Overseeing Lolita’s kitchen is UK-born hatted chef Matt Kemp (most recently Byron at Byron) who, alongside head chef Armando Enriquez Icaza, serves a dynamic and fresh new take on Mexican cuisine, with its share-style group-friendly menu derived from all-local Tweed produce. The picture-perfect Lolita’s is adorned with pops of pastel, earthy terracotta and pink tones, with an abundance of lush greenery throughout making it every bit the neighbourhood cantina.
Once you’ve got a salt-rimmed margarita in hand, it’s time to work your way through the menu of small plates, tacos, larger plates and must-add sides. The Lolita’s journey kickstarts with smaller shareables like prawn-and-chorizo empanadas, four-cheese tostadas with cricket salt and fermented chilli, a punchy watermelon escabeche with baby cucumbers, tequila and lime, jalalpeno pork poppers with buttermilk ranch and chicharon, and cheese chochoyotes (Mexican corn dumplings) with esquites and black-eyed-bean ‘mess’. Next up, tacos. The house-made tortillas are served up with a range of intriguing combinations from the land and sea – think king mushrooms with pickled cactus and vegan mole, crispy fish with finger-lime aioli and butter lettuce, Yucatan pork shoulder with Granny Smith slaw and chicharron (fried pork rinds), and grilled chicken with chocolate mole and orange salsa.
You’ll have the choice of three larger share plates – a half Mexican chicken, smoked brisket, or a stuffed pablano chilli – each loaded with a side of black beans and rice, and can be joined by add-ons like a Mexican caprese salad, butter lettuce with ranch dressing, corn salad and punchy condiments like pickled chillies, pineapple salsa and chimichurri. The sweets are well worth saving a little room for, with churros, spiced chocolate mousse, Mexican fairy bread and traditional hot goat-milk caramel rounding out the Lolita’s fare.
Lolita’s is now open! Head to the Stumble Guide for its opening hours, address and contact details.
Image credit: Kristy Mason Photography