LOOK up Mexico in an encyclopaedia and it would probably be written in colour and have a picture of a taco and a sombrero.
The Mexican Kitchen in Fremantle is just that – colourful, with stand-out Mexican decor and an atmosphere that oozes positive, happy vibes.
I travelled through America living on Mexican food so I was eager to compare it to the local version and boy did it rise to the challenge.
The restaurant was an easy choice for my dining companion and I, as we both love the interesting dishes of ‘Mehico’.
It took us a while to scan the long menu to make sure we made the right choice, but settled on the Frijoles Con Queso ($13) for entree.
I was glad to find I’m not the only one who can make the name sound like I’m spitting and braying like a mule at the same time, with our kindly waitress admitted she also has trouble capturing the Spanish nuances in the name.
Frijoles is Spanish for ‘black beans’ and it came as a dip with a big pile of corn chips on the side.
It was filled with cheese and jalapeno peppers, and for someone who usually turns bright red and guzzles straight from the water jug when confronted by spicy food, I found it a balance of spice even I could tolerate.
For main, my companion ordered the Macho Nachos ($24) which was a mountain of corn chips topped with shredded chicken, cheese, salsa and sour cream (she opted to have the olives removed).
She reckons chicken helps keep the corn chips crisp, unlike other meats which make them soggy.
At one point I thought she’d taken food reviewing a step too far, as she was searching through each layer of corn chip like she was conducting a forensic autopsy.
“I’m eating all the cheese, it’s delicious,” she said through a cheesy grin.
I ordered the Sonora Quesadilla ($22) as it contained a bit of everything on one plate – filled tortilla, rice and frijoles.
The rice helped to balance the spice throughout my dish and I licked the plate so clean it was almost ready to be placed straight back into the cupboard.
I have never heard of a Mexican dessert but we requested the menu anyway.
With a choice of ice cream, mud cake or churros, we went for the latter.
After one bite I had kind of wished we hadn’t gone for dessert at all.
It wasn’t just because I could barely breathe from over-eating, but the churros were a let-down after such a great meal.
Some bits were too hard to bite, and my friend reckoned the chocolate sauce tasted about the same as the one she gets off a shelf at her local supermarket.
Mexicans aren’t famous for their desserts so we’ll let them off the hook this time.
by HOLLY COOMEY
The Mexican Kitchen
19 South Terrace, Fremantle
Lunch & dinner Fri-Sun.