[invite] Bianca: Celebrating and championing coastal Mexican cuisine, Alma located in Avalon on Sydney’s Northern beaches, highlights stunning Australian produce with fresh Mexican dishes.
The husband and I visited mid-week, on ‘Taco Wednesday’ (all you can eat tacos for $30pp + $12 Margaritas, which is excellent value). I’ve made a mental note to come back in the future, as my love for tacos knows no bounds).
To start, a mocktail Watermelon Negroni for moi and the Cinnamon Myrtle Gimlet for Jules.
Pretty as punch when they hit the table, we started with some obligatory Mexican entrees. Lo and behold, also one of the hardest things to track down as we discovered from our honeymoon in the Yucatan back in 2018.
Because you really cannot go wrong with Chips & Guac $14. I appreciated the addition of the toasted pepitas and spice mix for added texture but felt the guac was a touch underseasoned for my palate.
An absolute must-order is the Grilled Agave Halloumi $15 which was a textural joy to eat. A wonderful interplay of sweet, salty with a hint of acidity, this was one of our favourites!
Next up, a round of Tacos $7 ea. Sharing a few bites of each. Straight off the bat, the in-house made blue corn tortillas were a fabulous vessel for the tacos, in my mind’s eye flour tortillas should not exist!!
I gravitated towards the Chicken Pibil – mainly due to the masterstroke addition of the caramelised grilled pineapple.
Another favourite was the Pork Belly Canita – which had delicate melt in the mouth pieces of pork belly and shards of crackling, tied together with a tequila bbq sauce.
Julian loved the Tecate Battered Fish – the Ling fillet was moist while the outer batter was super crispy.
And finally, the Agave Jackfruit – An excellent vego option, the jackfruit was quite plump and ‘meaty’ with a slight sweetness.
I wouldn’t typically lean towards fish dishes but the Octopus Escabeche $36 got rave reviews by staff. I do shy away from overly ‘fishy’ seafood (my personal preference). I found the caramelised baby octopus tentacles particularly flavoursome and tender (I did avoid the heads).
For me, this dishes success was in large part due to the fiery green ceviche sauce and the accompany purple carrots, a uniform bite with everything worked exceptionally well.
For the carnivores, Carne Asada $39, a beautifully cooked medium rare 300g Black Angus scotch fillet, served with a green salad, pickled carrots & salsa verde. Another delicious main, my first med-rare steak in 9 months, which I happily savoured. We did feel the salsa verde was similar in flavour to the herbaceous green ceviche sauce served alongside the octopus, so in that respect, the two dishes were a little same-same but pure coincidence…
The Carne Asada was also served with a side of blue corn tortillas for some impromptu tacos!
Another surprising favourite, the Manzana Salad -w/ green apple, baby spinach, candied walnuts, sweet pickled radish, avocado, pico de gallo & jalapeno lime dressing $16. A true treasure trove of surprises, sweet and sour notes with pops of heat from the sliced jalapeno, this is a must-order!
And to finish, the stunning Tres Leches -w/ orange genoise, smoked almond ice-cream, rum cream, hibiscus sauce & orange crumble $18. I swooned over Chula, Potts Point Tres Leches cake and this was equally delicious! Elegantly plated, the orange genoise soaked completely through, making for a wonderfully moist, heavenly dessert.
No hesitations here, you simply have to visit Alma, head to the beach and make a day of it! I already can’t wait to go back!