Heading out with the girls one Friday night, we booked into Mexican Society of Chinatown (the old Mesa Lunga) to check out the new Mexican fusion offering on the Gouger Street block. Being a massive fan of Mexican food and of Walter Ventura’s restaurateur work (such as Ruby Red Flamingo, Gin Long Canteen, Singapore House & Hispanic Mechanic), I (Amanda) couldn’t wait to experience this new creation for myself.
Image credit: Mexican Society
Arriving for our 8:15pm sitting we are swiftly seated at a long wide communal table which is colourfully tiled. The whole interior is now much more brightly coloured and decorated which gives a festive and happy vibe – perfect for our fun girls night out!
Once seated we are provided with complimentary prawn crackers with a spicy Mexican seasoning to enjoy while perusing the menu.
But first let’s cheers! We select a jug of Mexichin with tequila, beetroot powder, mango, aloe juice, lemon and lime to share between us.
First out were the ‘Lorenzas’ – corn tortilla crisps topped with refried black beans, chorizo, chipotle, slow cooked beef, cheese sauce and pickled red cabbage. A perfect little starter layered with crunch from the corn crisp, tang from the pickled cabbage and lots of juicy flavour from the beef, beans, cheese and chipotle. I could have easily had all four!
Next we dig into the ‘Duck Spring Rolls’ which are a Mexican take on the Chinese spring roll using flour tortillas filled with slow cooked habanero-orange duck, cheese, green onion and cilantro and is served with a black been mash and salsa mexicana. The black bean mash and salsa act like a Mexican version of a dipping sauce for the spring rolls which with the aid of a fork works well with the crisp outer of the spring roll and delicious meaty filling. If only we ordered the chicken spring rolls too…
To refresh the palate we begin on the ‘Ceviche’, a fresh whitefish, cilantro, red onion, dehydrated sweet potato and tomato in a coconut-habanero broth. A small serving size to share between four hungry people but refreshingly cured and seasoned. I especially loved the little sweet potato slices on top that were dehydrated to a crunchy chip which finished this dish off nicely.
We can’t come to a Mexican place and not order ‘Nachos’, this vegetarian version with corn tortillas topped with salsa verde, tomato, black beans, queso fundido, spring onion, dry cheese and crema did not disappoint. Crunchy corn chips with lots of fresh and saucy toppings and beans to scoop up was finger licking good. I am partial to a little melted cheese on my corn chips but I accepted the dry cheese version today as it really was a tasty combination.
The ‘Prawn Ensalada’ with grilled local prawns and pistachio with dried apricot, corn tortilla crisps, mixed field greens, orange segments and strawberry-marita dressing was probably my least favourite dish of the night. It wasn’t bad but hey it’s just salad and how can that really fair well against sliders, tacos and nachos?! The large prawns were tender and moist and I loved the addition of the sweet fruits throughout and thin crunchy corn crisps. I would have preferred a little less mixed greens as I thought the ratio of lettuce to the other ingredients was a little uneven.
Mmmmm Mexican ‘Sliders’ were up next! These sliders with beef and lap cheong (Chinese sausage) topped with sweet potato crisps, pickled vegetables and hoisin mayonesa (mayonaise) are amazing!! A definite crowd favourite of the night. Perfect shiny fresh soft brioche buns and juicy, textural fillings thanks to the appearance of those sweet potato crisps again and we were in our element!
Next up is the ‘Roasted Pork Belly Taco’. A flour tortilla with shredded lettuce, pickled white radish, green onion and a sriracha aioli. I don’t think the taco photographed that well but it was enjoyable thanks to that moist, slightly pink pork belly with crunch from the skin, the tangy radish pickle and the spicy and creamy sriracha aioli.
Lastly and after a small delay from the kitchen ‘Mister Lee & Jose’ arrives. Please note we are provided with this dish and another jug of Mexichin on the house due to a small delay in delivering this dish, which we thought was very thoughtful and a credit to their quality service.
The dish is a boneless chicken thigh seasoned with sesame and chillies served on a carrot-orange puree, pickled red cabbage, spinach, cherry tomato and jamaica-habanero-honey salsa was another favourite of the night for me. I could have licked that sauce from the plate it was so delicious.
Overall I loved my night at Mexican Society of Chinatown. I loved the fusion of Mexican food with the local Asian influences from ‘Chinatown’. It makes Mexican Society stand out from the crowd and enhances the fantastic location, setting and service.
I enjoyed my night here so much that I’ve already booked in a return visit… let’s hope I can add consistency to my already high scorecard!
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly :: A couple of salad, taco and sides options.
Child Friendly :: Leave this venue for a night out without the kids!
Ambiance :: 4.5/5 – Buzzing, colourful and fun!
Service :: 4.5/5 – Service was friendly, attentive and welcoming.
Food :: 8.5/10 – Great fusion of the Mexican & Chinese cultures producing some interesting and delicious dishes.
:: Featured image credit: Mexican Society ::