Mad Mex – Getting Loco in Belco
by The Editor
The Mexican Wave continues it would seem. Another outlet has opened in the form of Mad Mex – a group out of Sydney with a slight twist on the Mexican cuisine we have become accustomed to over the last couple of years. At the invitation of Clovis Young, co-owner of the group of some thirty restaurants, we traveled well out of our comfort zone to head to Belconnen Mall, and visited the new section (up the top and around the back somewhere) to see what the newest chico on the block has on offer.
It was a fun experience, with a very hands-on approach to Mexican food. We were first treated to a masterclass on slasa production. The chillis were our first item of study. Not the small Asian style to which we have all become accustomed. These are from North America, and include the increasingly famous chipotle variety. Arriving in a dried format form which allows for a longer shelf life and cheaper transportation, they are reconstituted by soaking in water. In 24 hours you can have the chilli of your preferred aroma and flavour ready for combining with other ingredients.
Onions, green chillis (peppers) and tomatoes were charred over a naked flame. Once cooled they were placed in a blender with a selection of chillis and blitzed until almost smooth. Next, we added lime juice and salt to adjust the flavour. Soon enough we had our own salsa to be proud of, and spent a while comparing the tastes of the efforts of others. Clearly ours shone out. Trust us. They tasted fantastic with the natural corn chips.
The next lesson involved tequila. For those who knew this demon drink as the final dare on a late-night binge, there were surprises on offer. Three shots were laid out before us. The first, a brand of Mexican paint stripper known colloquially as Jose Cuervo reminded us too clearly of hangovers the size of Hurricane Katrina.
Step up to the plate though, and one can be treated to a simply delightful version of the spirit. The Tres Generaciones – a version triple distilled and aged for 12 months in American Oak – was a much more refined experience. It could have easily been poured over ice and sipped slowly. Simply delightful, and one worth looking out for at your local bar.
Finally, it was time to indulge in some of the food on offer. We decided on a burrito. This may not sound particularly unusual – Burritos are available at almost every Mexican shop in town. What Mad Mex does is slightly different though. Clovis suggested we try the burrito with a wholemeal tortilla and some brown rice. It’s a nice addition which turns a somewhat healthy option into a quite healthy meal.
All in all Mad Mex offers a refreshing choice among the rest of the Belco lunch offerings. With a fresh and flavoursome fitout (especially if you can read Spanish!) it looks a great place to stop in and grab a refreshing snack. With the Mexican focus centred on the city, Mad Mex is a boon for those living on the far Northside.
Westfield Belconnen, Belco
Open 7 Days