies at one go was Mexican platter (500 baht), which presented an enchilada, two tacos and three pieces of quesadilla accompanied by portions of Mexican rice and refried beans.
Pork fajitas with sauteed vegetables and french fries.
For each treat, customers are to choose the meat filling they prefer. For enchilada, we tried it with chicken and were pleased with the firm chicken meat that tucked inside the soft tortilla roll covered with chili sauce and sprinkled with cheese.
Meanwhile, tacos de carnitas was our tacos of choice and proved truly addictive. It featured marinated pork with pineapple and chilli sauce topped with chopped onion and fresh coriander on soft corn tortilla.
My dining companion particularly liked the quesadilla. Our order of the pan-grilled flour tortilla sandwich came stuffed with mozzarella and cubes of chorizo to offer a mild, cheesy and salty touch to the plate.
Another appetiser worth having is alambres (265 baht). It looked very similar to a typical quesadilla, presenting pan-grilled soft flour torillas filled with a choice of meat (choose from chicken tinga, beef tinga, chili con carne or salpicon), sauteed bell peppers, onions and melted cheese. "Buttery and scrumptious" is my definition for the chicken alambres we had.
The colourful interior of the casual bistro.
Of all the treats on the table my favourite, however, was tostadas (215 baht). The two crispy corn tortillas were topped with refried beans, a choice of meat, chipotle chilli sauce, fresh ice burg lettuce, cheese and sour cream to offer a mouthful of awesome flavours and textures.
Nicely retaining its crispiness even after being topped with wet filling, the tortilla offered the pleasant corn smack perfectly enhanced with the mildly sweet and velvety bean, piquant meat filling, peppery sauce, refreshing lettuce, mild sour cream and salty cheese.
We also sampled pozole (160 baht), or traditional Mexican corn soup with pork and red radish. The clear soup, hardly available anywhere else in town, was seasoned to our preference with fresh lime juice and spicy chilli sauce and enjoyed with corn tortillas which came on the side.
The restaurant's steak menu provides a substantial selection of meat dish in Mexican style. We went for pork fajitas (480 baht). The order presented, on a sizzling plate, a huge portion of grilled marinated pork loin, sauteed broccolies, bell peppers and french fries.
To eat, the succulent and flavourful pork was to be sliced and wrapped in a soft flour tortilla with the vegetables, guacamole, sour cream and cheese to make a very hearty and tasty bite.
No drink would better compliment a flavourful Mexican meal than Mexican beer. So, for those looking for a complete Mexican F&B experience, there's Corona.
The restaurant's best selling dessert, flan Napolitano (50 baht), did a great job in wrapping up the pungent meal. The half custard half cheesecake dainty in brown colour, though looked a bit unappetising, was impressive in palatability. The flavour was rich with a pleasant bitter touch, while the texture was smooth and not mushy.
Even more amusing for me was the pastel de tres leches, or sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk (50 baht). In sizeable slice, the cake was not as buttery rich nor overly sweet as it seemed. Instead, both the taste and texture of the whipped-cream topped cake was amazingly light. The cake's spongy character made it absorb the milk well, which lent some refreshness to the cake.
Tacos & Salsa is a modest restaurant with unostentatious local-style service. You can expect to find cheerful smile and friendly remarks from its Thai staff.