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Monday, April 30, 2007

Chocolate Dog Goes Mexican By Nite, Newtown

corn chip
Corn chip in cheese dip

I love that you can find tasty food in the most unusual of places in Sydney. Like a spicy chocolate mole sauce in a Newtown corner eatery. By day The Chocolate Dog is your typical Aussie eggs and bacon cafe. At night, the site is sub-let to another restauranteur who offers a completely different menu: Mexican fajitas and tamales, burritos and chocolate mole.

menu

It's a cosy and simple little space. Only a handful of tables inside, several two-seaters on the footpath outside. The mood is down-to-earth casual. The kind where, to get to the bathroom you traipse past the kitchen and skirt the edge of the storeroom, whilst the workers just smile and nod as you pass on by.

cheese dip
Queso fundido $9.50
Melted cheese, racheros sauce and mashed beans served with corn chips

I'm devastated to find out they have no tamales today, the traditional snack of ground corn with spices wrapped in corn husks and grilled. Instead we start with the queso fundido, a little white bowl filled with a molten lava of blistering hot cheese. We poke our crisp sturdy corn chips past the rancheros sauce and beneath the bubbling suface to find a mash of cooked kidney beans.

burrito
Beef burrito grande $15.90
Large flour tortilla filled with beef, beans or chicken
Served with sour cream, guacamole and rice

R has the beef burrito grande, a soft tortilla tunnel oozing with beef mince, and flanked by a mound of rice, dollops of sour cream and guacamole, a rainbow of salsa and a salad of greens.

prawns
Fajitas with prawns $19.50

AT has the prawn fajitas - a hot plate of fantastic aromas that envelopes us all at once. The prawns are plump and juicy and spicy and sweet.

sauces
Tortillas, salsa, guacamole and sour cream (prawn fajitas)

mole
Mole poblano $18.50
Chicken breast fillets cooked in a unique spicy chocolate sauce
Served with salad and rice. Mexico’s most traditional dish

I only have eyes for one prize: the mole poblano. It's my first time trying this dish and I approach it with Hairy Biker-like gleeful enthusiasm. It's a thick sauce that almost looks like a lake of chocolate. I dip my fork in and taste it thoughtfully.

There's a definite taste of caocao but its bitterness is tempered by the richness of tomato, onion, and smokey chilli that packs a good dose of heat. It's slightly sweet but salty too, with the heady aroma of cloves and cinnamon, thickened with ground nuts. A sprinkling of sesame seeds adds a contrasting crunch, and I cleanse my palate every few mouthful so the bizarre but addictive cocoa flavour hits me clearly time and time again.

strawberry dessert
Strawberry pancake, Mexican style

AT is intent in dessert, so after a series of pleading exchanges, the Chef finally relents and says he will serve a strawberry pancake, Mexican style. A Mexican pancake is a tortilla soaked in strawberries blitzed with cream and doused generously with tequila. The tortilla is a little chewy but we appreciate the flavour sensation anyway.

A Chocolate Dog. A strawberry pancake. And some chocolate mole for all.


chocolate dog

Chocolate Dog Goes Mexican by Nite
549 King Street, Newtown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9565 2526
Wednesday to Sunday 6pm till late

NB. Chocolate Dog closed briefly in Sep 07 but re-opened in Feb 08

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Mexican - Guzman y Gomez, Newtown

18 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/30/2007 11:59:00 pm


18 Comments:

  • At 5/01/2007 7:03 am, Blogger Nora B. said…

    Thanks for that, helen. I wouldn't not have noticed that if you didn't point it out. There are so many new restaurants down Kings Street these days that it's hard the keep up. I heard that a new pizza place that's in the same building as the Marly (beside Campos) is supposed to be pretty good, but we'll have to wait & see (the place is still just a concrete mess!).

     
  • At 5/01/2007 8:42 am, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    Chocolate sauce on a dish like that how very bizzare! I drive past here all the time (on my way to Broadway) and usually giggle at the name every time i see it. I'm glad you gave the place a visit!

     
  • At 5/01/2007 9:38 am, Anonymous lyn said…

    i had such bad cravings for enchiladas last night and now i see more mexican food on your blog!

    they look very yummy...looks a little exxy but definitely yummyn

     
  • At 5/01/2007 7:40 pm, Blogger jenjen said…

    Thanks Helen! I am always looking for late night haunts that I can eat at after I finish work. This sounds great.

     
  • At 5/01/2007 11:21 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Nora B - This is down the St Peters end of King Street. I much prefer this end which has lots of great little restaurants and more of a Newtown-old flavour.

    Hi Pickles - I've always wanted to try chocolate mole. It really it quite good. You'll have to try it!

    Hi Lyn - lol. Great minds.

    Hi jenjen - I'm not sure what time they close, but I'm presuming you live/work closeby :)

     
  • At 5/02/2007 10:24 am, Anonymous Y. said…

    A friend of mine has had various folks recommend this place to him but until I directed him to your review, he's never been tempted to visit. Now he is :D

     
  • At 5/02/2007 1:44 pm, Anonymous fifila said…

    wow wow wow goood mexican food in sydney....really, can it be true?

     
  • At 5/03/2007 12:50 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Y - lol. Glad to be of service :)

    Hi fifila - I thought the mole was very good, and the staff there are all very friendly and genuine. I must go back to try their tamales.

     
  • At 9/10/2007 8:23 pm, Anonymous Nicole said…

    This place was so good and I visted regularly, but unfortunately guys, it is now closed. Love this blog. Thanks for the constant updates.

     
  • At 9/10/2007 10:46 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Nicole - Oh no, really? I know they were looking for a permanent premises but had been patiently waiting for one to open up in the area. Hopefully they've found one. Let me know if you see them pop up in Newtown or elsewhere, and thanks for the update too :)

     
  • At 10/12/2007 7:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a pity it closed. I keep looking out for them in the area!

     
  • At 10/13/2007 2:09 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Anon - It is a pity. I hope they find new premises soon!

     
  • At 2/07/2008 3:22 pm, Anonymous Andrew said…

    It's back!

    Reopened, same menu, same prices.

    To the person who said it was expensive: under 20 for the enchiladas, with salad and gorgeous spiced rice is a fantastic bargain.

    Super delicious food - highly recommended.

    Note - they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

    Tell your friends!

     
  • At 2/10/2008 5:45 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Andrew - Thanks so much for the update. I've been craving chocolate mole, so it's great to hear they're open once again!

     
  • At 2/22/2008 7:45 pm, Blogger girl30 said…

    hmm well it is re-opened, but it's with different chefs... the owners of the mexican nights were actually different to the cafe owners and unfortunately the dish I tried when it re-opened didn't grab me....

    I live across the road and was a regular (weekly, if not twice weekly!) to the original.. I'm interested to hear what others have to say about the newly re-opened place : )

     
  • At 2/25/2008 7:01 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi girl30 - Thanks for the update. Shame to hear that the chefs have changed. Look forward to hearing about any others' experiences.

     
  • At 5/27/2008 8:27 pm, Blogger Sarah said…

    Have tried it once since the change in the kitchen and there is absolutely no comparison! Am still in mourning...

     
  • At 6/01/2008 10:01 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Sarah - Oh no :( I haven't had a chance to head back there yet, but your comments don't inspire me with much confidence.

     

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