A foie gras taco, por favor

New restaurant in Thong Lor offers interesting take on Mexican cuisine

Over the past couple of years, Mexican food has been increasingly popular in Bangkok. Following the likes of La Monita Taqueria and El Diablo's Burritos, the launch of Pinata Mexicana has added to the vibe of the city's restaurant scene.

The restaurant is decked out colourfully to mimic the lively feel of a Mexican fiesta.

The restaurant is decorated colourfully with papercraft (including pinatas, of course) to mimic the lively feel of a Mexican fiesta. It is operated by a group of Thai restaurateurs who used to own a sushi bar in Chicago (they also run High Hat Sushi Bar on Soi Soonvichai).

The menu features typical Mexican classics as well as a few intriguing alternatives. It is highly recommended you start off your meal with the guacamole platter (190 baht). This popular appetiser presents a generous bowl of Mexican-style avocado dip with home-made flour tortilla crisps (corn tortilla crisps are also available) on the side.

The chunky-creamy dip was well-seasoned to showcase the sweet flavour of avocado with the refreshing zest of lime and the fiery touch of bird's eye chillies.

The cheese nachos (220 baht) continued to provide fine palatability. On the evening we visited, the dish was made with flour tortilla crisps instead of the usual corn, causing this cheesy treat to be less likeable.

Of the salad collection, don't miss C2B (180 baht), or Mexican-style corn salad with parmesan cheese and bacon. This small-portioned dish may look plain, but boasted some of the most memorable mouthfeels of the evening.

Sweetcorn kernels came well-mixed in a casserole dish with substantial morsels of succulent bacon and mayonnaise, and exhibited a rich, salty-sweet taste.

Pan-seared foie gras taco and ‘chomezo’ taco.

Another salad option, taco salad with chomezo (220 baht), was well worth ordering. Chomezo _ the restaurant's Thai take on chorizo _ is Mexican-style fermented pork sausage. It is made in-house and proved truly delectable. The chomezo salad is made with chunks of the sour and spicy sausage tossed with lettuce, strips of water chestnut, the restaurant's special dressing and a large piece of deep-fried tortilla.

It's a well-rounded dish with several pleasing tastes and textures.

Our party sampled four types of tacos. Three proved superb. At the moment the restaurant only serves soft shell tacos. My favourite fillings were lamb (120 baht), chomezo (80 baht) and pan-seared foie gras (280 baht).

The lamb taco featured a generous serving of well-seasoned meat and chopped lettuce inside a soft flour tortilla. The taco was so tasty it could be enjoyed without condiments, though a lime wedge and salsa were offered on the side. Equally appetising was the chomezo taco with its delightful pungent taste.

Pinata's management plans to remove the foie gras taco from the menu. I urged them not to because of its unorthodox luxury (the fresh tomato salsa gave this fatty taco a tangy break).

Seafood fans may find joy in the blue crab taco (120 baht), though it wasn't for me.

The most memorable dish of the evening was the carnitas burrito (230 baht). Two hefty pieces of a soft flour tortilla roll were filled with succulent, slow-cooked pork shoulder, avocado, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, sour cream and just a bit of rice.

One of my dining companions, a beef fanatic, opted for the beef steak fajita (480 baht). Served with flour tortillas and fillets of juicy beef flank sauteed with bell peppers and onions, the dish had a taste that was hard to complain about.

The restaurant did a satisfactory job in offering a sweet Mexican-style finish to the meal. There were only two desserts on the menu that night. Both _ the caramel custard flan (120 baht) and chocolate tart (160 baht) _ proved heavenly.

Drinks were limited to horchata (cinnamon-infused rice milk) and a few classic cocktails such as mojitos (no sangria, unfortunately). A service team of young male staff was of an apprentice level, though genial.

Related search: Bangkok

About the author

columnist
Writer: Vanniya Sriangura
Position: News Reporter