ARRIBBAAA! Authentic Mex street food with a twist in the convenient location of Gouger Street in Adelaide’s city centre, what more could you ask for as a resident of the CBD!?
We had always heard great things about Mexican Society, however, had never actually visited it ourselves. Upon the severely delayed realisation that it is located only just down the road from us, we were absolutely thrilled and booked ourselves a table on a bustling Saturday night. The Mexican-themed restaurant is one of many hot spots by renowned Adelaide restaurateur Walter Ventura, standing among the likes of Cliché Exhibition, Ruby Red Flamingo, Hispanic Mechanic, Lucky Lupita’s and more. Showcasing a most inviting fitout, Mexican Society’s interior features quirky murals on the walls, menu items sprawled in chalk across blackboards, candlelit tables and a long, backlit bar space. There’s even a little DJ booth where live DJ’s rotate during the week and weekends, spinning tunes to set the mood.
The space undoubtedly exudes a warm and welcoming atmosphere; guests are buzzing at the bar with cocktails in hand, couples are canoodling in the corner, birthday groups are gathered on long tables sharing stories over plates upon plates of delicious Mexican food. We hopped straight onto the cocktail menu, ordering ourselves a Chilli Chica and Mango Colada to begin our culinary journey at Mex Society. The Chilli Chica was the ultimate combination of two opposites, seamlessly joining sweet sugary goodness with significant chilli heat, while the Mango Colada provided a creamy, fresh and well-balanced spin on the classic Pina Colada cocktail.
Choosing the Flashy Mexican Banquet #02 with added dessert, our night started off with a selection of starters including the Elote, Baja Style Octopus and Tostada De Salmon. Elote is a popular seasoned corn dish sold by street vendors in Mexico; the Elote at Mexican Society was brushed with coffee mayonesa, tajin and grated parmesan, offering a deliciously juicy texture with a coating full of flavour.
The Tostada De Salmon was served with shaved lemon-betroot chipotle cured atlantic salmon (what a mouthful – literally and figuratively!), smoked corn, mayonesa and cilantro pesto. The smoked flavours came out very strong in this dish – but not over powering – and the crunch of the tostada alongside the softness of the fish meat was texturally satisfying. We’ve been loving our octopus lately, so naturally we were pretty excited to try out the octopus dish. The grilled tentacles were soft and tender and came served on a bed of parley pesto, tomato cucumber and onion salso with guajillo dressing. There was a slight imbalance with the salsa-to-octopus ratio as there was noticeably more salsa than octopus, however the two complemented each other excellently when consumed balanced.
Next came the much awaited tacos; we were offered the choice of either a Crispy Prawn, Grilled Chicken, Soft Shell Crab or Coliflower Taco, and we opted for the prawn and crab. Both were seriously more-ish, again mixing the soft with the crunch for a enjoyably textural experience. The sauces were delightfully creamy and there was just the right amount of spiciness; the only singular downfall we could even think of was the messiness but, hey, what do you expect from a taco?!
Onto mains, we devoured Lamb & Mezcal Fajitas and Salt & Vineager Whiting to begin with. The chargrilled lamp rump with chile morita, mexcal glaze, ciilantro rice, black beans, roasted capsicum and cherries was incredibly hearty and filling. The cherries added a touch of sweetness to an otherwise very savoury dish and it was, in fact, that miniscule addition that truly upped this dish for us. The salt and vinegar battered whiting was tender and fresh, however the S+V was totally subtle and not as strong in flavour as what we were expecting. It was served with a refreshing salad to cut through the heavy, battered fish.
We then dug into a Lime & Cilantro Chicken dish and Spinach-Chipotle Enchiladas for our next mains, both of which we enjoyed thoroughly. The citrusy lime was a tasteful addition to the juicy chicken dish, however it was the enchiladas that stole our hearts. Drowned in a creamy pool of spinach and ricotta, the corn tortillas filled with zucchini, cauliflower and chipotle were dense, wholesome and full of intense flavours. It was perhaps not the best idea to finish on this one seeing at was the most filling of all the dishes, but we could not get enough of the rich flavour profile and would not put our forks down until the plate was scraped clean.
Being unbelievably full by this point, we had to somehow miraculously make room for dessert – and that we did. Indulging in a sweet Icecream Sandwich made up of Mexican doughnut (with the consistency of a churro), house made cajeta icecream, cinnamon, toasted dry cherries and almonds, our dinner was tied up perfectly. We couldn’t be happier we chose the banquet and, at just $55 each (with a $42 banquet option as well), you get a ridiculous amount of food for what it’s worth. Let it be known that is not a complaint!
Mexican Society is located 140 Gouger St, Adelaide; find out more or book here.