Ricos Tacos at The Norfolk is in the full swing of service, with sunshine-yellow walls and brightly hued cartoon characters by Michael Delany backdropping the biggest menu yet from al pastor king Toby Wilson.
All the favoured bites from the now-closed Chippendale original will be served on a rainbow of plastic plates, along with the addition of a kingfish and coconut ceviche tostada, a chicken and salad plate, zucchini flower quesadillas, tortas hamurgeusa (a Mexican take on the burger) and a spiced-chocolate ice-cream sandwich to sweeten the deal.
Wilson’s looking forward to a summer of sunny al fresco sessions, inspired by the convivial gatherings seen in Mexican communities. Carne Asada Sundays will round out every weekend in the ample space of the pub’s leafy light-filled courtyard. A charcoal barbeque will roll in at lunchtime, with grilled steaks loaded with salads, fries and house-made salsas.
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The food menu is available throughout the venue, though the atmosphere shifts as you venture upstairs. Here, it’s Club Ricos, with a fit-out nodding to the pub’s House of Crabs history – think crustacean-bearing light fixtures and neon signage. The scene is set with a glimmering disco ball and wood-panelled walls lined with sports jerseys. There’s moody lighting, cosy corners, leather seating and DJs on the decks all night. (It’ll be the late-night spot in Redfern if the 3am licence application is given the green light.)
This is Wilson’s first collaboration with the Public Hospitality Group, Jon Adgemis’s company that’s had a bumper year of openings and hires, including Clayton Wells signing on as culinary director in May, and its first foray into Melbourne with the Guy Grossi-led Puttanesca.
The party-ready Redfern venue is a big opening for a taco king that’s enlivening both the kitchen and mood of a multi-storey venue. With La Salut pouring vermouths and serving Spanish plates by Scott McComas-Williams (Ragazzi, Palazzo Salato, Fabbrica) in a space downstairs, it’s shaping up to be Redfern’s most happening corner.
Ricos Tacos at The Norfolk
305 Cleveland St, Redfern