San Julian review

If you’re expecting the Mexican food you’re used to eating here in Cape Town, you’ll be disappointed. What we are accustomed to is referred to by Americans as Texmex, a bastardisation of Mexican food to make it more appealing to the junk food generation. What San Julian serves is real Mexican food as eaten by real Mexicans in the real Mexico.

The family moved to Cape Town from Mexico a few months ago and opened San Julian, named after the town from which their grandparents hail. You might want to bring out your rusty Spanish because their English is still a bit sketchy but good enough to handle your orders, especially as the menu is quite basic.

At the bottom of the menu it says that their food is made according to Slow Food principles (read more about the Slow Food movement here). They say this because they make everything themselves. They buy corn and grind it down to make the tortillas, tacos, etc. This is quite a process, but the difference between what they serve and what you are accustomed to eating is so vast.

The food is much lighter and healthier than the oily ‘chilli con carne’ we count as Mexican food.To start, our table of four ordered a plate of nachos to share. The corn chips are handmade, as are the sauces (cheese and bean). The salsa and guacamole are made fresh to order.

I had the quesadilla mixta (R70 or R35 for a half portion) which has cheese and beef between a corn tortilla. The beef is diced beef not mince, and it comes with some handmade salsa and a rammekin of beans. One person had the quesadilla sencilla (R43/R25) which is the vegetarian version of what I had. The last dish we tried was the tacos dorados (R70) which is the hard taco shell filled with chicken and potato and salad stuff.

I did neglect to look at the wine list, I must admit (but I can guarantee that it will be inexpensive and probably quite short). We just drank Corona the whole night and ended off with a ‘conyo’ which is a special way of drinking tequila. It’s very unique, you must try it. We were also treated to a song by the owner who plays the guitar (do we call him el mariachi?). He’s great and it’s amazing what a vibe it creates having someone singing original Mexican folk music (very well, I might add).

So here’s the rub: San Julian is not a fancy restaurant, with great service and fine food. It’s actually a very small and simply decorated restaurant, with the family members doing the cooking, serving and entertaining. The food is simple and fairly plain, but inexpensive. However, these are the very things that make the restuarant endearing. It’s authentic Mexican food, made by hand from scratch. The food is made and served with pride and love. It’s like being invited into someone’s home.

With 20 people you could take over the whole restaurant and have and absolute jol, drinking conyos, dancing to Mexican folk music and eating quality food. Alternatively, you could go there for a quick, inexpensive meal with your partner and enjoy the relaxed, pretence free, homely environment.

Either way, it’s worth checking out. Eso es la verdad!

San Julian
Shop 3 & 4, State House Building
Rose Street, Greenpoint
Tel: 021 419 4233

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54 Responses

  1. Michelle says:

    Definitely sounds worth trying out, especially as I’ll be back in the Sea Point hood soon again!

  2. Alvin says:

    We went as a group of 8 hungry diners about 2 weeks ago.

    The food was superb. You can taste that love and effort have gone into the dishes. Fresh and flavoursome. For starters we had Nachos – as Dax mentions – not your cheddar cheesey stringy Spur Nacho experience but more a tangy cheese sauce with fresh relish piped onto REAL & tasty homemade nachos. The Margaritas deserve a mention – they were sublime – expensive but again quality ingredients and something to savour.

    The staff are very friendly and efficient. It is not cordial silver service but a slinky lean on a chair and an affable shared informal banter that makes it feel laid back, lowkey and convivial.

    BUT my biggest complaint is the lack of appropriate lighting and the 3 Televisions which were on for the entire duration of our meal.

    Overhead halogens emitting white glare into every nook and cranny does not an intimate dining experience make (R2D2 speak for TOO BRIGHT AMIGOS). And as for the TV’s – REALLY guys – this is 2010 in Cape Town – not 1984 Blaupunkt heaven in Kempton Park. Sports bar sure – but Authentic Mexican food deserves some Celia Cruz heck I’ll even allow some Via Con Dios at a push (don’t even try squeeze in those Kings of the Gypsy variety….)

