Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mexico, Takapuna

I've often marvelled at the variety of different restaurants that are available in Auckland. There is just about every type cuisine you could possibly want in various stages of authenticity. 

There are many little family run eateries which offer dishes that remind those of their home town but often deter those who are less than adventurous. Then there are bigger chain stores that take a country's cuisine and add a more commercial twist for the masses. 

Mexico is the latter, but does it well. My sister in law, Miss J, had been nothing but complimentary about this place for a couple of months now because it allowed her to try something new -without venturing too much out of her comfort zone.

We came to Mexico, Takapuna to celebrate the end of Miss J's time at university. We weren't able to book ahead of time as we didn't have a party of ten, but we were early enough that it didn't matter.

Sangria Blanco - $26.00, Salsa roja and corn chips - $8.00
We started off with some white wine Sangria which goes down a lot smoother than your regular red wine variety. The addition of elderflower cordial was a pleasant surprise. 

I found the salsa a little disappointing (mushy) but the house made corn chips were super light and were the perfect vessel.

Burnt Avocado Guacamole and Corn Shards - $8.00
The guacamole was my favourite starter, with big chunks of creamy avocado and light taco shells. I did find the whole tomato a little strange as there was nothing to cut it with and the guac would have been fine without it.

Quesadillas - $14.00 to $15.00 (pictured, Cactus Quesadilla)
We ordered three quesadillas to share - the pulled pork special, the chicken mole and a cactus one! The pork and the chicken quesadillas were very well prepared, with tender pieces of meat and great accompanying sauces.

I was quite let down by the cactus quesadilla which tasted of the charred broccoli that it was paired with. I wouldn't recommend this unless you like the taste of burnt things in your mouth.

Clockwise from left: Fish Taco -$6.00, Pipian Chicken Taco - $6.00, Pulled Pork Taco $6.00, BBQ Pork Quesadilla - $15.00
Soft shell tacos are the only things on the menu that are designed to be single serve. The fish taco was fried in a very light, crispy yeast batter and was paired in with a crunchy salad and jalapeno mayo. 

The Pipian chicken was flavoursome but lacked the texture the other two tacos had. The cheese provided a balance to the chili.

The BBQ pork taco was nice, although a bit on the sweet side. The creamy sauce went nicely with the pork and the addition of some hot sauce made it even better.

Mexico Fried Chicken - $15.00
The Mexico Fried Chicken gets its own mention as this was the entire reason Miss J wanted everyone to come. Each piece of boneless chicken was moist while the batter was incredibly moist and light. It came with two sauces, which I could only identify as "hot" and "hotter". The only down side was that it could have done with a bit more salt.

Churros - $12.00
We ended our meal with some deliciously crunchy churros. I can't say that they were better or worse than your usual street side truck stall though. The chocolate sauce was a bit heavy and we found that the churros were actually better without it.

With its eclectic d├ęcor and relaxed atmosphere, Mexico, Takapuna is a great place to catch up with friends over some shared plates. Our servers were attentive throughout the night and kept our drinks topped up. Next time we come back, we'll have to go through their 50+ tequilas!

Mexico, Takapuna can be found at 4 The Strand, Takapuna, Auckland. There are also outlets at Britomart, Ellerslie and Ponsonby.


  1. Mmmm - I do love Mexican food - we have a couple of good Mexican restaurants here in the Bay.

  2. Dear Lucy,

    Those tacos look delicious though I have always had a soft spot for the hard shell ones.