So here I am, finally made my way to this little eatery that has been the latest buzz since it opened, night in, night out packed with patrons often doing a stint of waiting outside first before getting a seat. I’ve easily driven past a hundred times going home and wondered what the food would be like. Lucky Lupitas is a humbly set up restaurant promising true Mexican street food. Stepping inside does transport you to a little town in Mexico with rustic style timber tables and bar, pipes on the ceiling branching out to hold light bulbs and irregular chairs. Flowers on the wall and wooden signs of drinks on offer, it had the look.
Admittedly we went on a Friday night and expected to wait a little. Yes, wait. This place is so casual it doesn’t take bookings. It’s a first come, first serve. We were a group of 6 and there weren’t many those big tables so we had to wait a bit longer. We arrived at 6.15pm and were told maybe 45 minutes but ended up waiting for 1 hour to get in. They had set up some benches outside for waiting and you could order drinks so we had some lime margaritas to kill some time.
Patrons waiting for a seat
By now we were famished and really looking forward to the meal ahead. Out came these A3 paper menus in classic street style (well, technically you don’t get a menu but anyway). Across the table a few orders were made. A variety of Mexican beers were also on offer and of course, margaritas.
Tostones $10.90 – twice cooked plantain chips with black bean mash, crema and habanero-tomato salsa. The salsa was delicious and the plantain chips had a nice crispiness to it.
Nachos $12.90 – totopos topped with salsa, guacamole, cilantro, cheese, black beans and sour cream on the side. Couldn’t go to a Mexican and not order nachos. The serving was more than generous but it was unforunate that the nachos were cold and not fantastic. Ended leaving more than half of it.
Each table had four bottles of chilli sauces varying in their levels of spiciness. Mild Tabasco being the least spicy and the habanero one being the hottest. I must say however that it was the Salsa chipotle was the tastiest with medium heat but a nice smoky BBQ like flavour. I love spicy food so, my medium heat might be spicy to you. My advice, taste it before your drench your food in it.
Their hamburgers came with a variety of sauces and looked very promising. It’s not the biggest of burgers but it was certainly fresh. The patty was juicy and flavoursome served on a soft burger bun. We chose Mole Verde sauce which was a blend of pickled jalapeno, pepita, cilantro, green onion and garlic. All hamburgers come with Peruvian salsa criolla, lettuce and tomato.
After all the hype we had to try the Lucky Ribs. At $23.90 you get two pieces of wood smoked and slow cooked beef short ribs in either Chipotle BBQ or Chimichurri which is a garlic and parsley based sauce commonly used for grilled meats in South America. The ribs had a nice smoky flavour and was cooked to perfection with the meat falling off the bone. Flavour however, was lacking a little bit for me. As my partner put it, we have been cursed by the taste of Tony Roma’s ribs. It is indeed so far, the best we’ve ever tasted in the world….well, all the places we’ve been to. So much so we’ve given up ordering ribs until we locate Tony Roma’s again.
Lucky Ribs $23.90
I decided to try something different. I saw a chicken dish with chocolate and was instantly intrigued.
Mole de cacahuate con pollo $18.90 – chicken maryland baked with a blended sauce of chiles, onion, garlic, peanuts and chocolate with white rice. It came in a claypot and looked very appetizing. The chicken was cooked well and the sauce was interesting. It was lacking a bit of a kick to it but enjoyable enough to eat nonetheless.
I’m glad I finally tried this place out, there are a few other things I’d like to try on the menu but I don’t think I would return at dinner time and wait an hour for it. Perhaps a lunch affair on a fine afternoon would be nice. Takeaway is also available for those who prefer to dine at home.