    I felt the lighting and televisions detracted from the dining experience that some traditional music and good mood lighting would have enhanced and had me RAVING to everyone I knew. So all my enthusiasm had to come with a caveat. Remove said Caveat and I think this place could take the Best Supporting Actress in a Foreign Meal gong at the CT Food Oscars. Right now as it stands though – its a Barry Ronge in a wasitcoat leaning on lampstand sizzling 7.

  3. Foxy says:

    Hi Dax

    You forgot to add the link to the Slow Food Movement- please do- would love to check it out.

    Thanks!

  4. Dax says:

    Those are excellent points, Alvin. The TVs in the first part of the evening were fine because they were playing a music DVD of appropriate style music (Rodrigo & Gabriella). But later the TVs were showing sport which really destroyed the ambiance. So I agree, they could lose the TVs.

    And now that you mention it, the lighting could be softened. I didn’t think about it much at the time but you’re right.

    Foxy, I’ve added the link to the local convivium in the text. But slowfood.com is the main page for the movement.

  5. Matthew K. says:

    When I was there about 3 weeks ago, I was informed they had no wine cos it didn’t go with Mexican food… Could be why you missed the wine list.

  6. Lili says:

    Shew, Dax – conyo! Are you sure? That’s a very naughty word.

    • Dax says:

      Yes, conyo is an expletive in Spanish, although used rather liberaly. It doesn’t have the impact of the English equivalent. But apparently the origin of the word is why this shooter has the name as there is some link. Although, I don’t doubt there is some naughtiness!

  7. Alvin says:

    Hahhahah – Eish!

  8. H says:

    So I’ll make sure to go on an evening when there is something good on telly

  9. Ant says:

    They make the tortillas, not the flour(add water to imported processed corn flour) Not slow at all. If they soaked the corn in lime and let it sit for 12 hours and then stone milled it like the Aztecs used to, then it would be slow. People still do this. Margaritas were ok but no real lime juice (lime cordial) Besides in Mexico margaritas are not common ( I have never seen them) only made for the Gringos.
    People warm, the vibe and decor aside , the food was very bland totally unlike Mexican food, which without the texmex cliches, is known for its flavour and spiciness, using a multiple of chillies and spices.
    This was nothing like it, and fails in comparison to any average street taqueria I have eaten in in SW US and in central Mexico. They are very nice people and yes they are Mexican but that is it. (I agree with this response to a review if you dont mind Dax?
    http://www.eatcapetown.co.za/2010/san-julian-taco-tequila-cafe-run-by-real-mexicans-and-other-interesting-people/

    It is not overpriced so I would say try it out, but do not expect much especially if you are into this kind of eating.

    • Dax says:

      Thanks for that feedback, Ant. I was under the impression they actually did soak the corn and mill it. They showed us the corn they use, bought locally and explained the process of how they turn it into corn flour.

      I’d agree the food is fairly bland, I think that came across in my review. I did request their homemade chilli sauce which spiced things up a bit. Perhaps they are starting simple and will try more adventurous dishes in the future.

  10. Adele says:

    I finally went to San Julian restaurant, what a surprise! Full of expectations I decided to visit the “Authentic Mexican Restaurant”. I discovered that it is indeed an authentic Mexican restaurant launched by authentic Mexicans. From the very first moment upon entering the restaurant I experienced a little part of Mexico in Cape Town. The owners are always there to give you a lovely and warm welcome.
    Some of the things I absolutely loved about this place were the decor and ambience. There is a little sign at the entrance that says “Mi casa es tu casa” which means “My home is your home” and during my stay there it was exactly what I experienced. They believe in the principle of “slow food” which is not a big problem since the atmosphere doesn´t let you down while you wait for the food.
    The menu is simple but really delicious. For starters I had a tasty Nachos and guacamole. After, I tried Quesadilla Mixta which is a soft corn tortilla filled with lots of mozzarella cheese, guacamole, beef, onion and coriander and served with bean soup, taquera sauce and salsa huevona (lazy sauce). The best at all is that the food is fresh and homemade. They showed me the long process to prepare tortillas and nachos with real corn.
    They also offer delightful Margaritas and Agua de Horchata and of course different types of tequila. I drank Don Arturo margarita which is mouth-watering; I think it’s been the best margarita I’ve ever tried.
    I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants to enjoy a little part of Mexico in Cape Town.

