Taqueria Super Macho
Time Out says
Hong Kong has a complicated relationship with tacos. They’re often soggy and insipid or tiny and overpriced. Taqueria Super Macho, however, hopes to hit the sweet spot between high- and lowbrow, serving tacos inspired by Mexico’s coastal cuisine in a lively but casual atmosphere. ‘Lively but casual’ might be an understatement, though.
Every time the door opens, the floor and bar staff shout ‘¡Bienvenidos!’ And, frequently, the corrido music pumping through the speakers is broken by the unmistakable saxophone riff of Tequila Song by The Champs and the room erupts in a chorus of ‘¡tequila!’ The margarita pitchers are novelty-sized sharing glasses. Sombreros appear on strangers’ heads. It is, in short, a fiesta. And the drinks keep partygoers well-lubricated.
The margaritas – classic, passion fruit or mango, on the rocks or frozen ($88) – are potent and delicious. Five house cocktails, including a riff on the Michelada called Viva México ($88), provide an alternative to margaritas and run-of-the-mill Mexican lagers like Pacífico, Dos Equis, Corona and Modelo Negra ($58 each, or $298 for a bucket of six).
While the vibe may be more Señor Frog’s than Frontera Grill, when it comes to food expect more than you would get from your standard cantina. Black Sheep Restaurants founder Christopher Mark and development chef Billy Otis spent months scouring the Mexican coast, sampling taco after taco in search of culinary inspiration. They returned to Hong Kong with recipes that seem simple on the surface but reveal tremendous depth of flavour.
The rock shrimp aguachile conceals its spice behind sliced avocado and a blend of water, chilli and lime ($88). As for the tacos, the crispy fish and shrimp ($28/$38), as well as the adobo-marinated beef tenderloin ($38), are excellent. Just disregard the ingredients listed under the tacos, because it’s build-your-own here. And remember that you’re ordering un taco, not una orden of two or three. Since each is only about 10cm in diameter, you’ll knock them back in a couple bites.
The condiments for the tacos come in branded cups, each brimming with chopped cilantro and onion, roasted red and green salsas, sour cream, cotija cheese, chopped slaw and thinly sliced jalapeños. While it’s kind of fun to get your hands messy, the choice of presentation is questionable: these single-use servings have far more than you need, and that results in excess waste. The problem could be easily rectified by keeping the condiments in bowls at the table rather than delivering them to customers individually. At a time when an increasing number of restaurants and consumers are (rightly) concerned about food waste, Taqueria Super Macho seems to have sided with spectacle over sustainability.
Will Taqueria Super Macho reconsider its serving methods? Will the staff be able to keep up the energy after the restaurant has been open a few months? Questions about implementation and long-term sustainability remain, but there’s nothing to question when it comes to flavour. This team knows its way around the taco griddle.