Super Loco is crazy good

COCONUTS CRITIC’S TABLE – The best Mexican food in Asia can be found on the banks of the Singapore River at the yuppie restaurant-cum-watering-hole Super Loco.

Well, certainly there or at its sister restaurant Lucha Loca on Duxton Hill, the original crazy Mexican join in town.

But today, dear readers, I choose to regale you with tales of queso and spice from the newer Super Loco at Robertson Quay.

What distinguishes Super Loco’s fare from other second-rate players around the Little Red Dot? A commitment to corn.

You heard that right.

Corn is much more than a simple staple food in Mexico. The incredibly versatile grain was first farmed in ancient Mesoamerica thousands of years ago, and today is as indelible to Mexican culture and identity as it is to the cuisine.

So while flour tortillas are great, they are no match for the soul and nutty complexity of those made of corn.

Evidence of this commitment to corn at Super Loco kicked off when we ordered a warm-up basket of homemade corn chips, salsa, and guacamole – totopos con salsa roja y guacamole ($12).

This being Robertson Quay, Golden Retrievers jogged by with their humans in tow and screaming children flitted about on scooters while their parents nursed wine at al fresco tables.

But back to those chips – which were the perfect crunchy vehicle for which to scoop the smoky tomato-based salsa and vibrant guacamole into one’s mouth. Good guacamole can be hard to find around these parts, but Super Loco seemed to have succeeded in sourcing solid avocados (from Australia, we found) and letting them shine with minimal fuss.

It was a fine beginning to the Mexican feast in which we were about to partake.

Super Loco proclaims to specialize in Mexican street food so we ordered an assortment of tacos, ceviches, quesadillas, and only one main plato – the enchiladas. Indeed true Mexican street food is eaten literally on the street off of paper plates while standing up, most of the time next to the taco truck from which its been bought. Sit-down meals these are not, so we generally eschewed main courses.

First came the two ceviches – ceviche de mango with wild snapper ($22) and atun crudo ($18), raw tuna with avocado and shallots – served in obligatory mason jars with more corn chips.

For the un-initiated, ceviche generally involves any type of raw seafood cured with citrus (lime usually) and mixed with chili, onions, and other fresh and crunchy ingredients. They were both magnificent, but the snapper version danced upon the tastebuds a bit more because of the sweet mango.

And again the fresh chips came into play as a vehicle to the mouth, offering a lovely crunchy contrast to the sweet and sour ceviche.

Next up, to our delight, came the queso. Oh yes!

The quesadilla de carne y piña ($18), beef with sugary sweet roasted pineapple, and quesadilla de pollo ($16), chicken with cilantro and light green chili sauce, both featured delicious melted white cheese squished and oozing out of slightly charred fresh corn tortillas.

Those corn tortillas were the real deal. Probably not as good as those ones your abuela made if you grew up in the foothills of Oaxaca – but since you probably didn’t, these are as good as its gonna get for you here in Asia. We found out later that the corn tortillas and chips are freshly made under the tutelage of head chef Mario Malvaez ever day.

The tacos arrived each sitting pretty in individual paper trays. No sides or distractions here, just meat or fish on those home-made tortillas topped with salsas and other garnishes. We ordered nearly every one on the menu: the taco de pescado (grilled snapper with a chipotle mayo sauce), taco de barbacoa (lamb with mint), Baja fish taco (deep fried snapper with cabbage), taco de cachete de res (beef cheek with salsa), and taco de de chorizo (chorizo and salsa).

At $11 each for one medium size taco in a paper tray, they are a bit pricey, but so is everything at Super Loco.

The Baja fish taco stumbled a bit with the fried fish tasting mainly of grease. The beef cheek wasn’t bad, but as well lacked any memorable tastes.

By far the strongest taco was the pescado – the snapper featured perfect black grill marks and the red onion salsa offered crunch. But the key ingredient was the pink chipotle mayo that tied the whole taco together into a bundle of flavor. I’d rather we ordered five of those.

Meanwhile our only main, the enchiladas, was straightforward and pretty similar to the chicken quesadilla. Corn tortillas rolled around shredded white meat chicken and that toothsome melted cheese, smothered with a green salsa and sour cream.

Did I mention that washed everything down with crisp Pacifico and Negra Modelo beers ($14)?

The décor could be accused of being a bit kitsch. It’s part “Nacho Libre” and part piñata party, with Mexican wrestler masks on the menu and staff wearing bandanas wrapped around their respective heads in various styles. Prepare yourself, as the open air space can get a bit rowdy on weekends, especially when the tequila cart starts rolling through, dishing out shots to willing revelers.

But with tacos and quesadillas this sabroso, you might be one of those joining the party.

FIND IT
The Quayside #0-13
60 Robertson Quay,  S 238252
Tel: +65 62358900
Mon-Thu 5pm-12am
Fri 5pm-1am
Sat 10am-3:30pm, 5pm-1am
Sun 10am-3:30pm, 5pm-11pm

Coconuts Critic’s Table reviews are written based on unannounced restaurant visits by our writers and paid for by Coconuts Singapore. No freebies here.

Photo: Coconuts Singapore 

Read more Coconuts Critic’s Table reviews by Food Dee Man!

Irony alert: Some of Singapore’s tastiest Thai street food can be found at… Marina Bay Sands?

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