I have never seen a restaurant so quirky.
|Tacos from EL Loco|
Since I first saw a review about the place, it has been on my to-go list. And thanks to Stephanie, the longing to give El Loco a try is accomplished.
EL Loco is a Mexican based restaurant, run by the infamous Dan Hong. Located in one of the hippest parts of the city, the colourful restaurant is hard to be missed.
|El Loco, Surry Hills|
They have both indoor and outdoor dining areas, along with small bar area. Although we dined outdoor that day, I couldn't help but to admire the uniqueness of the decor and setting inside. It does look like a cafeteria or 'cantina' for some extent, the walls are painted brightly with interesting decoration here and there. Colourful high stools accompany the high tables, and the kitchen is open so you can witness the food prep yourself.
|The indoor dining setting and open kitchen|
Do you notice that there are a lot of cactus on display? There's one on every table, the table number is also in cactus-shaped plank, the walls have cactus painting, and so on. The menu is simple and easy on the eye, but there's nothing simple about the flavour of the food here.
|Clockwise from top left: menu, habanero sauces, mini cactus, table number|
Corn chips with guacamole and salsa is ordered to be shared. That is obvious, as there are a lot of chips there. The guacamole is surprisingly very enjoyable for me, who isn't a fan of avocado, and the salsa provides lovely spicy kick. There are habanero and jalapeno sauces on the table for those who want extra heat.
|Corn chips with guacamole and salsa - $5|
The term 'colourful', which is applied on the restaurant's decoration, is also depicted on the food's flavour. Especially the tacos. With the price tag of $5 each, it is hard not to say one each, but we limited ourselves to have only 3 tacos that time.
Al Pastor taco (spit roasted pork and pineapple salsa) is my choice; it bursts with delicious flavour in the first bite and continues to the last. The pork is very tender, and I love all the fresh herbs (coriander, cabbage, and spring onions) in it.
|Al Pastor taco - $5|
Stephanie's Carne Asada taco (lemongrass beef, salsa verde) looks as tempting as it sounds, but I didn't get a bite. I am sure that it's as good as mine.
|Carne Asada taco - $5|
"I won't tell you, you have to order it to know what the secret taco is", said the cheeky waitress to us when we asked about the secret taco. The secret taco has various ingredients that changes everyday, and we will never know what we'll get until it actually arrives on the table.
That day's secret taco hit the table with glorious smell. It looked intriguing, and soon we found out that it's actually fried (?) black pudding with guacamole-like sauce and crackling on top. It was the first time for me trying fried black pudding a.k.a blood pudding, and was very surprised that it's deliciously creamy inside and crunchy on the outside. No unpleasant smell present, and the herbs inject freshness. Love the crunchy crackling too!
|Secret taco - $5|
The El Hot Dog looks discriminating with its size. However, just by looking at the long Frankfurt and the white blanket of cheese makes me moan. It is, indeed, the best hot dog that I have tried so far. The bun in wonderfully soft, the Frankfurt is great paired with all the hot dog fixing: mayo, picco the gallo (salsa fresca), pickled jalapeno, and of course the divine grated cheese.
|El Hot Dog - $9|
Gotta tell you this warning, don't expect to be able to eat politely at El Loco. You need to use your hands, and enjoy all the messiness devouring the tacos and hot dog. It is a fun and kinda loco restaurant, with no doubt.
We were very full, but that didn't stop us from walking few blocks away to Café Cre Asion, where dainty arrays of macarons are in offer. We only got two that day, strawberry milk and Dear Chris. Both are so great, ones of the best macs I have ever had. While the strawberry milk has lighter yet lovely flavour, the Dear Chris is more preferred. It has similar taste like the Gaytime, which has become my favourite ice cream.
|Strawberry milk and Dear Chris macarons - $3 each|
I will definitely come back to Cre Asion, and will do a full post about it. Anyway, thanks heaps for Stephanie for being a food tour guide for a day, I really had a great time!
Currency: $1 = IDR 9,500
Rating (for El Loco): 4/5 (Recommended)
Great Mexican food (must-try tacos!), service is nice and friendly, ambiance is great, price is affordable (unless you go overboard with the tacos).
64 Foveaux St
Sydney, NSW 2010
Phone: (02) 9211 4945
CAFE CRE ASION
21 Alberta St
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: 04 0494 1528