Go loco for Mexican-inspired street food at Windsor’s newest taquieria, Tacocat
I’ve always loved Mexican food, whether it is tortilla chips dipped in delectable salsa or generously filled beef or chicken tacos. But at Windsor’s newest Mexican hotspot, Tacocat, you won’t find run of the mill tacos here.
With influences from Mexican, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine, the newly opened Tacocat is a true example of fusion cuisine. Owner Craig Dick, with the assistance of Chef Penny Irvine, have brought modern Mexican gastronomy to the south-side.
Step into Tacocat and be transported to a taquieria in Mexico. Beautifully bright murals are splayed on the walls and pop against the illuminated kaleidoscopic bar, which allows diners to peep inside the kitchen. Colourful wooden tables are the rustic canvases to all the delicious fare on offer.
Craig may be new to the restaurant world, but extensive globetrotting has provided him with a wealth of experiences in different cuisines that underpin Tacocat’s Mexican and Asian-inspired menu. Favouring Mexican street food and having enjoyed the many delights on offer in Central America, Iran and North Korea, Craig says he “just thought the two were a natural fit.” After sampling Tacocat’s menu, I couldn’t agree more.
I relished starting with the ceviche tostada, generously topped with fresh calamari, scallops, prawns and fish. Drizzled in lemon juice and layered on a salty, corn chip base, the flavours and textures of this dish were seamless.
The ten item long taco menu is impressive, featuring fillers of pork, fish, grasshopper, pho, soft shell crab, raw tuna, chilli prawn, Japanese fried pollo, portobello mushroom and corn, or roasted cauliflower and chickpea.
I was initially reticent to enter the world of arthropod eating. However, roasted with chilli and garlic, and topped with guacamole and pico de gallo, the grasshoppers were crispy spicy gems, and there were lots of them!
The pho taco was innovative and scrumptious. Perfectly cooked beef, chilli, bean sprouts, spring onions and Vietnamese mint was drizzled with spicy Sriracha sauce. Wash it all down with a shot of pho broth for a winning dish, truly reminiscent of eating a Vietnamese pho on a cold night.
The raw tuna taco with jewel pink sashimi grade tuna, Asian slaw, wasabi mayo, nori and crispy wonton wrapper was fresh and satisfying. Grab a side of crisp sweet potato fries, or a Mexican or super food salad to complement your already mucho magnifico meal.
For dessert, the deep fried Tequilla Shot, consisting of tequila soaked sponge cake deep-fried and placed in a shot glass with lime zest, icing and house-made lemon sorbet will invigorate your taste buds. It is as good as it sounds.
To drink, try the Virgin Margarita or bring your own alcoholic beverages. But don’t worry, Tacocat will soon have a liquor license and so it will be stocked with a large range of tequilas, beers on tap and Mexican bottled cervesa.
Also check out Tacocat for breakfast on weekends, serving up more fusion style dishes including the Tacocat Madam. This dish comprises succulent pulled pork, melted cheese, fresh tomato, fondue sauce grilled on sour dough bread served with fried egg. And of course, grab a coffee while you’re there, sourced from Atomica coffee roasters.
Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming themed events at Tacocat throughout the year, such as the recent ‘Cinco De Meow’ in celebration of Cinco De Mayo. The venue is also available for hire for functions.
With a belly replete of delicious food, plus the jumping excitement of ingesting a few grasshoppers, I was bouncing out the door. Tacocat is worth checking out, even if you are a north-sider. It is the perfect place for dinner with your amigos before hitting Chapel Street for a night out.
118 High Street, Windsor
Tuesday-Sunday 5pm-10pm (dinner)
Saturday-Sunday 8am-10pm (breakfast, lunch and dinner)