Taquero – Mexican – Nottingham

With few big ticket openings in the last year Taquero was the long awaited new restaurant from the team behind Iberico. If you have been following them on social media you’d have seen, likely with envy, some food trips to Mexico to put together their vision for the new venue. I think the transformation from Asian supermarket on Heathcoat St has been a real success, it’s a pretty, light space with high ceilings that evokes Latin America with small touches over clichés. Part of the reason I hadn’t yet been was the popularity and subsequent wait for a table given they don’t take bookings. This is a model that follows Bar Iberico’s success but seems to have caused some disgruntlement among potential patrons, if the social media comments are anything to go by. A Friday lunchtime saw no such problem. The menu is mostly focused on tacos, perhaps unsurprising given the name, but I had hoped to see some wider Mexican cuisine on show.

Chicken taco

There is, of course, still plenty to get excited about and I found it difficult to choose but opted for a couple of tacos alongside 3 sides which were shared. Lamb Barbacoa tacos (£9) were a promising start, a generous hunk of deeply flavoured lamb with warmth from a sticky, sweet salsa and some simple onion and coriander providing a little freshness. Chicken Pibil tacos (£7.5) were less successful. The meat component was bountiful once again but the overall profile was dominated by the salsa macha, a Mexican chili oil. This was a problem in the flavour profile but also the in eating which quickly descended into a challenge. On reflection both tacos were actually too meaty, seems surprising to say but the balance would have been better with more elements to cut through the richness. Sides were more successful, particularly ‘Papas’ (£5.5) which were the highlight of the meal by far. Seriously crispy potatoes with a spicy rub and a lip smacking salsa verde packed with lime and herbs, yes please. Frijoles (£4.5) were a traditional version of Mexican black beans that you couldn’t really fault despite lacking much excitement. ‘Green rice’ (£4.5) was pretty pedestrian stuff though, perhaps with bold flavours elsewhere it simply serves a purpose in bulking things out.

Papas – Taquero

I clearly wasn’t blown away by Taquero and though there is more than enough enjoyment and promise for me to return. I do think I am fair in what I have criticised as don’t recall ever thinking dishes were unbalanced or poorly executed at Iberico. An indication of just how good and consistent they have been. I was disappointed there wasn’t a daytime version of their menu as two tacos and a side is a minimum of £20 compared to a set £16.95 at Bar Iberico or £15 at Kushi-Ya for something similar. It’s still a great addition to the city and a cuisine that is woefully underrepresented locally so I will continue to support and report back on their early development as a restaurant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.