Let's get Mexican in a delicious way! Place to go would be Barrio by Mex Out, an exciting new Mexican joint located on the 1st level of 313@Somerset where Smoothie King previously was.
Named after the barrio, Spanish for 'neighborhood' which is a residential space for Mexicans to hang out, Barrio's setting is modelled after those Mexican beer gardens, complete with an "outdoor" bar and strings of fairy lights.
Heavy human traffic along the 70-seat casual eatery provides a highly energised vibe, perfect for chilling out after work, social gatherings or casual date nights.
Menu wise, Barrio offers a wide range of Mexican street food, perfect for complimenting those happy rounds of beer, and popular cocktails such as Margarita ($12). Not a drinker? Well, can also ask for a virgin!.... I mean a virgin version without alcohol aka Lime Juice ($3.50) lol :p
Chicken Wings In Hot Sauce ($8.50, 6pcs) is a must-order for chicken wings crazy PinkyPiggu. We might have taken a tad too long with the photo-taking, as the wings' outer were not as crispy as we expected. But that special housemade sauce which the wings are tossed in.... what a shiok mix of spiciness and tanginess! I repeat.... Shiok!
Mexican Street Corn ($7.90, 3pcs) was all of crunchy goodness with char-grilled corn cob coated with butter, mayo, paprika, cotija cheese, coriander and oregno. The juicy and smoky corn together with the saltiness of the cheese and spices made this a highly addictive snack.
Another addictive snack of Barrio is the Burnt Nachos ($13.60). The nachos used are made from chopped corn tortillas, freshly-fried daily with minimum geasiness. Perfect pairing with chilli con carne, three kinds of cheeses (including cotija, mozzarella and cheddar), sour cream and a good dollop of guacamole.
Must give special mention to the guacamole which was exceedingly well-made with fresh avocado mashed to smooth texture, and seasoned with salt (among other ingredients) plus just the right amount of lime juice to give it a zingy taste and balance out the creamy richness of this super fruit.
Next up, PinkyPiggu's favorite of the evening, Barbacoa Quesadillas ($13.40)! Grilled flank steak, salsa fresca, chilli jam, cheddar and jalapenos all wrapped up in a cispy tortilla... it's way more yummy than it sounds. Flank steak is a lean and very flavorful cut but can also be very tough due to it being a higher-exercised muscle. The flank steak here is prepared and sliced perfectly, retaining both its flavors and juiciness while not being overly tough to chew. Highly recommended!
Pulled Pork Taco ($12.90, 2pc) and Fish Taco ($13.90, 2pc) are also available on the menu. The pulled pork taco with Chipotle aioli features melt-in-the-mouth texture while the beer-battered seabass has a very light crunchy texture to it. No need to decide which one to order because both are good. Order both!
Being a carb lover, a particular favorite of mine is the Vegetables Rice Bowl ($13.40). This dish can be deemed messy-looking and unphotogenic, but don't judge until you taste that delectable mix of fluffy basmati rice, black beans, salsa and guacamole. Fully vegan, guilt free and so delightful! Also comes in burrito wrap form if that's what you prefer.
Burgers at Barrio are also given an interesting Mexican twist. They call it 'Torta' or sandwich served in a buttered brioche bun.
Chili Cheese Burger ($16.90) features housemade beef patty with ground chilli con carne, guacamole and cheese. Super sloppy and messy to eat but ooh so good! The bun can be more soft and less dry though.
For non-beef eaters, go for the Fried Chicken Burger ($14.90). PinkyPiggu was highly impressed with the piping hot chicken chunk that is marinated in buttermilk and deep-fried in cold batter to multi-textural enjoyment of juiciness, tenderness and crispiness. Much love also went to the appetite-whetting spiciness of the Chipotle mayo.
To maximise the dining experience, forget about being dainty (for girls). Use your bare hands to hold the burgers, tacos and quesadillas and chomp it all down in hearty mouthfuls. It's much more satisfying that way!
We would have gone for the Churros with Chocolate Sauce ($5.90, 3pc / $8.90, 5pcs) too but the fried dough pastry is not ready yet at point of our visit.
So we concluded the evening without dessert, but this also means having another reason for us to visit Barrio again. The well-thought out menu offering many choices, affordable price-point, and excellent accessible location would be some of the other draws.
Barrio by Mex Out
Address: 313 Orchard Road, 313@Somerset, #01-14/15, Singapore 238895
Contact: +65 6634 2102
Openinig Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-10.30pm / Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Prices stated are in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST.
* Written by BFF, a guy who is desperately trying to find a balance while lost in the world of sights, sound and taste.
* Edited by PinkyPiggu
* Photos by PinkyPiggu