  11. Luna says:

    Hello, im sorry ant but to tell you the truth margaritas ARE from mexico

    if youve only been to the centro of mexico then you have NOT seen it all

    mexico is very big

    and i mean BIG, it has 32 states and each of them has a difrent culture

    not only aztecas as you mentioned

    so next time you can try some other point of mexico

    and if you do so go to a BAR

    and surely you will find margaritas and other interesting drinks.

  12. Holly Ramsey says:

    I FINALLY had the pleasure of dining here last night. I am originally from Arizona which is a stones throw from Mexico. And since moving here I have tried all the “Mexican” Restaurants so I was really excited to hear an actual family moved here and opened an authentic restaurant.

    Let me just begin with how incredibly welcoming and generous the Garcia family is. They all introduced themselves or would come to say hi and check on you. Its so refreshing to see waiters and waitresses with SMILES!

    The food is out of this world! It is exactly what I have been searching for. It’s real. It’s not this fake imitation of Mexican food. The tacos are small not bigger than you. The pico de gallo was so fresh and the re-fried beans brought back memories. It really reminded me of my trips to Mexico. I had a friend with me last night and she has never experienced real Mexican food before, so she was hesitant to try something new which is disappointing, but you cant change everyone. So, if you aren’t up for trying the real thing then stick to Fat Cactus where basically none of it is actually Mexican. And I’m pretty sure they serve Doritos with their Nachos.

    I just want to thank the family again. Arturo was amazing as was his sister – I forgot to ask her name. All the ladies were even given a rose at the end of dinner! So welcoming and so sweet. I truly give this place 5 stars in my book!

  13. Esmeralda Peralta says:

    hi everybody,
    a few days ago I met a Mexican food restaurant and was impressed when you enter the place and received the smell of corn tortilla, I couldn’t believe it because I have lived here a some months and hadn’t found any place to make corn tortillas made hand.I’m Mexican and assure you that San Julian is like a piece of Mexico in Cape Town, if you want to try the tacos with corn tortillas made by hand and know the tastes of my Mexico, San Julian is the only option you have in this beautiful City. And remember is Mexican food made by Mexicans, that is the secret.

  14. Pamela McOnie says:

    I loved this little restaurant. The guys are so lovely and warm and welcoming. Yes, perhaps the dishes were a little bland – but it felt like a treat to move towards a more authentic Mexican experience – something we have never had on offer! Another firm favourite for foodies should be to check out Cosecha on Noble Hill Estate. The new(ish) owners are from Southern California and they have opened up a fantastic Mexican restaurant on their estate. They are growing their own chili’s – the main problem she has is trying to find cheese that is similar to Mexico. Kathleen has a wonderful eye and the decor is really gorgeous – it is also reasonably priced and targeted at the locals. They also do picnics for the kids – so the kids can do their own thing and not have to endure the dishes with chilli. Note that the restaurant is predominantly outdoors – so attempt to go when it is a nice day.

  15. Maycol Sabido Jimenez says:

    Hello to all I just want to say if you really want to eat the real mexican tacos, quesadillas and drink a good tequila here in South Africa you have to visit San Julian, this place is like an oasis for mexicans, is a Mexican restaurant run by Mexicans but not just for Mexicans.
    You have to try it, because isn’t only the food, you will experience a little piece of Mexico, for its music, the Mexican kitchen’s smell and the whole atmosphere surrounding the place.
    Believe me, I’m Mexican and I know the real Mexican food and I can only tell to the San Julian’s owners thanks for bring it to me.

  16. spanish on town says:

    Well, during my stay in Cape Town visit many of the most recommended restaurants. From my point of view, there is a tendency to find the same flavors in all restaurants, so when i tried this Mexican restaurant i was really sorprised. The service is familiar as the restaurant is run by a whole family, are lovely and make the atmosphere magical. The food in my point of view is fantastic (I have many years trying to find a good Mexican restaurant in Barcelona and still have not found it).you can really feel the love of the family on every dish. you can see that all the ingredients tend to be made by them, which surprised me. Never in my life had tested a homemade tortillas and really notice the difference. In short, an authentic Mexican restaurant and unusual to find. Mexican cuisine is full of false imposters trying to sell this fantastic kitchen without taking into account the roots.

