Going Loco Over Mexican

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It has been a lively couple of years for the Loco Group.

What started out as a fun little jaunt into the food scene in Tanjong Pagar turned out to be quite the locomotive in action, and it quickly cemented its position as top dog in the area. Lucha Loco Duxton Hill is packed to the rafters on most nights; I have been turned away on more than one occasion!

The latest Loco restaurant has popped up in another gentrified location — Customs House. Offering great views of the water and the majestic Marina Bay Sands and ArtScience Museum, the view will always raise expectations of the food to be served.

Amigos, there is no better way to start a Mexican dinner than with a thirst-quenching margarita. Though the origin of the drink is disputed — some say it wasn’t even invented in Mexico — Super Loco doesn’t mind, and offers an excellent and varied selection to wet your whistle. The Lucha Margarita ($16) is the closest to the original, but if you want something with an Asian twist, then the Pina Calamansi margarita ($16) might be the way to go.

While some of the favourites from the Duxton location make an appearance, the menu has a fresh new veneer to match the sexy new location. The Tlayuda Cecina ($20), for example, a common street food snack made with mystery meats, comes topped with premium air-dried wagyu from Australia. Needless to say, the cured beef is fantastic but the addition of the black bean hummus leaves a strong after taste.

The Pulpo, a twice marinated and twice cooked barbecued octopus, was a real surprise. It is a definite looker — served on a green bed of tomatillo aioli and topped with a sumptuous brown toasted chorizo crumble with white morsels of octopus peeking through. The octopus was fork tender, the double cooking clearly helped, but it was a little salty. Nothing a refreshing swig of the Mucho Mojito ($18) couldn’t fix.

The whole barbecued sea bass, Pescado Asada Con Chilli Rojo Y Perejil ($46), was another visual feast with beautiful grill/char marks. The fish was only lightly seasoned but the accompanying red tomato and chilli salsa and green mint, coriander, parsley and tomatillo salsa gave it necessary character. The chilli salsa lacked bite for my taste, but the green salsa with hints of lime and dill gave the fish a tangy and spritely finish.

If you want more of a bite, ask the waiters for the dynamite Habanero fuelled red sauce concocted inhouse with white wine vinegar and other mystery ingredients.

There is also a selection of salads, if you are so inclined. The Ensalada Granos ($8/$15) featured quinoa and pearl barley and provided a fresh and crunchy palate cleanser in between flavour packed bites of fish, octopus, and Tlayuda.

While the rest of the menu was impressive, the humble taco failed to impress. At $9 the “Al Pastor” De Pollo was a little lacking in flavour. It failed to meet the expectations raised by the dishes that preceded it. The dessert I had, Tostadas Dulce De Chocolate ($16), a chocolate tortillas with chocolate avocado butter and ice-cream on the side sounded more impressive than it tasted. You might want to try the Tres Leches ($13), the house speciality.

Super Loco Customs House is a great place for post-work dinner and drinks. It’s in a great location — just by the water, with cooling gusts of wind, and the open concept restaurant is great for groups. There is lively music, and a vast selection of drinks to tap into. The food too offers sharing options — portions are large, with a dedicated section of feast like platters of meats and seafood.

If you work in the area, the four-course set lunch at $35 is great value too. Be warned though, you only get 20 minutes to eat it. If you don’t want to be rushed, opt for the $55 lunch set with five courses.

It may be a bit too raucous for date night, but it’s a great start to a cracking night out with friends.

Super Loco
Customs House
70 Collyer Quay
#01-04
Singapore 049323

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