My good friend Sebastian took me out for dinner because he couldn’t attend the “official” celebration. He has a thing for Thai, Vietnamese and Mexican food, and since last time we went for Thai, it was Mexican time.
Izote Mexican is located out of the buzz of King St, which is not very good from a business point of view but fantastic when you forget to book.
The restaurant has dim lights and a few Mexican decorations making it classier than most make-you-blind colourful Tex-Mex venues. The menu is classier, too, offering a small but good selection of dishes that the owner learned to cook in Mexico, where he lived for 15 years before moving to Australia 45 years ago.
Sebastian let me choose the dishes as he is way less fussy than me. I was curious to taste Mexican ceviche as I didn’t do it when I was working in Mexico, so we ordered it as a starter. The main difference with the Peruvian version was the addition of tomatoes in the marinade and tortillas on the side. When I asked if the tortillas were gluten free (they weren’t) they offered me corn tortillas instead but I skipped them because I was having rice anyway and I’d find it odd to eat ceviche wrapped in tortillas. The fish was nice and tangy. The portion was smallish, but there’s a main-sized version, too. I enjoyed drinking the leche de tigre when the barramundi was gone.
Ceviche ($13.90, entrée size)
My first and only exposure to mole poblano was great but because it was a few years ago I can’t remember its exact taste. Mole is a sauce made with chocolate and chillies that goes particularly well with poultry. I believe the dish was originally made with turkey but these days chicken is the popular choice. It was served with green salad, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo and beans. Wonderful.
Mole poblano ($25.90)
The second dish was a first for me: chile verde (tender cubes of pork cooked with traditional green tomatillo and ground spices). It was served with green salad, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and flour tortillas. It was tasty enough for me to want to cook it at home pretty soon.
Chile verde ($24.90)
The dishes were not hot at all (I guess to cater for the gringos) but they do offer chilli sauce to spice things up. I enjoyed every bite and was stuffed by the end of the meal.
6 King St
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 8084 9651