Mexican and Korean isn't an unlikely pairing after all
Mexican and Korean seem like an unlikely pairing but you will find it's a flavour bomb match made in taste bud heaven.
With such a successful home base in Canterbury, Vecino have opened their second venue at the Sydney CBD, on Wilmot St (just off George St, opposite Event Cinemas).
The background to Vecino is equally unusual which may reflect on this fusion. Co-owners are a husband and wife team along with Jake Lee. Eunice Lim explained that her husband Tony Lee's family was in the clothing business in Korea but Tony wanted to try his hand at cheffing and began experimenting with flavours drawing on his Korean heritage.
Once married, they migrated to Australia 10 years ago, Eunice explained "we love Mexican food and we always cooked Mexican food with a mix of Korean". They thought this unusual fusion of Mexican and Korean fare may be the most delicious mish-mash which others would also need to experience. Shortly migrating to Sydney, they met Jake Lee at a business pitch with his import/export experience became the third owner of Vecino.
The city venue features a collection of steampunk and plumbing inspired furniture and a colourful lit bar. Vecino, gourmet chicken and tacos menu screams big flavours, with options for vegetarians and the vibrant cocktails options are equally memorable.
If you and your mates are keen, I dare you to try their Vecino Escobar, only offered at the city venue which is recommended for 6-8 people. A whopping rich feast to the eyes and senses. I've heard only one group has successfully finished this. Or if this seems a little too on the large size, then the King's big dinner for 3-4 people to share may be the alternative option.
Starting with the recommended best tacos of stir-fried spicy pork tacos (2 for $14.50) filled with marinated Korean style spicy pork, cabbage, Pico de Gallo, gochujang aioli, sour cream and avocado. Be wary, it is a juicy number so you may experience a deluge of sauces when you bite into this. Recommendation to not be wearing your best attire with this dish.
Stir-fried spicy pork tacos
Another creative flavour combination with a lingering sweetness from the honey was the Vecino's Honey Cream Prawn tacos (2 for $14.80). Lightly battered crusted prawns with honey mayo, cabbage, pico de gallo, lime juice, sliced avocado and sour cream.
Honey Cream Prawn Tacos
Vecino is all about their Korean fried chicken, with a half serve of Salsa Picante and half serve Sweet Spicy chicken, we devoured the sweet and spicy salsa flavours of Salsa Picante. The salsa de mango makes an interesting fusion take on the usual Korean fried chicken. I am always partial to a good sweet and spicy sauce with Korean fried chicken, and this is no exception.
Korean Fried Chicken
Remember Johnny Rockets loaded fries, well, Kimchi bulgogi fries is the supercharged version. Seasoned crispy fries, loaded with bulgogi, sauteed kimchi, mixed cheese, Pico de Gallo, sour cream and gochujang aioli. This has got to be one of my favourite eating moments to date, along with the giant frozen Corona rita lime margarita. One could forget momentarily about Covid19 and city lockdown.
It wouldn't be a meal without dessert and their quesadilla hotteok is light and crispy and the caramelised biscuit in brown sugar is inspired along with the candied walnuts and beautifully presented. I love their play on the well known Korean bibimbap.
The menu line-up is crafty with chart-topping tacos, reimagined Korean classics with black beans and guacamole, addictive finger-licking Korean fried chicken served with - original, teriyaki, chimichurri and salsa picante and the morish loaded fries.
With Tony's foodie expertise, Eunice's flair with the bar and Jake's business savvy, you may see a Vecino in your neighbourhood sooner than you think. Hello neighbour!
Vecino in Sydney CBD.
Come try this most extraordinary fusion of Mexican and Korean fare and colourful cocktails.