Mexican, to be more exact tex mex, isn’t one of my favourite cuisines. In the past, places in Perth that advertise Mexican food actually serve tex mex. Recently there has been an influx into Perth of Mexican places serving Mexican food. Keen to give it a go, we headed to El Publico.
El Publico is primarily a bar, a fact illustrated in their menu where the food options barely take up a quarter of the menu. With this fact in hand, the food options are tapas like, small dishes intended to be shared over drinks and with friends. I love tapas so this style of food suited me perfectly and after placing our order, the dishes started to arrive.
First to arrive were the street prawns. These are small prawns, deep fried whole to be eaten whole. Watch out for the spiny bits as you eat these delicious morsels. These are really delicious and were my favourite dish of the day.
Next to arrive was the esquites. This is a Mexican street food favourite, which consists of corn kernels mixed with chilli, mayonnaise lime and cheese. After mixing the corn through with the other accompaniments, our corn in a cup was suspended in this very watery mixture. Maybe the corn kernels weren’t separated from the water they were cooked in enough. Still the corn was fresh, sweet and juicy. The other ingredients added a nice balance to the sweetness but I suggest adding some of Sam’s very hot sauce (complimentary with a warning) to give it a bit more kick.
The Salmon Aquachile was next to arrive. An aquachile is similar to a ceviche but not the same if this dish was an example of the former. The raw salmon is decorated with coriander and hides a ground chilli sauce. The raw salmon is not acidic like if it was in a ceviche and tastes like salmon sashimi. The coriander and the chilli sauce go well with the salmon. If you listen (taste) carefully you will also get some acid from the lemon juice.
Rounding off a filling meal were the chilaquiles. Torn tortillas are mixed in with a wet mixture of chilli, tomatillo and queso fresco (cheese). There is also some shredded seasoned chicken in there but not much compared to the amount of tortillas. The tortillas as a result of being wet were quite tough. The mixture was not bad with the tomatillo addins some refreshing acidity. In the end I didn’t really like this dish and we left in unfinished. This dish is quite filling so I wouldn’t recommend this one if you want sample more of the other dishes.
I lied before about rounding off the meal. The flan was the perfect ending of the meal. The flan was very silky and the banana puree was full of flavour and sweetness. The peanut butter ice cream was subtle in flavour but I wouldn’t mind having more (who would).
Service from the restaurant staff was very friendly and if you have trouble deciding, they are more than willing to assist you. I look forward in returning to sample the rest of the dishes.