Tex mex? No way! There has been a rise in the number of more authentic Mexican food establishments. One of these establishments is the happily named "The Flying Taco". This casual restaurant is set in the small cafe strip on Angove Street in North Perth and has quickly become a regular joint for some locals.
The restaurant is small with only a few tables inside, and a few tables outside. The atmosphere is very casual and makes a good easy and quick meal out, or a casual place to catch up with friends, or a quick meal after a night out (as The Flying Taco closes pretty late). However, saying that it is a casual meal doesn't really go to explain that all the tacos, corn chips, salsas, dips etc are handmade and more authentic than tex-mex.
I have been told that the owner, Anna, has spent time in Mexico where she learnt her Mexican cooking skills and thus further giving the greater Mexican cuisine authenticity. When you eat the food you will notice the difference between the way they make their food and your typical tex-mex fare. For example, the taco is a soft shell taco rather than your hard corn based variety and the fillings contain specially cooked fillings with herbs and vegetables that are not your typical tomato and lettuce.
The food menu is not huge, but there given the way the menu works, there are a lot of combinations (including gluten free, celiac friendly and fish and vegetarian options for the discerning patron - and easily caters for the diet of one of my friends who is friends with the owner). The menu (which is available on their website at http://www.flyingtaco.com.au/menu.html) works by making you select a base (e.g. taco, quesadila or burritto), a filling (e.g. steak, fish, chicken or pork), and a salsa which ranges from a chunky light salsa to a chilli hot salsa. There are also sides such as house made gluten free tortilla chips, guacamole, beans and Mexican red rice.
Taco Pescado with Salsa Verde - $12
This was the taco with fish filling. It contained 2 soft shell corn tortillas (and in true Mexican style the "ll" is pronounced like a "y" and therefore it's pronounced more like "tortiya"); garlic, spices and orange juice marinated fish; and the blended tomatillos, coriander, garlic and jalapenos salsa.
The taco had a soft, light "shell" that doesn't resemble your tex mex style hard corn chip shell. Instead they were a softer tortilla that was folded over into the typical taco shape (though is malleable and doesn't hold a special shape well like say a pita bread) and then filled with the fish and topped with onion and coriander.
A closer look at the pescado
The fish was diced marinated white fish, and felt lighter and relatively healthier than a cut of meat. The addition of the vegetables rather than the normal tomato and lettuce was a nice difference that in my opinion tasted good. The sauce tasted quite light but definitely had the coriander and garlic flavour and a mild jalapenos spice.
Taco Carnitas with Salsa Verde - $9
The Carnitas was described as "traditional slow-cooked crispy pork with grilled fresh pineapple". The pork was definitely was not dry nor bland, and some parts had a slight pork crackling crunch to it. The pork filling was topped with coriander and onion which, in this taco, complemented the pork taste and texture of the pork.
Quesadilla Carne Asada with Pico de Gallo salsa - $12
The quesadilla is a flour tortilla. It comes in cut up hand-sized pieces filled with (in this case) diced steak pieces and cheese. The quesadilla is light and freshly made, and doesn't fall apart or break.
The Carne Asada is described as "grilled sliced steak marinated in fresh lime juice, garlic and oregano". The steak is tender and tasty with a large amount of cheese. Due to its open nature, picking up the quesadilla at times did cause the filling to fall out a bit.
The sauce was very fresh and had chunky pieces of tomato and onion in it, as well as garlic, onion and jalapenos. This sauce was more mild than the salsa verde.
Taco Carne Asada with Salsa Verde (a different combination) - $9
The meals above and the sauces are not served with any cutlery, however you can obtain a plastic spork if you wish. This may make it easier if you prefer to spoon the sauce on or use it to pick up pieces without using your hands.
Corn chips - $6
The chips were very crunchy and were coated in a light amount of salt. The only thing that could have made this better was a dipping sauce of some sort but would this have made it less authentic?
Overall, The Flying Taco offers light meals that are freshly made and in my opinion taste better than a lot of the tex-mex offerings or pre-bulk-made Mexican with less fresh ingredients. The menu is not large, but the combinations give a bit of variety.
Points to note: More authentic casual Mexican food compared to the popular tex-mex offerings. Offers home and hand-made, gluten free and celiac friendly food, as well as fish and vegetarian options.
Go for: Reasonably quick and authentic light meals of Mexican tacos, quesadillas and burritos.
The Flying Taco
40 Angove Street
North Perth , WA 6006
(08) 9227 6393
Wednesday to Sunday: 12 noon to Late.