"Real Mexican..." says Suze, as we peruse the menu outside Flying Fajita Sistas. "Will there be cheese?"
We are a group of eight tonight, waiting with the rest of Sydney, it seems, for the second sitting of 8.30pm on a Tuesday night. The reason for the strict turnover is simple - Tuesday offers $3 tacos and $3 tequila shots. No wonder everyone looks so happy to wait.
Wine glasses and water tumblers
We troop upstairs to a room that is steadily filling with diners, a Mexican flag proudly pinned to one wall, trinkets, posters and statues dotting the others. Staff dart about in brightly coloured and traditional-looking embroidered smocks. The wooden floor, wooden tables and wooden chairs do little to absorb the increasing chatter of the assembled crowd.
Strawberry and white wine sangria $19.50 (1 litre)
Brandy-soaked strawberries, white wine,
pineapple juice and dry ginger ale
Despite the lure of $3 tequila shots, we succumb to a jug of strawberry and white wine sangria instead, a lighter version than the usual red wine combination. It's sweet and fruity, although not particularly boozy, and the pineapple juice and dry ginger ale adds a tropical flavour.
Taco Tuesday platter menu
Groups of four are more do well with the Taco Tuesday platter, offering four tacos for $12 with free sides of guacamole, salsa and sour cream.
Trio of pepian, queso fundido and frijoles $14.90
with blue, white and yellow corn totopas
We start with dips and chips. Pepian is a Mexican version of pesto, a nutty green paste made from pumpkins and fresh green chile. Frijoles is a dense bean dip made from pulverised pinto beans and spices. The crowd favourite is the queso fundido, a molten mass of oozing cheese on a roasted tomato and ancho chile salsa that is sweet and smoky.
Dipping into the queso fundido
There's plenty of crunch action from the accompanying totopas, thick tortilla chips that are bubbled and blistered on the surface. Suze just smiles and helps herself to more chips and melted cheese.
Tacos with sweet chipotle chicken
The tacos arrive with a different filling on each plate. Sweet chipotle chicken is quite chunky in texture, although some taste a little dry in parts. Some saucing action from our complementary sides of guacamole, sour cream and salsa works wonders, although the salsa is so runny the entire ramekin needs to be picked up and poured over the intended taco.
Salsa, guacamole and sour cream
Frijoles tacos are probably my least favourite of the evening, the bean puree having a mealy texture. I find it's helped by including the garnish of salad, a fresh combination of mixed lettuce and matchstick-sized batons of crunchy radish.
Ropa vieja tacos
The beef tacos hold shreds of flank steak, a Cuban dish known as ropa vieja. The beef is tender and well-flavoured.
Achiote pulled pork tacos
Silken strands of Achiote pulled pork tacos are melt-in-the-mouth good. The fine shreds of soft pork are probably the best match for the soft flour tacos, with no excessive chewing required.
We scoop up the rest of our dips with an extra serve of totopas, the curls proving perfect receptacles, and the thickness of the tortilla chips meaning they resist sogginess.
The Wall of Pain
Mexican food doesn't have to involve chilli but those in search of an endorphin range are well catered for. The Wall of Pain is a series of three spice racks filled with a mind-boggling collection of chilli sauces. The top shelf comes with a warning to "please seek advice from staff" before selecting.
Rectum Ripper, Devil's B!tch and Salsa Chipotle
I bring three bottles of hot sauce back upstairs - the Devil is the thinnest in consistency but hottest of the three. Salsa chipotle is smoky with a surpising afterkick. The Rectum Ripper didn't live up to its name, although thankfully so.
Mexican movie poster: El Fanfarron (1943)
With a large group of sweet-toothed food bloggers in tow, we take great delight in telling our waitress "we'll have one of everything on the dessert menu".
Chocolate mousse cake $12.90
Chocolate genoise brushed with Kahlua, topped with a rich
Mexican mousse, finished with espresso anglaise and creme
Chocolate mousse cake is light and fluffy, a marshmallow-like cloud on a sponge base doused with Kahlua. It's the kind of dessert I savour slowly with a spoon, and incredibly addictive.
Platano frito $11.90
Fried banana finished with fresh coconut creme,
toasted coconut and white chocolate
Not so addictive is the banana fritter. The plantain banana is a curious beast, starchy and mealy and almost bland to our unaccustomed palates. The batter is thin and crunchy although a little oily in aftertaste. Even after eight of us have sampled it, there's still two-thirds left behind.
Banana and chocolate chimichanga $13.90
A flour tortilla wrapped around banana and chocolate then lightly fried.
Served with cinnamon anglaise, caramel sauce and a coconut creme
Am I the only person who sees the word chimichanga and pictures it dancing across the page? The chimichanga is a tightly folded package of slightly chewy flour tortilla. Sweet ripe banana slices are inside along with a puddle of melted chocolate.
Mexican bread pudding $13.90
Brioche, spiced pecans and chunks of Mexican chocolate
baked in a rich custard, finished with a cinnamon anglaise
Mexican bread pudding is quite firm in texture, almost like a dense cake. The spiced pecans don't offer the aromatics I'd expected, and whilst the chocolate offers some richness, I'm left wishing the bread pudding was eggier, with a softer consistency.
Orange, coffee and caramel brulee $12.90
Rich orange and coffee custard with caramelised sugar
Orange, coffee and caramel brulee is a combination that works surprisingly well. The fine granules of coffee suspended in the custard offset the sweetness of the dessert, and the flavour of orange and coffee somehow pair off with understated elegance. It's my favourite dessert of the evening.
We end up paying $30 a head for an evening of sangria, tacos and dessert. Do you need more convincing about the joy of Taco Tuesdays? Nah, Sistas are doing it for themselves.
View Larger Map
Flying Fajita Sistas
65 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9552 6522
Open 7 days 6pm - late
Bookings for Taco Tuesdays strongly recommended.
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Mexican - Guzman y Gomez, Newtown
Cooking class - Modern Mexican
31 comments - Add some comment love
1/22/2010 03:38:00 am