I love the tacos and cheesy hot dogs at El Loco at the Excelsior Hotel, but I’m pretty excited that El Loco has also opened a permanent outpost in the heart of the CBD at Slip Inn.
There’s the usual tacos, with the option of substituting the tortilla with a lettuce cup. El Loco’s secret taco (top right) also features on the menu – and tonight I think it’s an ox tongue taco. Don’t be put off by the offal because it is seriously delicious! We also try the breakfast taco which has chorizo and a fried egg with salsa roja and guacamole.You don’t go to El Loco without trying one of their margaritas! The cocktail list at Slip Inn is bigger than the one at El Loco, so I take the opportunity to try one of the new concoctions of tequila, apple, lime, passionfruit and agave syrup. It comes with a halved passionfruit on top and is pleasantly tangy and refreshing. Sir D also enjoys the Loco Rojo Margarita with tequila, beetroot, pomegranate and grapefruit.
Before the mains arrive, we get a couple of sides to share which I’ve also had previously at the original El Loco. The corn chips with salsa and guacamole are as tasty as ever, and the chipotle fries are an addictive snack with a spicy dipping sauce.
In keeping with the pub theme, El Loco at Slip Inn also features some new menu items that are a little more substantial than the ones at the original El Loco. We try the Cobia (black kingfish) ceviche which is served with a refreshing coriander, Vietnamese mint and green apple salad with a fennel and lime dressing. A favourite of the table is the chargrilled baby corn and heirloom tomato salad – with nubbins of charred corn kernels, fresh tomato and salad leaves with a popcorn and ranchero dressing.
There are four mains on the menu – beef, chicken, pork or fish – and the pork proves to be a popular choice because it’s sold out by the time Sir D goes to order it. We still manage to snap of photo of the huge slice of pork belly, complete with crackling. It’s served with Mexican rice and an apple and cucumber salad with pineapple salsa.
The BBQ chicken is a massive serve of half a chicken blackened under a grill. It also comes with Mexican rice, chipotle mayo, salsa roja, and a radish and fennel salad.
Sir D ends up settling for the 200g scotch fillet minute steak, but is a bit disappointed by the amount of gristle in the cut, making it difficult to cut and eat. I think he was secretly still mourning his roasted pork belly but he managed to finish off the steak and chipotle fries that came with it.
I opted for the grilled fish which today is a barramundi fillet with a crispy skin, served with a fennel and radish salad and Mexican rice. While the skin is crispy, I find it overly salted unless eaten with a mouthful of the rice. The fish itself though is cooked beautifully and served with a salsa verde.
Dessert time means churros! These churros are freshly fried so they’re still piping hot and crisp with fluffy innards. They have a generous coating of sugar on the outside and there’s a dipping sauce of dulce de leche for those who like a bit of extra sweetness.
So the verdict? It’s the same Mexican food as the original El Loco with new twists on some good old pub favourites. While there’s more space at El Loco at Slip Inn, it doesn’t mean that it’s not packed to the brim with people so make sure you get in early or risk missing out!
Penguin says Feed Me dined at El Loco at Slip Inn courtesy of SBPR
El Loco at Slip Inn
111 Sussex St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 8295 9999
Open Monday to Saturday – 12pm til late