Maybe it’s the elements of freshness, spiciness, dollops of sour cream or creamy guacamole, slow-cooked meat and the addition of tequila and corn-based starches that’s ensured Mexican restaurants have been able to not only find excited diners, but deliver spectacular meals.
Fully-fledged Mexican restaurants have truly established themselves in Joburg, offering easy dining, bold flavours and a colourful atmosphere that turns a meal into an event.
Here’s your guide to Joburg’s Mexican hot spots:
La Rosa (Montecasino)
As an international tourist spot, the addition of La Rosa at Gauteng’s biggest entertainment complex makes sense. For tourists, a visit to neighbourhood restaurants is not necessarily possible considering tight itineraries – and La Rosa offers the perfect middle ground providing international cuisine in the heart of a tourist spot.
La Rosa is a little bigger than many of the other similarly styled restaurants, but that doesn’t mean it’s like a sausage factory. The charm of a lively Mexican eatery is ever present, creating a jovial dining experience, or it just feels that way thanks to the colourful murals and a decent menu backed up with a vast drinks list.
Burrito bowls are a must, and if you don’t want to overindulge there’s even a skinny Margarita on the menu that goes well with nearly every dish. It’s fun and unimposing, and also offers a tequileria bar boasting the widest range of 100% Agave Tequila.
For more information visit larosamexican.co.za
Perron (Melville, Illovo and Bryanston)
Perron has been partially at the forefront of Mexican dining in Johannesburg, which means they have perfected a lot of their menu options.
Expect flavourful, well thoughtout dishes that hum in your mouth like a Mariachi band.
Perron’s fame is somewhat based on their Los mas pequenos, where diners are encouraged to try a few small-plate dishes, including tamales, tostadas quesadillas and tacos. But if you’re feeling greedy and not in the mood to share, opt for grilled mole chicken, pork belly or a bowl of chilli. To finish off, Perron’s ice lollies.
For more information visit perron.co.za/food
La Boqueria (Parkhurst)
While not solely focused on Mexican dishes, La Boqueria’s South American contemporary look combined with food firmly connected to Mexico, the Caribbean and Argentinian cuisine makes it an exciting addition to the list.
La Boqueria excels in dishes that personify textures. Crispy chickpeas on a tender cumin and orange grilled baby chicken (Pollo Con Mojo), or a fusionistic take on tacos (try the Hoisin Duck); there are a lot of surprises.
While you can easily order your own mains, this is a family-style restaurant, everything should be shared. Their parsley and lime coal-fired aubergines are a favourite, paired with something from the long list of wines by the glass. This is a flirty introduction to street-style food with flair.
For more information visit laboqueria.co.za