  17. Jan says:

    We’re in French Polynesia at the moment, but missing our home CT. So We visited Dax’s website… All these nice comments, can’t wait to visit this place. It will be the first one we’ll visit when we get back… somewhere in January. Can’t wait.

  18. Joanne says:

    The people are fantastic and real, although I have little experience with Mexican food their food is delicious. I would have it any day over every other “Mexican Reastaurant” I have eaten at in Cape Town.
    I look forward to what more they have in store, as I am very sure we will see and taste better and better things!

  19. Lana says:

    I would also like to add my 10cents worth. Met up with 2 girlfriends last night at San Julian and we LOVED it. Garcia family super friendly and chatty, food lovely and atmosphere fantastic. We will be back for more in the very near future that is for sure!

  20. Bilbo says:

    My friends and i have been frequenting this little shop for quite a while now! What a spot, authentic, genuinely friendly, caring people and the food and margerita’s are simply sublime…no wonder we keep returning…

  21. Keen says:

    Absolutely delicious food (flautas as good as any I’ve ever had thanks to an amazing salsa verde) and wonderful post-dinner chat with Ricardo and Arturo who couldn’t have been more proud of their food and of Culiacan. We’ll be back–especially since they are planning on sourcing or growing the range of chiles and tomatillos needed for other incredible dishes like Mole. They seemed quite willing to make a few dishes to order, like Chilaquiles and Ceviche. Ojala que si!

  22. quebin says:

    Ey wey!! Don’t be Burro, Go to SAN JULIAN

  23. Alvin says:

    I am totally blown away by the amount of commentary on this great eatery. Even more so at how 80% of the comments are solely about the friendly service and personal interaction. It just goes to show that a bit of TLC and a conversation can REALLY make a place. It’s free. It doesn’t take time or much effort. And yet it makes every trip to this windswept (and lets be honest slightly grotty) part of town a pleasure.
    Most CT restaurants should sit-down and take notice how little personal “extras” can make HUGE differences. Brands don’t build themselves – a shoe is a shoe is a shoe – make me want to come back, heck desire to come back, you got to work for a slice of my muddled headspace with something fresh – chocolate steak, we done the chocolate steak, pointed stick, loganberry, fresh fruit. This keys into your Peroni promo conversation Dax. Is it so difficult to comprehend?

  24. Richard Key says:

    First time visit, took friends for dinner last night, one whose birthday it was. Met at the door by our “waiter”, the families son, who introduced himself and went on to welcome us and then told us their story /history (Dad came out to work for a brick producing company, then brought the family out, moved to CT, researched recipes, sourced ingredients and equipment, found premises, and voila!) , pointing out his Mum, the other “waitress”, and Dad, the “barman”, and the Mexican chef. Explained the menu in detail, and we chose to let him choose our meal for the evening, reminding him that we were 3 meat eaters and 1 vegetarian. Well, the girls started with a Margerita each, (and we were regaled with the story of his grandfather apparently concocting it for a lady who became the grandma and hence them all being alive!), whilst we had a Corona. Then the food started arriving – not your average Tex Mex option we are all too used to eating, but real, authentic Mexican food, and it was all outstanding. The hand made Tortilla, and Nachos, the delicious flavors of all the ingredients, the salsa`s, whether piccante or cool, the gaucamole, the chilli, all fresh and wonderful. Then the Dad put on his sombrero, gathered his guitar, and the family came to serenade the birthday lady at the table, plus pour her a traditional tequila / lemonade drink that gets hammered onto the table to fizz it up before being tossed down the throat! All in all, a wonderful taste sensation and really inexpensive. We shall be back for more, and will definitely join them for their Friday cerviche. Thank you and good luck!

  25. Jake says:

    1st REAL Mexican Restaurant in AFRICA

    I’ve been in South Africa for the past 11 years. I love SA cuisine, wine and one of its women.

