Bienvenidos mi casa es tu casa, from Viva Zapata Mexican Catina on Semaphore road. You might mistake this establishment for a house on top of a hill that used to be the old police station many years ago on the bustling Semaphore road, but on the inside it's a homey restaurant serving fresh and delicious Mexican cuisine and refreshments. The Spanish slogan, “our house is your house,” greeting you at the door with a cute dead Mexican doll is certainly achieved when dining at Viva Zapatas.
Viva Zapata is a popular spot for beach-goers, families and weekend drinks, so it is always recommended to book. Not to mention, Monday nights are half price nacho night so when we ventured down for a Mexican feast the restaurant filled up pretty quickly. On the Botanas (appetizers) menu, Nachos come in half or full servings (a half one was enough to leave us satisfied). We tried the Special Nachos with melted cheese, creamy guacamole, sour cream, tomato salsa and jalapenos on crispy corn chips - it was everything you could expect from a good bowl of hearty nachos. From the Comidas (Main Meal) menu, the Tostada tantalised our tastebuds – a burrito bowl made with a crisp tortilla and filled with rice, cheese, shredded lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, frijoles and salsa with beef, but you can choose the chicken or vegetarian option also. The Sin Carne is a delicious option for the vegetarians out there – a beautiful medley of two veggie enchiladas and chilli relleno served with rice and salad. From the Postre (Dessert) menu, the Aztec Chocolate Indulgence, a rich baked chocolate torte served with cream is something that everyone can enjoy.
What’s best served with a mad mex meal? Why, tequila, tequila and more tequila, and there’s no shortage of tequila at Viva Zapata. It’s Margarita central at this joint with flavours ranging from frozen lemon, mango, strawberry, banana, Midori, Pina Colada and blue. We sampled the Margarita Granada, a delightful combination of pomegranate tequila over crushed ice and lime, the perfect drink to cool you down on a hot summer’s night. The staff here recommend the Frozen Lemon Margarita, dubbed an icy sensation of tequila and frozen lemon juice accented with Triple Sec. If tequila isn’t your poison, there’s plenty of other beverages on offer ranging from Sangria, Mexican and non-Mexican beer, cider and wine. Viva Zapata caters for the adult amigos that like to drink their deserts by offering a sipping desert menu featuring the Manana Banana, a creamy blend of Kahlua, Malibu, banana liqueur, banana and ice-cream.
Niños don’t miss out at Viva Zapatas – a children’s menu is available on request in addition to non-alcoholic beverages from the bar. Viva Zapata has a takeaway menu if you don’t have the time to enjoy dinner and the Semaphore sunset from their balcony. The restaurant is family friendly with a relaxed and homey vibe, similar to being at a friend’s place swapping stories over a burrito and a Corona.
What: Viva Zapata’s Mexican Cantina
Where: 6 Semaphore road, Semaphore
When: Monday to Sunday 5:30pm til late. Friday, Saturday and Sunday lunch 12pm-3pm.
Header image via Viva Zapata Facebook page