Maiz Mexican Street Food
Menu - Mr Yum
Teletas. Sopes. Molotes. These aren’t the usual suspects you’ll spy on Mexican menus around Sydney. But Newtown’s Maiz, a humming courtyard diner next door to punk-rock institution Repressed Records, is exploring Mexican cuisine in ways that few other Sydney restaurants do.
Executive chef and permaculture designer Juan Carlos Negrete Lopez (who co-owns Maiz with sister Marissa Negrete and their respective partners Freija Brandie and Carlos Levet) used to sell sopes – chunky round tortillas with savoury toppings – at the Summer Hill farmer’s market. A dish rarely seen outside Mexico, now it’s one of several ways you might kick off a meal at Maiz. Here it’s topped with braised hibiscus flower, pineapple-chilli jam, coriander and onion.
Sopes is also just one example of how the team celebrates corn – the venue’s namesake and the foundation of Mexican cooking. The hero dish of telera de huitlacoche is essentially corn served four ways: a pocket of blue corn filled with more corn, then dressed with sweet corn espuma and corn husk “ash”. Elsewhere, tortillas are hand-pressed and cooked to order in the traditional way.
If you’re looking for tacos, you’d be hard-pressed finding them here. Instead, Maiz favours other Mexican handhelds such as molotes, a plump corn pastry filled with free-range pork chorizo that’s served with seven-chilli mayo and pickled onions; and crisp tostadas ferrying chorizo or WA octopus. (Every Tuesday Maiz serves a special “tostada Tuesday” menu.)
On the drinks front, Maiz showcases agave spirits, Mexican wines and beers. You’ll even find lesser-seen Mexican booze including a nixtamal corn whisky – served on the rocks with pepita oil and cinnamon sugar. And like everything Maiz does, the Margarita here is not the Sydney average – the cocktail comes five ways, perhaps shaken with tamarind or poblano chilli liqueur.
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