    I was born in southern california. My first language was mexican spanish and I had horchata as a two year old to calm my tummy and feed me while my mom worked.

    I love mexican food.

    Cape Town (and Paris for that matter) has never had Mexican food. No matter what any of you well educated and interesting people say, you have never had real mexican food in Cape Town.

    Tomato paste with cumin and oregano is not mexican. Has never been mexican and most likely will never be adopted as mexican. Oregano is not mexican. Anything with Oregano in tomato sauce is not mexican…this is for those of you who think they have something resembling a clue.

    Without Mexico we wouldn’t know Chocolate (they invented it) or Tequila…the latter being slightly of duious merit but what the hell.

    San Julian has given Africa for the first time: Horchata, quesadillas, soft Corn Tortillas, Molee, pico de gallo, ceviche, real margaritas, burritos, soft tacos and so much more that I’m a twit for trying to tell you all about it.

    Go there.

    Experience what 40 million people in mexico, southern california, arizona, new mexico and some parts of texas (not many tho, truth be told) know as comida mexicana…lo mejor de todos!

    VIVA MEXICO!!!

  26. Mauricio Ortega says:

    As mexican I am fully qualify to tell you that San Julian is a small part of México in Cape Town, every single time I go there I feel I am again in my hometown in my beloved country, the food is excellent and I am sure that with the time this mexican family will do it even better, the service is great, the drinks are awesome, it is like drinking in one of our famous CANTINAS, the music, what could I tell you ??? after eating and drinking a little I always sing my favorites mexican songs with my mexican friends there and if I have volunteers I dance some of our traditional music. Excellent place, food, service and music, everybody interested in México must try it. Take care and see you there 😉 VIVA MÉXICO !!!! and VIVA SOUTH AFRICA !!!!!!

  27. Melrose says:

    I can understand the positive comments regarding friendliness and authenticity ( although some seem planted they are so gushing) but the service and the food, these are shocking

    We went there last night and sat for two full hours to receive our food, having to re-order beers that also got forgotten about on the way back to the big screen tv.

    Luckily our hunger was staved off by the 6 corn chips to share amongst 8. All bran flakes have more texture and flavor.

    Then eventually the food arrived, only it was the wrong food, and I sat for another 20 mins before it arrived again. In the mean time I was offered a cheesy nacho. As I put it to my palate one thought sprung to mind “oh boy, mum remembered melrose” marvel all you want about it’s lack of string, it tastes like molten melrose.

    Onto our main event, the meat chunks on corn bread interspersed with condiments. Now I
    Think they should just go ahead and pour all those condiments on that boiled beef because without them, it smelt like the stuff my mother would boil for the dogs.

    So service smily but unequivocally crap, the food depends on your taste I guess, but the cheese is definitely melrose flavoured and the beef is low grade

    But all that is irrelevant in cape town, if it’s the in place you must go quick while you can still tell people how authentic it is. If there is one thing we can’t stand in cape town is eating inauthentic food, no matter how much tastier the alternatives are

  28. Melrose says:

    panchos is 100 times better than this!

  29. Ricardo says:

    what do you mean inauthentic?? didn’t taste Rocket? shame…

  30. Adele says:

    Wow Melrose, I can see your point regarding to the first comment, it was just about Panchos. Shame on you that need to make bad comments about someplace to give importance to another one.
    Anyway, San Julian know what they’ve got, just keep going. Thumbs up!!!

  31. Melrose says:

    Different melrose published the 2nd comment

  32. Eyeroller says:

    As a North American living in Cape Town, it always makes me laugh how so many people here are critical of things about which they know nothing about. For the grumpy person above who couldn’t stand the authentic, non-chemcially enhanced food at San Julian, why do you need to be so rude about it? Just because you have no appreciation for another culture’s cuisine and food that is not loaded with flavour enhancing preservatives like sulphites and MSG which poisons most South African food (trust me, I read food lables and I’ve never seen so many food additives in my life) doesn’t mean that you should be so nasty. I take it you have never been to Mexico. Why not go there first (if you can get a visa) and then make an educated comment after you had detoxed your tastebuds from eating too many South African chemicals.

