Urbana is a sister restaurant to El Publico in Mount Lawley, and is situated in Carr Place Leederville, quite close to Sayers and Duende. The food is authentic Mexican, and if you love Tequila, Mescal and Agave spirits, this is definitely the place for you.
We started off with a Hibiscus soda and a glass of Riesling. Both nice drinks while we perused the menu.
Most of the starters are tacos of differing types, but they also serve nachos, black bean dip and chicharron (puffed pork crackling). We opted for a few tacos – the carnitas taco with salsa roja, pineapple and chicharron, and the battered fish taco with cucumber, avocado, and charred lemon. They arrived with two tortillas, but both tortillas were underneath a heap of filling. It would have been easier to share if each tortilla had filling on top, but we worked it out and divided them up.
We also received some chilli jam and hot green sauce.
Both tacos were really tasty, but the hot green sauce (which was very hot) and the chilli jam were the stars – wow such lovely beautifully put together condiments.
We also chose street corn which was amazing. If you are wondering how good corn can be, well this is the dish to prove that it can be incredibly good. Perfectly cooked and charred corn with queso fresco on top. Absolutely yum. (Unfortunately dairy doesn’t agree with me and I did suffer a bit the next day due to the queso fresco, and if they could prepare this dish with vegan cheese, I would be in heaven).
Next came the kingfish crudo. with orange, habanero, mezcal, hibiscus and tostadas. The waiter helpfully showed us how to dip the crispy tostadas (crispy tacos) into the sauce to wet them before loading up with the fish. This dish was sublime and I loved every mouthful. My only bugbear is that they gave us just 3 tostadas. We could have had two each really, and a bit of care from the waitstaff and kitchen would have made this much easier to share. I didn’t touch the sliced habaneros – I’ve had those sneaky little chillies before and unless your chilli game is really strong, they will leave you with a long lasting mouth tingle.
Our last dish was the chicken mole as recommended by the waitress. Beautifully tender and moist chicken breast (I think it had been cooked sous-vide and then pan fried), with a mole sauce, red arroz and tortillas. The mole sauce was bittersweet and a good contrast to the rest of the ingredients.
This was a very good meal. I wish there were more cheeseless dishes on the menu, or options to removed the dairy so that I could have tried a wider ranger of dishes. A few of the dishes are vegan, but they only form a minority of the menu, so this is more of a restaurant for meat eaters. I would happily return for another feast – lovely yummy Mexican food.