Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Tasting the new menu @ Los Vida Mexican Westfields Sydney

For a restaurant that is on the (quieter) sixth floor of a shopping centre in the middle of the Sydney CBD, where food courts abound, bars surround and competition is fierce amongst restaurant space, particularly Westfields where there has been a turnover of restaurants in recent years, Los Vida is making a name for itself.

Many visitors to the centre may not even know that it exists, diners may stumble upon it or hear about it from word of mouth. I think that can be a great thing.  Organically growing for it's great food.  The restaurant has a chance to grow and strengthen their foundation and it does not become the restaurant flavour of the month before diners move onto something else. It’s a contender!  

Ever since Los Vida opened their doors in January of this year they have built a solid following of regulars that return again and again, me included.   I was hooked from my very first meal (read about it here), however I have dined here many times since and often recommend Los Vida to work colleagues and friends.  

Los Vida is not your atypical Mexican joint offering cheese and refried bean laden tortillas or artery clogging cheesy, spicy beef covered nachos (although that does hold a special place amongst the cuisine). Mexican cuisine is so much more than that. Los Vida embraces fresh, vibrant flavours while upholding an authentic modern presence in their dishes.

I'm back at Los Vida to discover new delights on their newly launched menu. We are seated at a booth out front of the restaurant in an airy space within Level 6. Table tops are tiled in rich blue hues, chulola chilli sauce sits next to salt and pepper and the area oozes ‘south of the border’ charm.
While firm favourites have been kept on the menu, some have been replaced and newly added dishes enhance and already mouth watering menu. There is a new selection of ceviches, an extensive tacos list, a few new mains and new salads to mix things up. For those that would like a cocktail or two there is an extensive cocktails menu with wine and beer too.

The menu is designed to share dishes and I note that are vegetarian/ vegan options and a great selection of gluten free options. Our waitress enthusiastically points out choice dishes and recommendations.  

We have ordered a vast selection of dishes and I find I am having food envy of other diners around us.

We begin with the Scallops Aguachile $13 - scallops with cucumber, red onion, jicama and Serrano chilli atop a crispy gordita.

There are only two in a serve but each bite packs a fresh zesty punch of lime, fresh cucumber and warming heat of chilli. This is fresh and exciting. Just a little disappointed on the serving size.

A hefty serve of Enfrijoladas arrive. $15 

A choice of chicken, beef or mushroom we have gone with the more traditional beef with black beans sauce, cheddar, iceberg lettuce, queso fresco and sour cream. The crispness of the iceburg lettuce adds a fresh crunch to the refried black bean puree enveloped between a chewy textured tortilla. I like it.

Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is...

Always a fan of a good taco, thankfully the taco menu hasn't been tampered with but embellished with to new ones. A Yucatan fish taco and a chipotle prawn taco.  Tacos range between $5- $8 or you can do a rack of 7 for $30.

Opting to try both we are happy.  The Yucatan fish taco has grilled barramundi with Yucatan style marinade, smoky rojo sauce, zesty lime cabbage and pineapple salsa. The Chipotle Prawn taco has tender prawns with poblano chilli, refried beans, chipotle sauce and avocado.  While they both have various degrees of heat from the different chillis, the fish is fresh and crunchy where the chipotle prawn is creamy with the avocado and bean puree.  They are both great additions to the menu, but I prefer the Yucatan one slightly more.

I’m intrigued by the sound of the Torta Ahogada - $16.  It's a ‘drowned’ spicy pibil style shredded pork roll and refried beans bathed with arbol chilli sauce.

It’s a wet style ‘burger’ and the shredded pork is smoky and tender with hints of earthy cinnamon. We like this a lot and it's a decent size.

One side that comes highly recommended is the Rajas. $5

It’s a small bowl  (bowl in the front above) of poblano chili, onion, potatoes, zucchini, corn kernels and sour cream.  It is served as a condiment side but I would have eaten the whole bowl and secretly between you and I...I would have licked the bowl clean if I wasn’t in public.….yep it was that good.

Every visit I always have to have a serve of the patatas bravas. $7

A mixture of fried potatoes, sweet potatoes, brava sauce and aioli w chives this is a huge serving but so addictive.

So full and satisfied I think we may have groaned a little at this point. I may have eyed off the bunelos and chocolate tart for dessert….but I will have to pass on Los Desserts…for today.

From a previous visit there are a few dishes that remain on the menu and are favourites.

Hibiscus Flower Flautas  - crispy hibiscus flowers with cheese and wrapped in a chunch corn tortillas with salsa verde and queso fresco.  these were nothing like I expected and was pleasantly surprised.

I can highly recommend the grilled corn. topped with coriander, butter, lim and chipolte cream with queso fresco.  These are another addictive side and very happy to see that it has stayed on the menu.

And lastly I leave you with a fish taco, beer battered barramundi with zesty lime, cabbage slaw and 3 styles of jalapenos (including deep fried) with chipotle mayo.

While I have always enjoyed my dining experience and the food at Los Vida but with the new menu they have just risen the bar.  Los Vida has done a great job in incorporating the change.  Thanks again for a fabulous lunch.

*Roofood dined as a guest of Los Vida and Cardinal Spin

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1 comment:

  1. Trying out a new menu is always thrilling for me. I am foodie and love to try out different cuisines. Personally I like Mexican food and currently searching for some event rooms for rent for an office party. I have already hired local famous mexican catering services.