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 $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 on the table
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
La Cocina de la Abuela
208 Marrickville Road, Marrickville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9569 3331
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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5/03/2015 12:00:00 am