Review: Sayulita, Lane Cove

Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 13 February 2023

Welcoming staff, tasty Mexican eats and good vibes is why Sayulita is at the top of our summer dining list!

Sayulita is a Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar located in the heart of Lane Cove. Named after a beautiful coastal fishing town close to Puerto Vallarta, you can expect fish to feature heavily across the menu, paying homage to its namesake.

Established by the De La Vina group (Taqueria in Cammeray & El Rey in Cronulla), owners Emma and Blake Read wanted to bring their love of Mexican food over the bridge, so those desiring Mexican food in stylish surroundings wouldn’t have to travel to the city or Eastern suburbs.

Luis Zaleta (previously Head Chef at Mexican restaurant Chula in Potts Point) is now part of the team and has created a coastal-inspired menu across botanas (snacks), tacos, quesadillas, large mains (to share) and desserts. He’s inspired by the unique flavours and textures of seafood, and brings his knowledge of the Pacific region to the table, having grown up and worked in Mexico for years.

Dishes are designed to be shared and devoured heartily. We loved the Camarones al Ajillo which consists of king prawns chargrilled in guajillo oil, sautéed greens, charred limón and papas, served with warm tortillas.​ The Spicy Salmon Tostada were also a favourite featuring a crispy tostada base topped with sashimi salmon, orange citrus, soy sauce, jalapeño, onion & chipotle aioli. Zaleta’s secret ingredient is citrus soy which he makes from scratch by combining a careful balance of three types of citrus juices and a delicate soy sauce.

As for bigger dishes, the Bistec y Huarache was impressive, a 250g Scotch fillet served with housemate corn dough, beans, nopales, cheese, salsa roja and mocha chilli oil. We also recommend the mouthwatering Costilla de Peurco con Mole, a rack of pork ribs with housemate secret mole sauce, patatas bravas and warm tortillas.

The slow-cooked marinated meats will certainly please carnivores but there are also some incredible vegetarian options including the Chargrilled Macha Halloumi which is topped with mixed seasonal greens, roasted patatas, salsa macha and black beans served with warm tortillas. The best part? Everything can be made gluten free on request!

There is a premium range of premium tequilas and mezcal to try but we recommend starting on the signature 1800 Spicy Margarita which features house-infused jalapeño tequila and organic agave.

The restaurant styling is inspired by contemporary Mexico and in particular, the seaside towns. The interiors are quite minimalistic embracing earth tones, terracotta tiling and loads of greenery. Offering indoor and outdoor dining, the 100-seater restaurant will easily cater for large groups or intimate dinners.

The weekend bottomless Saturday lunch is one to watch! For just $99pp, enjoy a 7-course degustation paired with free-flowing 1800 Tequila Margaritas, Jalapeno, Coconut or Tommy’s Margaritas for two hours.

There are many reasons to dine at Sayulita’s but if you need to nudge a friend, suggest the ever-popular Taco Tuesday. It’s a great taco-tasting time with nine different options starting from $5. Plus, there’s Happy Hour every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3pm until 5pm where cocktails are all half-price. 

Sayulita is open from 5pm until 9pm Tuesday to Thursday and then 12pm until 9:30pm Friday-Sunday. Find out more here.