Another day, another Mexican restaurant. LOL! Actually I am quite liking getting out and trying all the Mexican places that have sprung up, though I admit I am probably a bit late to the party.
Senoritas serves “authentic Mexican cuisine from selected regions such as Oaxaca and the Yucatan Peninsula, coupled with contemporary food trends”.
I dined there on a weeknight with J and Miss SoCal. And the good thing about Senoritas? They take bookings! Hallelujah! If you don’t have a booking and they can’t fit you in they will take your number and give you a call when a table is ready.
The restaurant is decorated in the style of the Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and also has lots of feminine touches, to pay homage to woman. I had read about the decor beforehand and though it might have been a bit tacky or over the top, but it was neither. I found it fun and quirky but still tasteful.
It is quite dark but we were sitting at a table next to the kitchen which meant there was a bit more light.
Complimentary corn chips and salsas are provided on arrival and an extra platter of corn chips can be requested for $4. The three salsas have different heat levels and are, from left to right, salsa verde de jalapenó (tomatillo, jalapeno, onion, garlic and coriander), salsa verde de chile habanero (green tomato, onion, garlic, habanero chili and coriander), and salsa roja de chilli Serrano (red tomato, onion, garlic, serrano, coriander).
The corn chips were very addictive and of good quality, hence the need to order more!
We started with margaritas, I had Tommy’s Margarita (created in Tommy’s Margarita Bar in San Francisco, to capture the full flavour of tequila and the Blue Agave plant. The cointreau is replaced with agave nectar, allowing a sweeter and full flavoured delight) and J and Miss SoCal had the Classic Margarita (a savoury delight with a hint of sweet, served in a cocktail glass with a half salt rim). The margaritas are quite expensive at $18 each and J and Miss SoCal felt a bit ripped off at how much liquid was in their glasses (as seen in the background of the below picture) when they saw other margaritas at the bar which were a lot fuller.
I liked mine and if you like a sweeter drink, this is the one for you, but it is not overally sweet, just sweeter than the standard margarita.
The menu is divided into four sections, not including the listings for the salsas or for drinks. There are acompanates (sides), frida and diego entradas (tacos, tostadas etc), platos fuertes (larger dishes) and postres (dessert).
We decided to order a few dishes each and then order more if we needed it. The waitress explained that where a dish came as a serve of two, they could do three pieces if we all wanted to try that particular dish. This turned out not to be an issue as Miss SoCal is vegetarian so stuck to non-meat dishes, and J ordered mostly seafood which I don’t eat!
J and Miss SoCal did both start with the esquites (corn sautéed with onion and epazote served with mayo, queso fresco, chilli piquin and lime)
They liked it but would prefer the experience of eating corn on the cob.
I started with panuchos de cochinita pibil (traditional slow roasted pork on corn tortilla with refried black beans, pickled red onions and habanero salsa).
And the sopes de lengua (thick, handmade tortilla topped with ox tongue, pickled jalepeno, radish and fennel).
The pork as excellent, with a good balance of flavour and tender meat. The ox was a bit dry and the thicker tortilla was crumbly and fell apart when I tried to fold it.
J had the aguachile vuelve a la vida (kingfish and scallops cured in lime juice, serrano chilli, red onion and cucumber).
And Miss SoCal had the tostada de cactus (small fried tortilla topped with cactus, green tomato, frijoles, queso fresco and guacamole). The picture I got is too blurry but they looked tasty!
For our next order I went with the tacos al pastor (guajillo chilli marinated pork taco with pineapple pico de gallo and flamed peanut arbol salsa).
and the tamal de pato (traditional corn parcel filled with duck and tamarind mole).
Again the pork was the clear winner with lots of fresh flavours. The duck was quite dry, like the ox tongue, and I needed more of the sauce and the salsa.
J had the pulpo y atun a los tres chiles (baby octopus and tuna dusted in guajillo, pasilla and ancho chillies with coriander and watercress – no pic) and the tacos matteo (grilled prawn taco with mexican rice, refried beans, tomato, avocado and chipotle mayo).
I tried one of J’s quesadila de huitlacoche a los dos quesos (truffled corn and two cheese blue corn quesadilla with pico de gallo) and thought it was quiet good.
Miss SoCal was the only one to order off the platos fuertes menu, she had the ajillo-style vegetables (seasonal vegetables sautéed with garlic, guajillo chilli and lemon juice).
We were done with the savoury courses and it was time for dessert, though J was the only one who ended up ordering anything. He had the chocolate dia de muertos (dark chocolate and chilli ganache with house made guava jelly and Pedro Ximenez).
He thought it was the perfect size and price ($7). The ganache was yummy but the jelly didn’t work for us (yes, I was allowed to try a bite).
The staff were very busy but always smiling and ready to help.
Despite there being a few misses, there were also some hits, and I would definitely go back and stick to the dishes I know I liked and maybe try something off the platos fuetes next time. And you can book!