El Publico – Mount Lawley

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Earlier this year, I had dinner at the eccentric and delicious “El Loco” in Surry Hills, Sydney. Ever since, I have been on the lookout for a fantastic Mexican, in Perth. I’m not talking about somewhere that does a mean “old el paso” style taco. I’m talking about… back to basics, innovative, authentic, Mexican street food. We found somewhere that fitted the description perfectly! Chef and I visited “El Publico” (on Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley – opposite The Queens). The atmosphere was casual and friendly. It was pretty busy for a Tuesday night. The service was cheery and helpful; a lot of the items on the menu were totally new to us and the wait staff were very knowledgeable.

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We decided on Pork Scratchings and Guacamole with tortillas to start. Our waiter apologetically informed us that there was no guacamole that night, due to their avocados not being ripe enough. That was disappointing, but fine, it wasn’t difficult to choose something else. I’m a bit addicted to pork crackling – Chef and I usually have to fight each other for it. We shared this serve, and there were no fights, as it was very generous. It was jaw cracking-ly delicious. It was sprinkled with garlic chipotle (smoke dried Jalapeño) to give it that extra Mexican kick. The crispy pork roll (Torta Ahogada) was sensational. We shared that too. It came out in a dish surrounded by hot tomato sauce. The pork was great and the brioche roll was perfect for soaking up the sauce. Delish!

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Crispy Pork Roll – saucy!! ;)

We decided to share the mains; Chicken Tacos and Lamb Belly Tacos. The soft tacos are a real favourite of ours. Each dish came with two tacos. The lamb Belly was a standout. The lamb was very succulent, and “Aunty G’s” pickled onion and chilli sauce was a great accompaniment and SUPER spicy.  The Adobo chicken taco with pickled onion and peanut salsa was tasty too. The chicken was marinated in Guajillo and Ancho chillies, which are both fairly mild chillies – apparently!

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Lamb Belly Tacos – Delish!

Chef, who should really know better, rubbed his eye. Since he had just eaten a saucy taco with his hands – he copped Chilli in the eye! Owwwwwch!! Silly bugger. The Mexican beer (Dos Equis XX lager especial) was top notch and numbed to pain, I’m sure. Chef remarked that it was nice to have something different to Carona too. It was great to get a bill under $70. We found it great value, incredibly tasty and we’ll be back soon for that guacamole!!

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