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Sunday, May 03, 2015

La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville



Hearts of palm salad, cactus salad, ceviche and tortilla soup at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville

There’s something you need to know about the huaraches gigantes here. It’s not gigantic – it’s colossal. The 40cm long torpedo of homemade fried tortilla dough laden with chicken, chorizo, capsicum, lettuce and fresh cheese is called a huaraches because it looks like a sandal of the same name.

Huaraches gigantes homemade tortilla at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville
Huaraches gigantes $22
40cm long homemade tortilla with refried beans and your choice of chicken, beef or chorizo

Maybe that explains why it can be a little chewy in parts, but its density means there’s no chance of sogginess from the avalanche of fillings on top. In addition to the enormous huaraches, there’s a whole range of South American dishes to explore from this grandma’s kitchen (La Cocina De la Abuela in Spanish) in Marrickville.

Huaraches gigantes homemade tortilla at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville
Huaraches gigantes on the table

Tables and decor at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville
Tables and decor at La Cocina de la Abuela

The owner’s Uruguayan heritage makes an appearance in the chivito al plato, a thin piece of steak with pancetta, ham, cheese, fried egg and chips, as well as Grandma’s Milanesas beef schnitzel. The walls are resplendent with embroidered sombreros and colourful piñatas and fresh flowers on every table are a thoughtful touch. It’s quiet when we visit for a Sunday dinner but we expect things to pick up once word gets out about their tortilla soup.

Tortilla soup sopa Azteca at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville
Sopa Azteca $11.50
Traditional tortilla soup in Guajillo broth

The tortilla soup is thick and deep red in colour, piled with a mountain of deep-fried tortilla shards. There’s a complexity of heat and spice in every spoonful of this textural soup that combines soup-swollen tortilla bits at the bottom and still-crunchy tortilla straws at the top. Strewn across the top is a cool scoop of guacamole and crumbled fresh white cheese (queso fresco).

Cactus salad ensalada de nopales at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville
Ensalada de nopales $12.50
Cactus salad with tomato, Spanish onion, avocado and queso fresco

Cactus salad is a rare treat that’s worth ordering. The cactus pieces come tossed through with red onion, tomato wedges, guacamole and more queso fresco.

Hearts of palm salad esalada de palmitos at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville
Ensalada de palmitos $11.50
Traditional hearts of palm salad

We dig the hearts of palm salad too, mixed with green capsicum in a creamy dressing.

Ceviche with tortilla chips at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville
Ceviche $12
Fresh fish marinated in lime juice 

Continue the Mexican fiesta with tamales steamed in banana leaves and slow-cooked chicken with mole sauce. Don’t forget the ceviche either, bright and zingy with lime and surrounded by crunchy tortilla chips.

Dining room with lanterns at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville
Dining room with lanterns

Hearts of palm salad, tortilla soup, cactus salad and ceviche at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville
Hearts of palm salad, tortilla soup, cactus salad and ceviche

She might not be your maternal grandmother, but drop in on this Marrickville matriarch and she’ll treat you to a South American feast without any surly questions about what you’re doing with your life.

Creme caramel flan at La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville
Flan $9
Creme caramel

Latin American restaurant La Cocina de la Abuela, Marrickville


La Cocina de la Abuela on Urbanspoon

La Cocina de la Abuela
208 Marrickville Road, Marrickville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9569 3331

Opening hours:
Lunch Wednesday to Sunday 12pm-3pm
Dinner Tuesday 6pm-9pm, Wednesday to Saturday 6pm-9.30pm, Sunday 6pm-8.30pm

This article appeared in the April 2015 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! [Read online

Read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/03/2015 12:00:00 am


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