Mexican Restaurant Manly
Mex & Co.
Don your sombrero, hitch up your donkey and take a trip down to Manly's newest Mexican restaurant!
Where: Shop 3, 30-32 South Steyne Manly NSW 2095
Phone: (02) 8966 9872
For Event Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily 11:30 am-10:00 pm
Sydney's love affair with Mexican street food continues in Manly with Mex & Co. A stone's throw from the beach this is a hot little venue and I'm not just talking about the Jalapeno poppers!
With great views and even better margaritas it's hard to find a reason not to sip your summer away in this grungy beach-side venue, after all it is MexiCAN not MexiCAN'T!
The explosion of Mexican restaurants across this fair city in the last year is nothing short of remarkable, from the inner-city to the suburbs just about every neighbourhood has a pub, restaurant or food truck serving up street style Mexican cuisine.
This is an epidemic easy on the tastes buds, the Mexican food being served up around the place is tasty, cheap and possibly even healthy.
Manly Beachfront Dining
Mex & Co. in Manly is a newcomer to the league of taco purveyors but in a much larger scale than I've seen before. With a trendy newly renovated venue facing Manly beachfront this place is already a hit with the hungry and thirsty beachgoers. Packed to the rafters night after night I'm happy to say that the high turnover doesn't effect the quality of cuisine being served.
The restaurant is split across two levels. I'd recommend snagging a spot upstairs on the balcony where your ambience is a perfect mix of ocean sounds and cool tunes from inside. The views across Manly beach are spectacular, the perfect place to watch the day or evening go by. Inside is a minimalistic fitout with a slightly industrial vibe, lots of cool light features and plenty of obligatory Mexican inspired candles and skulls.
Classic Margarita, Tamarind Margarita & Lagerita
Lets start with the booze, your classic margarita is served in a salt-rimmed jar, its strong and well balanced and at $12 a pop, it's a bargain. Other drinks to keep an eye out for are the Fresca Y Picante which blends Jalapeno infused Tequila with Triple Sec, Pineapple and Ginger Ale into a sweet and refreshing beverage.
The Tamarind Margarita adds some homemade Tamarind syrup to the classic margarita, very tasty. The winner in my books however was the Lagerita, while the idea of adding beer to a margarita seemed somewhat wrong, trust me it is so right and so refreshing. Served in the usual jam jar with an inverted baby Corona slowly dispensing cerveca with every sip - this drink is Summer in a glass or should I say jar. All the tequilas served up are 100% Blue Agave, that's the real stuff! There's also some tasty wines and as you would expect and plenty of Mexican beers on offer, for those taking the sober route the Mexican sodas sound delicious.
The menu can be a little daunting at first with plenty of options ranging from burritos, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and fajitas, oh and a hot dog! My advice is to start small, you have to try the Jalapeno poppers - basically whole Jalapeno peppers crumbed and fried with a filling of creamy cheesy goodness! An American favourite and I haven't seen these served anywhere else in Australia, surprising since they taste incredible.
Don't Miss: Corn on the Cob
The corn on the cob is a classic and shouldn't be passed up, charred to perfection with lime, coriander, chili buttercorn-on-the-cob. If that doesn't tickle your fancy just go for the tortilla chips and guacamole, all hand made and super tasty.
Hand-Made Tortillas & Taco Fillings Galore
The tacos are another great option as the small size means you can really try a few different variations, I recommend the pollo, achiote chicken accompanied with a pineapple and chili salsa – sweet, spicy and satisfying. The carnitas taco consist of marinated pork belly mixed with herbs, fresh guacamole and shredded radish. The Baja California is fish or prawn with pico del gallo, chipotle aioli and shredded cabbage.
There are loads of other choices including a special of lamb shoulder and jalapenos, chorizo and potato and the pulled beef taco which is also really good. Surprisingly given the number of tacos that must be served each day I was impressed to hear that all the tortillas are hand-made and pressed on-site everyday.
Kangaroo Fajitas? Go for It!
The fajitas add a more DIY element to the dining experience, choose your plate of sizzling protein and it is served with all the Mexican condiments you can think of. Some assembly is required but it's way more fun than putting together an Ikea couch not mention a lot tastier! Your choice of meat goes beyond the typical chicken and beef with prawns, tuna and even kangaroo.
Being a sucker for steak I opted for the beef and prawn combo, it doesn't disappoint either, the juicy strips of sirloin melt in your mouth, it comes out about medium rare but if you like it cooked further no worries - just leave it on the hot plate a little longer! The prawns are juicy and flavoursome and offer great variety in the dish with the numerous condiments including fresh tomato salsa, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, cheese and lettuce. If all that isn't enough the staff usually leave the sauces from previous dishes behind (I like that!) so try them out with some chipotle or lime aioli and don't forget the Cholula hot sauce on the table!
Good Food, Great Vibe
Logistically Mex & Co is a pretty demanding restaurant but everything seems to run smoothly, there are plenty of staff and they are all feverishly attending to their tasks. There is a fantastic vibrancy to the bar/restaurant, it never gets too noisy while maintaining a great energy.
It's good to see one of the bigger restaurants in Manly showing the attention to detail that so many of the others seem to lack. The guys here have taken the small bar/restaurant formula and made it work in a larger space not to mention a great location. So don your sombrero and come down and visit Manly's newest amigo Mex & Co!
The Good – Great food and booze with reasonable prices. Excellent location.
The Bad – Occasional wait for a table on busy nights, slightly daunting menu for the indecisive.