Mexico’s recent arrival in Wellington seems to have induced a fair bit of hype and excitement, judging by my Twitter feed, the lengthy wait for a table at the restaurant, and my mum’s joy at its arrival. There are also Mexico restaurants in Britomart, Takapuna and Hamilton, and the group has a view to expand down the country. Although not a huge fan of chain eateries in general (I’d rather give my money to a small local business), I am a big fan of Mexican food. I visit Viva Mexico on Left Bank for some cheese-stuffed jalapeños and a veggie quesadilla every time I’m feeling sad.
Mexico features a small but impressive menu that changes seasonally. I love seasonal menus and I love reasonably priced menus: one of my biggest gripes with Flying Burrito Brothers is the price: $25 for a plate of ‘burritos’ which isn’t even a particularly popular dish in Mexico? Yeah right. Mexico’s menu is priced between $6 and $16, and, staying loyal to a current food trend, it’s tapas-style.
A group of six friends and I went on a Saturday evening and waited 45 minutes for a table, which seemed acceptable given our awkwardly sized group. Reasonably priced margaritas filled the void while we waited – the drinks menu is a lot bigger than the food menu. The cold-brew coffee was excellent, and I felt giddy after half a glass of the black plum margarita (which perhaps says more about me than the margarita).
Our waiter was friendly and helpful, but a bit pushy. The flower garlands the waiters wore in their hair exemplified the aesthetic: loud, bordering on tacky. The music was so loud and the lights so dim that this would be a good place to take someone if you want to drown out their chatter.
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I’ve heard great things from many people about the food, which perhaps played a part in me being underwhelmed at my tostaditas and vegetarian taco. My friends all enjoyed their food, but I found mine a bit bland – they didn’t live up to their flashy descriptions.
I was underwhelmed by $12 churros, as churros are so cheap to make that they’re considered ‘street food’ in Europe and the States, but there is a deal on at the moment where if you sign up to the Mexico newsletter you get a plate free.
I’ll head back to Mexico to have another crack; at $14 for dinner, it costs roughly the same as Viva Mexico. My dinner was fun, and perhaps I just erred in my dish choice. Mexico wasn’t bad; it just didn’t live up to the hype.