You walk in to El Loco´s at the Slip Inn on Sussex and you feel like it’s a weekend. People are at this place Monday through to Thursday as if it´s Friday and Saturday all week. The reasons why are clear. To start off, they have Dan Hong in the kitchen doing all sorts of spectacular, a list of cocktails that´ll make you blush and a bustling open space that looks out over tall harbour trees.
A low key tone washes over the street level bar, which makes quite an event of turning the corner. It´s all going on downstairs, colored circus lights are scattered above the buzz of people drinking and eating and laughing. Timber furnishing, potted cactuses, large palms and colored walls give El Loco an authentic and laid back vibe. It is of course right next to Chinese Laundry, which makes this the perfect location to kick off a cracker of a night. Speaking of fire crackers, the jalapeño margarita is exactly that! An absolutely magic mix that perfectly balances sweet and spice with a candied jalapeño disc on top.
The mixed entrées, tacos and famous hot dogs are party sized flavour bombs. You can´t go past the chipotle chips, more commonly known as “crack chips” one guess why – they´ll have you craving for days on end! A cold drink and one of these bad boys go better together than a sombrero on a sleeping Mexican. The weekly surprise taco champions the braver of diners. Dan Hong urges you to dive in the deep end, to taste first with your taste buds and later with your prejudices. I was lucky enough to tuck into a tasty tongue taco. It was delicious, suspicious but all in all – a great way to encourage an explorative dining experience.
The stand-out dishes are the Grilled Minute Steak and the BBQ Chicken that come with chipotle mayo, salsa roja, radish and fennel salad and Mexican rice or chips. The generous portion of chicken is tender and juicy and marinated in special spices. Both dishes capture the wholesomeness and simplicity of Mexican style cuisine.
The char grilled baby corn and heirloom tomato salad is a beautiful smoky dish that is very moreish. Add a few corn chips to the mix and you´ll be in cheering. The El Loco Salad, however, is too much fuss and not quite enough flavor. It looks the part and is dressed up with soft shredded haloumi cheese, however lacks the punch you´re desperately looking for underneath a tower of tortilla crisps. Churros and Donuts, how could you go wrong? These are sugary, crispy and hot delights. They are everything and more as a duo with the delectable dulce de leche dipping sauce. It is a fabulous way to end a night of flavorsome, tasty and authentic Mexican.
El Locos is a hot spot with great food and a sizzling atmosphere. It´s no wonder why people are here day in, day out. It´s vibin´ and thriving in all the best ways. The menu gives you reason to come back a handful of times to try all the fresh and delicious dishes. Don´t miss out on this one.
El Loco at Slip Inn
111 Sussex St, Sydney, CBD
Open Monday to Thursday, from midday until midnight and Friday & Saturday, from midday until late.