  33. Melrose says:

    Hi eyeroller

    You just like it coz the cheese reminds you of NA ‘greatest contribution to the culinary world, McD’s. (Ps south Africans are better travelled than yanks, the majority don’t even own a passport let alone a visa, so please don’t try the narrow minded SA angle)

    I’m not being nasty about Mexican culture, i’m
    telling people what my experience of this restaurant was. We waited 2 hours for food, they got the order wrong , and it tasted bad. If you can’t handle a restaurant being criticized for this then why do you bother reading comments?
    Hasta luego

  34. Eyeroller says:

    Who said I’m American??

  35. Penny drop says:

    If I had a penny for every time an American lectured me on South Africa…
    Oh and tarring us all as chemical lovers because melrose didn’t like the food is a bit nasty too, especially when South Africans probably eat less chemically enhanced fast food than north Americans

  36. Melrose says:

    Hehe ok, you’re North American. Who said I am south African? See somethings are safely assumed

  37. Eyeroller says:

    There are three countries in North America.

  38. Eyeroller says:

    And who’s talking fast food? Go to your neighborhood grocery store and look at the food lables. Pick and Pay fresh-cut soup veggies contain sulphites. Why?? I never had a sulphite sensitivity till I moved here. Did some research and found out that food has much more sulphites here. And MSG. Try to find a Chinese restaurant in Canada that doesn’t say “no MSG”. Here, I have to ask 10 times for no MSG and they still put it in my food. It is not a fast food issue – it’s a general dietary issue. You know Aromat is basically MSG, right? https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Aromat Imagine putting a shaker of MSG on the table for your kids?? I’m not being nasty about SA – I’m pointing out that there is a reason why unprocessed, natural food might taste bland to people here.

  39. melrose says:

    Exactly, there are 3 countries, so why refer to yourself as North American then? I believe it was you who referred to North America as though it was one place in the first instance. Why not just say where you were from, you were pretty specific in your judgement of South Africans without knowing where I was from.

    but since we are being specific, you were obviously not mexican or you would have made that clear. The vague north american reference must therefore be a) embarrassed to admit where your generalisations about South Africa orignate from, or b) you view Canada and the US as similar enough to basket together… there simply aren’t any other reasons for not just saying were you are actually from… I just needed to route that out with my last comment 😉

    We may love our aromat, but it is illogical to say that because someone does not enjoy bland food at 1 restaurant, they must love MSG as a result. I doubt they sit at Claridges thinking, “well we only have 2 choices here, tasty and full of MSG, or bland and healthy” There are plenty of restaurants and shops (even here in SA believe it or not) that provide tasty dishes that don’t have the stuff you are so petrified of.

    If anything, the cheese at San Julian tastes more processed than PnP cheese, more akin to McD’s cheese in taste and texture, leaves you feeling like you’ve been to McD’s too.

  40. Amber says:

    Finally! Authentic Mexican food in Cape Town. As an American living in Cape Town, I have always been disappointed by the choices available, but finally discovered our new favorite Mexican place.

    The food is home made, slow cooked, delicious and the hosts were amazingly warm and kind. The smell of home made tortillas greets as you walk through the door, and you know instantly you are in for the real deal.

    Fantastic food, can’t wait to be back!

  41. quebin says:

    I’VE JUST ONE THING TO SAY TO MELROSE: “POOR MAN” (OR WOMAN, WHATEVER YOU ARE)

  42. beans says:

    i have mixed feelings about San Julian. friends of mine went there a couple of months ago and raved about it. so obviously i wanted to check it out. i’m from the States and i also hate all the panchos, fat cactuses, and overpriced el burros here in cape town. i was also super excited about the idea of corn tortillas. so last night i took my boyfriend and my cousin (who is also american and has spent some quality time in south and central america) to dinner at San Julian.

