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Wellington Restaurant Review: Viva Mexico, Newtown
Dining style: Casual, hearty meals
Address: 180 Riddiford St, Newtown
Phone: 03 389 0975
Quality rating: 6/10
Value rating: 7/10
The dining area is bright and cheery, painted yellow and red and decorated with cactus, guitars and posters of famous Mexicans. A couple of big gas heaters were keeping the temperature up on what was a pretty cold Wellington night. The furniture was the standard wooden chairs and tables, the wooden floors and lack of hangings did little to absorb the noise of the big birthday party celebration happening at a table nearby. Not the place for a romantic dinner for two.
I started with the Jalapenos Rellonos. Apparently there was some jalapeno in there but all I could taste was cheese and batter. Fortunately I'm fond of cheese but my loved one turned his nose up at it and retreated back to the Ceviche special. The Ceviche was beautifully marinated, soft and pleasantly spiced if lacking a little heat for our liking.
Mains was Tacos for him and Quesadilla for me. The Quesadillo was respectable enough though having already over-dosed on cheese in the starter I opted to leave room for desert. The beef and pork in the tacos were both well-cooked and tasty although the pork was a little dry. The hero of this course were the soft taco corn shells which were divine. I also enjoyed the black bean side although it was a little salty.
We took a Chocolate Brownie home with us for desert and enjoyed it in the comfort of our living room with a bottle of good red wine. The Brownie came with vanilla ice cream, berry jus, caramel sauce and apple slices. Very dense and fudgy it had a good crunchy top and a rich dark chocolate flavor.
Wine came by the glass or the bottle but only in two flavours. Red or White. Fortunately the cocktail list was extensive and included all our favourites. We began with the Margueritas. These came frozen and served in jars, presumably for the rustic effect. The jars made it pretty difficult to drink without submerging half one's mouth and the top of one's nose in frozen Margerita which wasn't pleasant on such a cold night. The Margarita itself was overly sweet and didn't taste like there was any Tequila in it. I followed up with a Pina Colada, my all time favourite cocktail at the moment, and also one of the most calorific substances known to man. Again it was overly sweet and lacked bite. My dining partner had switched to the excellent Mexican beer, Negra Modelo. Another good choice.
The service was very friendly and efficient especially given how busy it was. The first drinks were a bit slow to arrive but everything else came out in pretty good time.