20 January 2010

Restaurant Review - The Flying Taco

In true lazy cook form, I have been truly lazy over the last couple of days - I escaped the heat in my kitchen by heading over to my mother's house last night for steak and salad; and I got my favourite hot weather food (Mexican take away) for dinner tonight. It came from one of the best Mexican places in Perth - the Flying Taco, on Angove St in North Perth.The owner of Flying Taco works there every night. She's Californian, and it turns out she has the rather distinctive logo tattooed on her forearm (the tattoo came first - I asked...). They do pretty traditional Mexican food - lots of corn tortillas, proper soft tacos, real guacamole, lots of lime and pineapple. They aren't afraid to use proper spices either, but they let the customer decide how spicy they would like their meal by applying the heat themselves, via the salsa. And in true mexican style, there is a lot of food on offer for a very reasonable price. Sure, it's not what you'd get, strictly speaking, in the hills of Oaxoca - let's face it, Mexico isn't known for its steak - but it's much closer to the real thing than the Tex-Mex monstrosities that attempt to palm themselves off as Mexican.

The restaurant itself is a bit of a hole in the wall - a very simple, albeit colourful shopfront, with a few plastic chairs and tables available. Both dine-in and take away options are available - you can even BYO alcohol (for a relatively cheap - for Perth - corkage fee of $2 pp). Ordering is a simple 4 step process - choose your style, filling, salsa (ranging from mild to tongue-dissolvingly hot) and sides.

Tonight, I ordered takeaway. I had the Tacos Carnitas with Pica de Gallo salsa, with tortilla chips and guacamole; my dining companion shared the guacamole and chips, and had the mole poblano quesadilla. Between us, we spent less than $40 - no mean feat for the CUB capital of Australia. There was a bit of a wait to pick up my order - although the staff were very friendly and kind, only one person was serving, meaning that I could see my order sitting there, getting cold, while waiting for the register to become available. None the less, the food happily survived the trip home.

Although my tacos were very nice - the sweet, slightly acidic pineapple cut nicely through the meaty, albeit ever so slightly dry pork (although a spoonful of guacamole took care of that!), they had nothing on the cheesy goodness of the quesadilla. Although the cheese used isn't exactly the most traditional - cheddar - it is absolutely delicious - rich, creamy and heady. Unfortunately, a flour tortilla, rather than a corn one is used, so it's not gluten free - but if you can eat flour, it is well worth getting! If not, ask for the corn tortillas with sour cream - it costs $2 more, but it replicates the creamy meltingness - and elevates the tacos from 'good' to 'delicious'.

The absolute star of the show, though, is the corn chips. These are not your regular insipid supermarket corn chips. They are made to order, from freshly made corn tortillas cut up into wedges and deep fried - but strangely, not greasy or soggy, even after ten minutes sitting in a paper bag in the car. They are crisp, crunchy and perfectly cook. Thick without being heavy. Strong enough to hold a good dollop of the perfectly seasoned, zingy guacamole. The bags are deceptively small. The first time I saw them, I thought 'this can't be worth $6' - but oh was I wrong! 3 hungry eaters were not able to get through a tiny bag - the chips, though small, are so filling, being made from fresh tortillas.

All in all - recommended. If you're in the mood for quick, easy Mexican, you won't do better in Perth. One of the best value eateries this close to the city.

Service = 3/5 - Service was with a smile, but a bit slow to get there.
Ambiance = 3/5 - Unpretentious but friendly. You can see into the clean, bustling kitchen as you order. Busy but not crowded. There is something about plastic chairs though...
Value = 4.5/5 - You will struggle to find this kind of cooking in Perth for so little.
Taste = 4/5 - Absolutely delicious. Even the food that didn't shine was still yummy and satisfying.

Overall = 14.5/20. An excellent meal on the cheap and quick. Highly recommended any time you want a satisfying hit of easy Mexican.

The Flying Taco on Urbanspoon

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