The Place From the group behind The Feather Blade and Rappu, I checked out the newly opened Mezcla along Craig Road, part of Proper Concepts’ newest restaurant. The name Mezcla is Mexican for mix or blend, and is the concept’s marriage of Japanese and Mexican flavours through a myriad of unconventional tacos and fruity margaritas.
The 66-seater shophouse space spots a carnival-themed interior filled with infinity mirrors, intimate lighting and raw tactile terracotta walls designed by Los Angeles-based OWIU (Only Way Is Up) in collaboration with ADDP architects. The lighting is pretty dim, and the dining vibe is quite chillax. Grab the bar seats if you prefer to watch the bartenders in action.
The Food Expect Japanese-inspired tacos on the concise menu where you can expect various taco flavours. It is tapas style, which is also quite dangerous for the wallet as it easily incentivises diners to order more.
I started with the UniCorn (S$18/2 pieces) from the Antojitos (small plates), where you literally get a combination of corn and Hokkaido uni on a purple tortilla chip. Uni is probably my favourite topping in Japanese cuisine, and this is an indulgent start.
From the tacos section, you can’t go wrong with the Salmon Skin Taco (S$12.50) which is salmon in three parts – crispy salmon skin taco shell topped with sake-cured salmon sashimi and ikura. The ingenious part here is the use of salmon skin to replace the conventional tacos, where I like the fresh salmon flavour and the burst of ikura. Go for this if you are a salmon lover.
That said, there are also the more traditional Mexican tacos on the menu such as the Carnitas (S$8.50), Ancho Chile Pork Jowl topped with crunchy chicharrons on blue corn tortilla. The flavour of the pork jowl can possibly do with more marination for me.
My other favourite is the Unagi (S$8.50), which is glazed with chipotle teriyaki and placed atop oyako tamago on a tempura seaweed taco. This is great as the unagi is a relatively huge slab, and that tempura taco adds to the crunchiness of the texture.
Comparatively, the Wagyu (S$11.50) is a Guajillo-marinated Wagyu Beef Brisket on blue corn tortilla. A decent and safe option, though not much of a surprise in terms of flavour for me as compared to the rest.
Another Japanese inspired flavour is the Crab (S$11.50), which spots Soft Shell Crab Tempura dressed with edamame refritos and tobiko. This dish is less of the surprise in terms of flavour for me as compared to the rest.
For something luxe, go for the Uni & Scallop (S$32) atop engawa-oiled Japanese rice and togarashi mayo. You get Grade A uni and Hokkaido scallop here, both ingredients incredibly fresh and definitely one to behold.
I enjoyed the Chorizo (S$8.50) most across the meats options as the flavours are punchier from the mix of grilled chorizo & chicken, chipotle salsa and guacamole.
Mexican or Japanese? My preference leans towards the Japanese flavours on the menu, given my love for Japanese food and admittedly, I’m not big on Mexican cuisine. This mix of Japanese and Mexican flavours is therefore quite an interesting concept for me.
For dessert, there is only one option – Churro Tacos (S$9/3 pieces) with vanilla créme, Valrhona chocolate and gold flakes.
In terms of drinks, fruity margaritas are a big thing on the menu and you can opt for a Flight of 3 (S$16) glasses in smaller portions with flavours like Kyoho grape, Pink Guava, Mango and more.
Other cocktails options include the likes of Clarified Margarita (S$18) made with a Mandarin and Lime distillate, as well as the Tropical Tepache (S$18) which features Mango Tequila, Pineapple Tepache and a Pineapple Tajin Stick.
Rants It is a tacos concept at the end of the day, so don’t expect other kind of tapas on the menu. It is definitely very tempting to reorder as the portion is bite-sized, watch your bill!
Will I Return Again? Head here for the Japanese inspired tacos flavours on the menu. It is a welcoming idea to have a tacos concept which specialises in Japanese flavours as well, and this is quite a good spot for some relaxed bites and a Margarita on hand.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
43 Craig Road
Tuesday to Sunday: 6pm to 10:30pm
Closed on Mondays
Ranted by The Ranter