Sayulita is a Mexican restaurant in Lane Cove located in The Canopy precinct. There's a good sized outdoor eating area and a menu full of Mexican dishes with a modern spin on them. There are classics like ceviche, elotes or corn and spicy salmon tostadas all washed down with excellent spicy margaritas.
Sayulita is named after the seaside town of Sayulita located on the Pacific coastline of Mexico. Sayulita's chef is Luis Zaleta who is half Mexican and half Italian. He grew up in Mexico City in Central Mexico learning how to cook from his Abuela (grandmother) whom he spent a great deal of time with. Being half Mexican and half Italian meant that he grew up with both cultures and influences in his life and food. While he ate traditional Mexican food while growing up, he also worked in Italian restaurants later on as a chef. In Australia he has worked as Head Chef at Chula, Potts Point and the Green Room.
Jalapeño Margarita $20
This evening we are trying some dishes from the set menu. We start with some margaritas. There is a classic margarita but when faced with the option of a spicy version we cannot resist the spicy version. The jalapeno margarita has Blanco tequila, triple sec, lime, jalapeno chillies and a rim of tajin (chili and lime seasoning) that makes it so moreish.
Totopos Con Guacamole Guacamole, yellow corn chips
We snack on some corn chips with guacamole. The guacamole is sprinkled with pumpkin seeds for extra crunch. The guac is creamy and mild flavoured and served with a chilli sauce to pep it up.
Everyone at the table adores the elotes or charred corn coated in grated queso fresco, chipotle aioli, tajin spices, coriander and lime. The corn is sweet and juicy and the salty queso fresco and spicy aioli make it very moreish. I wanted more than one piece of this but the set menu has one piece per person.
Spicy Salmon Tostada
Another favourite along with the corn and spicy marg are the salmon tostadas (although admittedly I've never met a tostado I didn't like) with sashimi salmon, orange citrus, soy sauce, jalapeño, onion and chipotle aioli. It's crunchy, fresh, punchy and creamy at the same time.
Chargrilled Macha Haloumi
The mains come out with warm corn and flour tortillas. They describe their food as "Our food is authentic Mexican with a modern edge" and they make their own tortillas using Mexican corn flour. My favourite is the char grilled halloumi slices, broccolini, green beans, patatas in a salsa macha which is a warm chilli oil made with dried chillies and sesame seeds that hails from Veracruz.
Camarones Al Ajillo
The other taco plate that we tried were the Camarones Al Ajillo or chargrilled prawns in guajillo chilli oil, broccolini, green beans, charred limón, papas, served with warm tortillas. This does need a bit of moisture added to it and we usually like some sort of pickled onion with our tacos but the prawns themselves in the guajillo oil are tasty. I'm not sure if you're supposed to add the broccolini inside the taco but if you do then you'll end up with a really thick bite of broccolini and a small amount of prawn so that it isn't really balanced for each bite.
Trio of desserts
The dessert trio is made up of a coffee flan which is like a coffee flavoured creme caramel that is smooth and wobbly. There's also churritos or mini churros with dulce de leche and a square of Mexican chocolate brownie made with Ibarra, a Mexican dark chocolate that is gooey and warm.
So tell me Dear Reader, are you a classic or spicy margarita person? Have you ever met a tostada you didn't like?
NQN attended the media launch as a guest of Sayulita but all opinions remain her own.
3/2 Rosenthal Ave, Lane Cove NSW 2066
Phone: (02) 7202 0042
Hours: Monday Closed
Tuesday & Wednesday 5–9:30 pm
Thursday to Sunday 12–10 pm