Wednesday night’s catch up dinner (feast, to be honest) took place at one of Adelaide’s more well-known establishments: Hispanic Mechanic. I’d been longing to dine at this restaurant for months, so I was extremely eager to see what all the hype was about. Located at 205 Glen Osmond Road, Frewville – this local, yet exotic restaurant ticked all my expecting boxes and lived up to its esteemed reputation. So, if you’re like me and love a bit of spice in your pallet, you must visit Hispanic Mechanic and try at least one of the dishes mentioned below.
Before I get to the mouth-watering food review, I must comment on the restaurant’s outside and inside decor. The outside dining area was quaint and peaceful, set out like a tranquil garden. Inside, the interior changed to a much more modern themed. The proud Latin music playing in the background matched the walls’ striking paintings – it felt as if we were visiting Tijuana ourselves.
We were greeted by an enthusiastic waiter who impressively kept up with our endless order of food. I appreciated that he asked the order we wanted our meals to be brought out, and that he was patient enough to explain some of the dishes and drinks we ordered – despite it almost being a full house (on a Wednesday night, mind you).
To drink, a jug of the Blue Gin Swing was ordered – blueberry ice, gin, limoncello, cucumber, grapefruit & tonic. Although not usually a gin fan, I enjoyed the grapefruit flavour which was particularly strong. Our helpful waiter suggested we mix in the blueberry ice if we wanted to dilute the gin, which slightly helped.
To start, the following entrees were ordered:
- KINGFISH TOSTADITOS small crispy blue corn tortillas topped w fresh lime cured kingfish, cilantro, fresh jalapeno, shredded lettuce tomato & red onion
- QUESO FUNDIDO – creamy jalapeno cheese sauce with tomato, cumin, green onion, cilantro and house made corn tortilla crisps
These two dishes were so fresh and full of zesty flavours. The ingredients literally burst in my mouth and cleansed my pallet making way for the next few dishes, which were certainly heavier.
- NACHOS SANTOS – crispy yellow corn tortillas, green onion, salsa, cilantro, jalapeno, black beans, dry cheese, crema & guajillo sauce – tortilla chips cooked and seasoned in house
Best nachos I have ever tasted – hands.down. Each corn tortilla chip had a solid crisp, even those which had a load of topping on them. The black beans added a real authentic touch to the dish which I enjoyed. The dry cheese, salsa, crema and guajillo sauce blended together perfectly, meshing each of the meal’s elements together.
- CHILIES RELLENOS corn meal crusted mild green chilies filled with sweet potato, smokey cream cheese, garbanzo beans, spinach, roasted shallot, with pipian verde, sour cream & tomato
I loved this dish – a whole lot of spice goes a long way with me. It’s safe to say the green chilies were the most prominent element in the pastries. My dining companions seemed to think it was slightly overbearing though, so this is completely sujective.
Followed by the larger dishes:
- ENCHILLADAS DE VERDURAS – yellow corn tortillas rolled and filled with mushroom, smoked corn, onion, poblano, herbs w zucchini creme, guajillo salsa, cheese, fresh tomato & spinach
This was the first time I’ve ever tried traditional enchilladas, and I was impressed. The portion sizing was rather generous too (big tick).
- HEARTS OF PALM SALAD – hearts of palm & frisse, orange segments, diced dates, salsita, shallot crisps, coconut, roasted almonds, & coconut vinaigrette
Salads are always needed when dining out to (1) break down the heavier dishes of the night and (2) give your taste buds a rest and balance out the stronger flavours. So I’m sure you can understand why this was an absolute necessity with Mexican food. The Hearts of Palm Salad was a typical summer salad, the orange segments and diced dates were a pleasant and added a (much needed) sweetness to my pallet.
- YUCA FRITA – crispy cassava chunks w achiote aioli & hogao
Although also considered a salad, this chunky potato filled dish felt more like a main course. The achiote aioli and hogao sauces were perfect and added a very mild spice which of course pleased me. The texture of each potato chunk took a while to get used to, as they weren’t particularly mashed on the inside, but they definitely grew on me.
We finished our feast with individual tacos, ranging from the Smokey Chicken and Master Kims 5 Star Beef. I chose the taco special that night – lobster, black seeds, tomato with a hint of spicy sauce and popcorn. Yes – that’s right, I said popcorn. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the mixture of flavour and texture in this particular taco. I enjoyed the sauce but just couldn’t grasp the concept of adding popcorn (this is a perfect example of why I’m so hesitant to try alternate foods when I dine out). Nonetheless it was an interesting choice.
I now understand why Hispanic Mechanic has such a distinguished name in Adelaide as a modern-Mexican eatery. If anyone ever asks for me for a recommendation on where to dine (especially if they’re keen for a spice-filled night), I will without a doubt suggest Hispanic Mechanic.
Have you ever eaten at Hispanic Mechanic before? Let me know your thoughts on the establishment, service and food in the comments below!
Feature pic: yelp.com