[invite] Bianca: Back in 2007/2008 Mexican food was going through a major resurgence in Sydney. I was a bright-eyed 20 year old with a newly acquired full-time job and disposable income to play with. And that was how my obsession with Glebe, Mexican stalwarts, Flying Fajita Sisters and Baja Cantina began. They were in a constant rotation before my major health kick. And then sidelined for burgers and pancakes but Mexican cuisine has always held a special place in my heart. Especially when The Essential Ingredient has those Corn Tortillas on sale #imnotworthy.
Now in its second location, Contrabando continues to deliver delicious Latin-inspired Southern-Californian street food. And with an upcoming Mexican/Cuban honeymoon on the cards, the excitement was very real! So what do you get when you cross a Greek chef with Mexican flavours? Delicious fucking Mexican food, that’s what… Chef Peter Varvaressos is a Greek Mexican wizard!
Margarita’s were the first cab off the rank – go for the Thyme infused grapefruit margarita $17, the sugar lined rim was extremely palatable, super easy to drink! Who said they were girly drinks?
A no-brainer, the Truck Stop Guac $16 a generous serve for 2 or a nice little starter for 4, fresh diced tomatoes and Spanish onion adding both texture and sweetness, I’m super OTT with my guacamole seasoning and I would have loved just a touch more salt.
I adore Dan Hong’s version of this dish at Ms G’s but I was equally impressed with the Cheeseburger Springrolls (2pcs) $9. Tasting exactly like a Maccas cheeseburger, so job well done.
The Crispy Chicken Skins (Buffalo style) $12 were really just pure indulgence, crispy and moreish but don’t expect a Heart Foundation tick with this dish.
The Chargrilled Corn $6 ea was AMAZING! The layers of flavour to a simple corn cob was out of this world, creaminess from the queso fresco and sweetness from the charred sugar. A must order!
Croquetas (4 in a serve) $10 are a nifty little starter. Nick kick from the jalapeno and green tabasco aioli. Crispy on the outside and a running Vesuvius of cheese once you crack them open.
Much like Marjorie Dawes extolling her love for “Caaaaakkkeee”. I just LOVE tacos and so began the onslaught. Crispy Fish $6 with generous pieces of crispy white fish, toppings are generous (which we love). Because we left the ordering to Peter I completely blanked on the Tortilla used. I didn’t pick up on any strong corn flavour so I’m going to assume he gave us the ‘el gringo’ the flour-based version.
We really loved the smokiness of the 8hr Braised Lamb $6 mixed with the sweet BBQ sauce. I liked the varying textures, the crispy shallots/ onions on top. If you like the deep ‘meaty’ flavour of lamb you’ll really enjoy this taco.
I had my eyes on the Crisp Pork Belly $7 and whilst we were at a level I was eager to try this one. The pork, tender, luscious and fatty, we seemed to have missed the crispy crackling but flavour-wise, like all others to this point was off the charts.
The final taco, Braised Bulgogi Beef cheeks $7 the beef practically melting in your mouth.
And before we literally burst at the seams, the El Macco Quesadilla -w, all beef pattie, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed tortilla $16. A clever Mexican twist on a Big Mac!
I really cannot fault our meal at Contrabando, we loved the food and I can’t wait to go back!!