Sunday, 15 July 2012

Pinche Pinche - A-maize-ing fun 9/10

Excuse the pun, it's been a long week!  I'll try not to embarrass myself (or anyone else) with my terrible sense of humour from now on.

Rest assured though, I do stand by the statement that Pinche Pinche was a rather fun place to spend a Saturday night.  Vibrant, lively, good service and great food, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  I can also let the non-Spanish speakers into a little secret.  I googled the name as I was intrigued and discovered Simon and the team have a naughty sense of humour - its rather rude and they must have some fun with people shouting it out around them! 

Saturday was my third birthday meal on the run, an extravagance usually only reserved for the big numbers (not for a couple of years, thanks, before you say anything rude). This one was the family meal, as we had my parents as house guests for a couple of days.  My mother (who no doubt will greatly appreciate me saying this) has something of a penchant for tequila, so Pinche Pinche seemed like an excellent choice.  They have a huge range of tequilas and mezcals to suit every pallet and bank balance, as well as cocktails, South American beers and wines.
Joe and I have been to Pinche Pinche once, for the launch of their new menu.  At the time we were treated to a little taster of their ceviche, so this was top of my list to try again. We also indulged in a huge bowl of Hass avocado guacamole, which was more delicious than any I have tasted before.  Limey, creamy, with super crunchy home made tortilla chips.  We were also swayed by our waiter, Juan, into trying the special starter plate, which included vegetable tacos, nopales tostadas (cactus) and marinaded prawns.  It was delicious, with clean lime and coriander flavours.  I would admit we perhaps had eyes bigger than our bellies - the guacamole portion is huge and we were fairly stuffed by this stage!
Mixed starters
Fear not though, we carried on with the food.  You could never say we aren't dedicated to doing a full review.  That, and, when I love the food, I find it difficult to say no even when I am starting to resemble a pygmy hippo.

We were a touch predictable with choosing the main courses.  While my father picked out the fish burrito, Joe and mum both had the duck fajitas (another recommendation from the taster night) while I had the chicken fajitas.  Fajitas all round!

These are all listed as from Northern Mexico but are more accurately Tex Mex cuisine.  Nonetheless they combine my favourite things - sweet vegetables, succulent meat and spicy chilli sauce.  Having had a sneaky taste of the fish burrito I can advise it had mild haddock in a crispy batter with coleslaw and rice.  The burritos are not for the faint hearted - they may look more meagre than the fajitas but are very filling.  As well as the tortilla, there is rice, cheese and beans packed in there.

I love a fajita and these ones are certainly good.  The marinaded meat is piled on grilled Spanish onions and peppers, served with cheese, sour cream, guacamole and tons of tortillas.  With each dish you also choose your salsa.  They have varying degrees from "what are you doing eating Mexican food" weak to face-meltingly spicy (my descriptions!). The step between the second most to the most spicy is quite a leap and I was quite jealous of Joe's manly super hot salsa.
Chicken fajitas
The accompaniments
Tortillas - six per person I believe!
Duck fajitas

Fish burrito
After all that, you would think we were full, but oh no.  There is always room for churros.  These are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside (just like Armidillos....sorry, old joke.  I'll stop now!) served with a heavenly chocolate sauce.  Joe went off piste with a chocolate dessert recommended by Juan.  It was also nice but it will take a lot to persuade me from the churros!

All in, it was a fantastic meal.  Yes, we ate far too much food and drank too much wine, but it'll be a while before we go back again.  Everything was well made, fully flavoured, and accompanied by great surroundings and wonderful service.  Top notch.  A solid 9/10.