    walked in the door and nearly fainted at the amazing smell of corn tortillas. ordered margaritas which were frozen. bummer #1. in my opinion, margaritas should be served in a big glass over blocks of ice, not blended. oh, and with a salt rim and if you’re lucky, a slice of lime. we had nachos. super thick chips, but i’m not complaining. i liked the soupy beans but i have to say i agree that the cheese was very melrosish. bummer #2. we had the Taco De Carne Asada, and the vampiro. which are essentially the same thing, except the one is on a crispy tortilla. in my opinion, that beef should have been slow cooked and soft, as opposed to little chunks of chewy sinew. bummer #3. we also had the Flautas en Salsa Verde. oh my god, pretty awful. which really sucks. it tasted like it was yesterdays dish that was reheated and sold to us, the first costumers of the night. the salsa verde was bitter. we each took one bite and nothing more. the dish sat on our table, untouched, for the rest of the evening. bummer #4.

    I’m a chef. i really love fresh and simple mexican food. i was really excited about this place. and i think they have great potential. the corn tortillas are a gold mine. they need to use those to their full advantage! so i have to say that i was sad and disappointed. i spent R400 of VERY hard earned cash on this meal. i KNOW i could make a better one for less than R100 at home.

    all in all, thumbs down. but i really REALLY hope they get better!

    oh, and where were the black beans?????

  43. wow says:

    thats the problem with mexican food there are people who think that MUST be like or looks pretty….but to understand you must understand the bases..otherwise they will keep selling the awful mole made by paprika as la delicatessen 😉

    chef I hope to see you making tortillas (or doritos???)with your R100

    thanks

  44. @Melrose says:

    I’m South African, and Eyeroller is totally correct about the level of additives in South African food. Most restaurants spike their dishes with MSG laced spices, flavourants etc – just take a look at the reddish powder that gets served on French fries at most venues. Even our meat is filled with MSG, saline solution, nitrates, sulphates – just read your lables. South African restaurant cuisine is for the most part fatty, salty and spiked with MSG – the exception is the few Italian and Indian places that know their stuff. We’d most certainly find any ‘indigenous’ cuisine made with unmolested foodstuffs to be strangely lacking in flavour.

  45. Andrew says:

    Man, oh man – my wife and I had such a grim experience here with the food it was unbelievable. It was a few months ago so I have no recollection of the orders but we did cover many bases due to a bill of R350 or so between the 2 of us, with few drinks included. The food really was bland, bland, bland. I had to actually ask for chilli sauce to add something spicy to the mix. The starter nachos (with hideously processed ‘cheese’) and something else sort of cream-cheese and dip-based were devoid of anything exciting. I frankly left there understanding why ‘tex-mex’ bloody works and why Mexican’s have a rough time of things. But after reading reviews of authentic Mexican food when traversing that country, I must be mistaken. I’m all for ‘real’, genuine food – hence our interest in this abode, but truly I’d rather stick to others where at least the food has some zest to it. We’ll not go there again and I do hope someone heeds my warning!

  46. Andrew says:

    As a brief follow-up, R20 for a bowl of chopped jalapenos is (as the English like to say) taking the piss. I can buy a huge jar for R20 @ Pick ‘n Pay! If the food wasn’t so bland, I’d not have needed to place the order anyway 🙂

  47. Andrew says:

    ‘Eyeroller’ – you’re bullshitting yourself and showing disregard at the general public. Many like to eat healthy food. But even if you were a vegan eating organic, grown-from your-own-soil foodstuff, you’d still find this food takes bland. Just because someone doesn’t find it tasty, doesn’t mean they have no comprehension of healthy eating. I certainly do, which is why I bought into the idea of a visit. Their use of highly processed cheese is just vile, I’ve never come across that in a nacho dish — ever. Talk about colourants, flavourants and preservatives! Have you eaten there before leaping to their defense?

  48. Jason says:

    Just came back from San Julian. What an awesome awesome spot, will most definitely be going back there again. I like many of you have spent time in mexico, this place was as close as its going to get.

  49. Happy enough says:

    Been a couple of times now & will happily go back. This despite on my most recent visit experiencing the chewy meat that someone described above, instead of seemingly slow-cooked & delicious version we had the previous times. Mostly I hope the owners keep tabs on these comments & fix the few sore points so that they’ll be around for years to come, because man, I love those tortillas!