WHO needs tapas, gazpacho and patatas bravas?
Scotland beat Spain 2-0 at soccer this week, proving that Irn-Bru, square sausage and deep-fried pizza are the food of champions.
Well not really, but to celebrate my motherland’s famous win I took my daughter out for dinner at Sunshine Harvester Works, where we recently enjoyed a lovely feast at Bumplings.
This time we tried Al Pastor Taqueria and Tequila Bar, a small bar and kitchen serving up street-style tacos.
Tucked away at the back of the old warehouse, it’s a dimly lit atmospheric number with cosy booths, low-hanging lights and colourful, slightly menacing Mexican day of the dead art.
It definitely succeeded in creating a moody vibe and at night after a few tequilas you could get lost in the moment and think you were at La Tetilla del Diablo in From Dusk Till Dawn.
The menu was a double-sided laminate job where you chose the style you wanted (taco, burrito, quesadilla, nachos) and then the “protein” including rotisserie pork shoulder, chipotle marinated chicken, baja fish, birria beef and a veggie option.
There was also some standalone mains and sides including a taco share platter, flaming street corn, loaded fries and nachos queso, as well as a kids burrito or quesadilla with chips. For those who like a drink there was a decent range of cocktails, tequila, Mexican beer and wine.
You order at the bar and then the food is made in a seperate cabin just a few metres away.
It wasn’t long before the staffer was over with my chicken diablo ($18). It certainly looked the part with that colourful, chaotic charm you associate with Mexican food – jalapenos clambering over red onion, cheese, coriander, spring onion, grilled chicken and the odd slice of radish.
Drizzled over the top was some crema and the chook was coated in a pleasant-looking salsa verde.
The soft flour tortillas were lovely and just the right size for lifting up without all the ingredients jettisoning out the side.
Unfortunately the flavours just weren’t there – the chicken was tender and moist, but I just wasn’t getting that crazy jamboree of flavours you associate with a well-made tortilla.
A bit baffling as all the ingredients were there to make it a success.
Unfortunately things got worse with my daughter’s Al Pastor street tacos (four for $18).
Again they were nicely presented with a mouth-watering mix of rotisserie pork shoulder, guacamole, salsa roja, pineapple, coriander and red onion.
But the pork was barely warm and I nearly sent it back.
This time the flavours were there and it had a nice sweet and spicy mix as the pineapple and salsa roja joined forces.
Afterwards we felt like something sweet, so visited Fatboi Brownies on the way out.
It was another letdown – there were no tags on the brownies to tell you what variety they were, so I had to ask what was in a few of them.
The staffer – who had all the charm of a multiplication table – could have told me what was in the remaining there or four, but there was just an awkward silence.
I ended up getting two M&M ones for my kids ($12) and an Oreo one ($6) for my wife, who reported they’re were super rich and tasty, but $6 was over the top.
Unfortunately my return trip to Sunshine Harvester Works didn’t live up to my first outing at Bumplings, but maybe like Spain they were just having one of those nights…
Al Pastor Taqueria
The Sunshine Harvester Works
1 James St, Fremantle
by STEPHEN POLLOCK