A recent catch-up with a friend brought us to Zapata's, a Mexican restaurant nestled among other eateries on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide. Let's be honest, I'm not a very experienced eater of Mexican food. I can count the number of times I've had Mexican food with two hands and am utterly hopeless at pronouncing most of what's on the menu, so I wouldn't really know what was authentic and what was just an imitation of Mexican food. However, having said that, I found Zapata's to be the best place I've been to so far and it has inspired me to go out and try more of this yummy cuisine.
My friend and I ordered a combination of dips and chips as an appetizer and a main of fajitas to share, along with a large jug of Zapata's Mexican soft drink. The Ribs Zapata had initially caught my eye but after asking for further details from a really enthusiastic waiter (details on service below), we realised the size wasn't going to justify the price. What's more, my friend has ordered this same combination every single time she's been here and that, to me, is testament to how good it must be.
|Combination Dips (small): $18.90|
|(L-R, Top): frijole con queso, tomato con chilli (L-R, Bottom): chilli con queso, guacamole|
Tomato con chilli: This tasted like regular tomato salsa to me. It did have a spicy flavour, except it wasn't really spicy or chilli for me. My friend loved this one though.
Chilli con queso: Oh my cheese. This dip was our favourite out of the four and it was completely scraped dry by the time we finished the chips. The warm, creamy cheese was perfect by itself or eaten with the other dips. Don't let the description of ' a blend of cheese, hot chillies and spices' scare you off from ordering this one since it wasn't really chilli or spicy.
Guacamole: Again, this tasted like regular guacamole to me. I will admit that I never tasted this one just by itself so I can't say if it had enough flavour standing alone. However, it was thick and chunky and was also all gone by the end of the appetizer.
|Fajitas: tortillas, sour cream, cheese, frijoles, tomato salsa & guacamole ($24.90 per person)|
The tortillas were so warm and soft which made it them easy to wrap with. They're also kept in a container with a lid so that while you're making and enjoying your fajita, they're not left in the cold and won't get dry.
|Steak fillet (part of the fajita's dish)|
|Mexican Hibiscus & Tamarindo Soda: $9.90 per litre|
I really enjoyed my time at Zapata's, both food-wise and service-wise. One of the waiters who served us was one of the most bubbliest and enthusiastic waiters I have ever come across. He was also very friendly and when we went up to the pay the bill, he complimented us on finishing the fajitas: 'Good job on finishing the fajitas girls! I mean, they are not a small serving!! I was watching you guys and the plates are all clean!!" I admit, I was a bit dumb-struck to say much but retrospectively it was hilarious.
The only negative thing I would mention would be that there weren't enough tortillas for the two of us. For $24.90 per person I was expecting more than three tortillas each. There was quite a bit of steak on the plate and it would have been nice to finish all of the steak inside of a tortilla instead of eating it by itself. However, other than that I really couldn't fault much else and would definitely recommend Zapata's to anyone wanting to try out Mexican food.