Have you ever been underwhelmed by a plate of greasy and turgid food proclaiming to be authentic Mexican cuisine? If so, you understand the disappointment after every regretful mouthful! With all the new Mexican and South American themed eateries springing up throughout Adelaide, you'd think one would have the offerings to transport your taste buds to Latin America. Well here at RADL, we think we have found the perfect one!
Located on Adelaide's up and coming food strip, Maiz and Mezcal (on Magill Road) is as authentic Mexican as it gets. Founded over two years ago by Ivan and Sonia Pichardo, these Mexican natives sought to establish an authentic regional Mexican restaurant that showcased the best of Mexico.
With a menu based on traditional family recipes, a medley of local South Australian and traditional Mexican produce, and not to mention entirely gluten free, there is a lot to look forward to! And to accompany your meal there is a selection of organic mescals, imported beers and festive margaritas and cocktails.
From the exterior, Maiz and Mezcal is attention grabbing. With bright orange walls and a replica donkey out the front- it certainly isn't easily missed. The interior is just as loud. Bright and cheerful colours fill the space creating an equally cheerful and friendly atmosphere, while finer details like signage written in spanish, Mexican art, and decorations and light fixtures all from Mexico add to the restaurants authenticity and charm.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the friendly staff who seamlessly seated us at our waiting table before thoroughly going through the menu and specials board. Restaurant manager Armando was a faultless host, even conversing and teaching us some spanish!
Our Mexican culinary experience began with drummed avocado wedges. Generous wedges of fresh creamy avocado covered in golden and crisp crumb accompanied by a slightly tart dipping sauce (excuse the lack of factual names and terms for this dish, it was a suggestion by Armando and was eaten so fast that no questions were asked...). Overall a simple yet delicious little appetiser.
Following the entree was the highly anticipated main meals.
Hauraches Pollo- the Mexican alternative to a pizza and soft tacos. Succulent seasoned chicken, beans, cream and green salsa on a soft hand-made corn dough. The chicken was unbelievably juicy and flavoursome with the cream and beans adding a depth of creamy and almost earthy flavour while the green salsa was the perfect element to freshen up the whole dish. The meal was light yet still filling and didn't leave you feeling sluggish and stodgy ike a lot of other Mexican eateries.
Pork Belly Sandals- This dish was certainly a stand out of the night. The Slow cooked pork-belly literally dissolves in your mouth while the slightly salty crackling create an explosion of flavour and texture in your mouth. This was accompanied by a crisp hand-made corn dough, creamy avocado and a deliciously Moorish a smokey and spicy sauce. The presentation of this dish was equally impressive- rustic with a modern twist.
Pastel de Queso (Cheese Cake)
Now from somebody who isn't the biggest fan of cheesecake as they can be severely rich and sickleny sweet, my curiosity over what a Mexican cheese cake would taste like took-over, so i took the plunge and ordered it... and was i am happy that i did! Based on Sonia's (the owner) grandmothers recipe all the way from Mexico, this cheesecake was absolutely delicious. A creamy and light filling that was sweet but not excessively sweet, served with a wild berry sauce and creme anglais. Simple presentation allowed the cheesecake speak for itself - and boy was it good!
Flan Classico (Classic Flan)
A simple classic flan with a flavoursome twist! The flan itself was light and creamy consistency and once again wasn't excessively sweet! What made this flan something different was the goats milk caramel which added another level of creaminess to the dish!
Overall our night out at Maiz and Mexcal was a pleasant experience. The food was seriously impressive, the staff and service received was exceptional- even teaching us some spanish, friendly and welcoming atmosphere, reasonable price range and good quality traditional Mexican food with NO NACHOS or BURRITOS in sight!
4.5/5 Holy guacamole - so close to culinary perfection!