Mejico Miranda, Westfield Miranda

On our new quest to try every restaurant at Miranda Fair, we stopped at Mejico Miranda for dinner tonight, which I was feeling a little ambivalent about. On one hand, I’m not a huge fan of eating with my hands in public; on the other soon to be dirty hand, we do love our spicy food and Richard always liked Mexican.

The place was quite full on this Friday night, but we managed to grab an outdoor table without booking. The waitress explained the “Feed Me” banquet as she handed the paper menu to us. For either $55 per average person, or $80 for someone really hungry, the table would get this, and this, and this, and that… a whole heap of dishes, as she recited the actual menu. I was thoroughly impressed with her excellent memory, but for someone not already familiar with the food options, we just couldn’t follow and would do much better with a printed version of it. We settled on the fact that the banquet was “basically a little bit of everything”, and even though I’m always really hungry (as we all know), I wasn’t interested in the desserts and we opted to order our own dishes.

Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Scallop Ceviche
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Scallop Ceviche – Avocado, pomegranate, jalapeno, crispy eschalots on house-baked tostadas ($16)

Scallop ceviche on house-baked tostadas ($16) and tuna ceviche on hand-cut tortilla chips ($16). These bite-size gems were super fresh with the right herbs to give their own distinct flavour, and a nice contrasting crunch from the toasted tortilla chips. I preferred the scallop ceviche and Richard the tuna, but both were very good.

Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Tuna Tostadas
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Tuna Tostadas – Sashimi grade tuna, cucumber, avocado, capsicum, ginger, spiced tapioca pearls on hand-cut tortilla chips ($16)

With the maximum 3 chilli icons on the menu and how much I love hot food, I was really, really looking forward to the feta-stuffed jalapeno poppers, served with chipotle mayo ($14). The small plate dish unfortunately received what Richard dubbed the “Shire treatment”. Crunchy, greasy, cheesy – yes, but the jalapeno peppers were very carefully scraped clean of any seeds, resulting in zero detectable heat. Zero, my friend. They should know not to deceive Vickie with 3 chilli icons!

(By now Vickie should also know better than to expect many foods in Sydney to live up to 3 chilli icons, which often only just set her up for disappointment.)

Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Jalapeno Poppers
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Jalapeno Poppers – Crumbed & stuffed with feta & herbs, served with chipotle mayo ($14)

Back to eating with hands, our tacos arrived. The achiote chicken taco ($12) came with chorizo, cucumber, cumin and chives just to keep up with the alliteration, and maybe also taste; whereas the slow-braised lean pork taco ($12) had chilli caramel salsa and aioli with extra pork scratchings. I liked that they weren’t modern cheese-covered abominations, but the soft shell tortilla tasted overpoweringly floury to me; to Richard the tacos just lacked a certain kick.

Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Tacos
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Chicken Tacos (top) and Pork Tacos (bottom) ($12 for each dish)

The only main we ordered was the lamb adobo with house-made chimichurri ($29). The rare lamb was super tender and fatty on the sides, and I thought it was nice enough with the adobo and didn’t need the accompanying oily and subtle-tasting chimichurri. Not the biggest of main in volume, but definitely good enough to be a winter night dish if you didn’t skip the green sauce and trim off the fat like I did.

Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Lamb Adobo
Mejico Miranda, Aug 2015: Lamb Adobo – Chargrilled Hunter Valley lamb, house-made chimichurri, snow pea tendrils, pickled onion ($29)

Looking back at the menu, I discovered a few of the dishes we ordered that weren’t spicy at all were actually given 1 chilli icon. I also don’t know if we would get better value from the banquet menu or if it’s just designed for the less picky. Overall, apart from the “Shire treatment”, I was quite happy with the meal and service. Eating with my hands might not be so bad after all?

Mejico Miranda

Address Westfield Miranda level 2
Shop 2202, 600 Kingsway, Miranda NSW 2228, Australia
Speciality / Cuisine Mexican
Price (2015/2016) Entree (ceviche, Small Plates, tacos): $12-16
Main (Bigger Plates): $24-32
Dessert: $10-12
Set Menu (Feed Me): $55 per person (classic) / $80 (deluxe)

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Jean’s Chilli Chicken, Eastwood Hotel

With Richard’s help (thanks a million! heart ), I spent all day packing and moving to my new place today. We were suitably starving after so as soon as we unloaded the last box, we went on a desperate hunt for food. We drove out to Eastwood Station and found lots of Chinese restaurants on one side and Korean on the other, but none tickled our fancy tonight. We decided to pop in to Eastwood Hotel when we walked past for what we thought would be a pub dinner. To our surprise, even the kitchen inside the hotel was Korean and the place was absolutely buzzing.

Jean's Chilli Chicken, Eastwood Hotel: Takeaway Menu Page 1
Jean’s Chilli Chicken, Eastwood Hotel: Takeaway Menu Page 1

We flicked through the menu at the counter and quickly agreed that everything looked delicious. We picked the Chilli BBQ Chicken (3 chilli rating; $32) and the BBQ Duck (1 chilli rating; $34), plus a serving of plain steamed rice for Richard. The counter staff looked me the Asian girl up and down and said their servings were very big, then looked Richard the white boy up and down and said their chilli dishes were very hot. We brushed her aside and assured her we love our heat and giant portions (we do!); inside, we were quite certain nothing here would be spicy enough for us and I’d probably need a second dinner.

Jean's Chilli Chicken, Eastwood Hotel: Takeaway Menu Page 2
Jean’s Chilli Chicken, Eastwood Hotel: Takeaway Menu Page 2

The place was so packed we weren’t sure if we’d be able to find anywhere to sit, but we managed to get a nice little booth with three TV screens nearby. Total win! After a while, a waitstaff brought the dishes to us.

Jean's Chilli Chicken, Eastwood Hotel
Jean’s Chilli Chicken: BBQ Chilli Chicken (front middle), BBQ Roast Duck (right with salad on top), self-serve rice balls (right back & far left), complimentary Korean pickles and pasta salad (middle back)

The first dishes that came were some Korean pickles and pasta salad that we never ordered, but the waitstaff told us they’re complimentary. The dishes we ordered arrived after. The counter staff didn’t lie; their portions were massive indeed. We also received two silver bowls of warm rice with a bit of seaweed in it. Not quite the plain white rice we expected, but if they provided a disposable glove each for the DIY rice ball rolling fun, DIY rice balls we’d make.

We attacked the main dishes. Holy. Macaroni. The Chilli BBQ Chicken was super tender and had a lovely smoky taste that you could just tell was properly charcoal barbecued, and it was mildly spicy. No, it was moderately spicy. No no, it was actually legitimately spicy. The BBQ Duck wasn’t as hot and the pieces were hidden under a huge bed of green leaf salad, but they were equally tender and tasty. We downed every single piece of meat and, for once, I was full and satiated. I suppose we did finish over 4 servings of food between the two of us. tongue

For some reason, the bill only came out to $66, which I didn’t realise until I started to prepare for the blog entry. But $66, or even the supposed proper price of $73, for a full belly of quality barbecue chicken and duck is simply worth it.

If you love barbecue chicken and hot food and ever end up in Eastwood, I highly recommend a visit to Jean’s Chilli Chicken.

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