I am a freelance reviewer in Sydney, and lover of sharing my experiences in all things food, wine, entertainment and travel related.
Published April 18th 2013
A Tip Top Mexican Fiesta for Your Mouth
If you haven't already noticed, the cuisine du jour is Mexican, which hot as jalapenos right now and popping up everywhere across Sydney quicker than you can say Hola.
El Topo, the latest Mexican restaurant to hit Bondi Junction's Eastern Hotel is one of those, but it does not offer just your ordinary Mexican food. Here you will find a new breed of some serious Mexican cuisine of old favourites infused with modern influences, using high quality ingredients.
The food is seriously delicious, Southwestern Mexican fare, inspired by the Oaxaca region and the menu is designed to share. Located on Level 3 of the Eastern Hotel, upon entering El Topo you will immediately notice and feel the Mexican vibe here, with thanks to the tasteful, yet kooky décor.
By the entrance, the walls are lined with Mexican newspaper articles. There are booths bursting with colour from Mexican mosaics and Day of the Dead style shrines. The tables look like patchwork and there are plenty of skulls and religious memorabilia adorning the walls.
Nowhere to be seen is the tacky inflatable cactuses, sombrero hats and ponchos and this is because this is a Mexican restaurant with class, providing the real flavours of the old country south of the border. Enough about the décor, the food is really why you come here, which is equally as exciting.
Head Chef is Matthew Fitzgerald of the Bentley restaurant and Bathers Pavilion fame, and the menu offers a compressive offering for all tastes.
Start with the guacamole with corn chips for $7. Simple enough as a starter, the chips are crisp, and the guacamole is to die for, but then move on the serious dishes.
A must try is the chorizo con huevo y pappas jalapeno for $12. An artwork of a dish, the chorizo is served skinless, alongside a slow cooked egg which oozes over potato, turtle bean puree, and jalapenos, and is topped off with a large crunchy piece of tortilla. This delicious dish is high grade and is definitely bang for buck considering the quality of ingredients and the work that has gone into the making of it.
For some of the tastiest corn cobs you will ever try, go for the maiz carbonizado for $4 each. The corn cobs are succulently juicy, and are rolled in queso fresco cheese and a crunchy layer of chiltepil - a mixture of chipotle, pumpkin and sesame seeds. The flavours are outstanding and unique, combining sweet, salty and smokey in one.
Also worth a look in is the 12-hour, slow cooked beef short rib, served with smokey barbecue sauce, and cabbage and onion for $26. The meat is fall apart tender and cooked perfectly, and goes well with the cabbage salad.