When I was offered the opportunity to review Taco Ria by In-spireLS Magazine, I was initially unsure; not because I wasn’t particularly a fan of Mexican food but because I hadn’t really ever eaten much of it. I decided it was time to broaden my culinary horizons and dragged my fellow foodie Shantice along with me.
On arrival, we were able to park extremely close and hopped over to this beautiful boutique looking restaurant. Taco Ria definitely stands out in Southend with its Mexican modern inspired décor and signage. Greeted by a wonderful waitress who seated us at our table that had a bottle with a hand painted sign saying – Reserved –Natalie. We was extremely impressed at the attention to detail and the fact that it was so personalised.
It was a Friday night and it was definitely busy in there. Taco Ria had a great vibe, a vibrant mood and perfectly set the tone for the rest of our visit. You could say I was more than ready to see what was on the menu. Taken aback by the beautiful décor, we were informed that certain art work on the walls and the toilet signs were in fact hand painted by our wonderful waitress, who was gushing about Taco Ria and her team.
After taking in our surroundings it was time to order. The menu was explained to us and the Baja Fish Taco was highly recommended, so we both jumped and ordered. But first drinks.
We were presented with a number of different tequila options and I believe we jumped at the majority of them, that part is all a blur if you know what I mean, although I do remember loving every sip.
So our fish taco arrives, now anyone that knows me KNOWS I’m not hot on fish at all so was pretty nervous as my dislike would be sure to show all over my face. But the waitress had really sold it to me and I was going to give it a whirl. Where was I? Oh yes so our fish taco’s arrive which was crispy battered tilapia, chipotle slaw, mango and papaya pico de gallo and chipotle mayo.
It looked and smelt delicious! Shantice took a bit of hers first and assured me it was amazing. I quickly tucked into my plate and was taken aback at how tasty it was and how much I loved it. The mixture of flavours especially with the mango was out of this world and the fish was cooked to perfection.
The portion size was generous to say the least and although at first I wondered how I would conquer my plate, I soon trawled through it leaving nothing left. I would go back just for that dish alone.
It was time to order dessert and the first thing to catch my eye was the Tequila Fried Banana with home made coconut gelato and cinnamon; I mean come on!! It was sensational. The taste, the texture and the homemade coconut ice cream concocted by the owner Jace was out of this world.
Although fairly new, Taco Ria has surely already made its mark in Southend, which is no surprise, with such a great warm tea, amazing holiday feel but modern décor and atmosphere and last but not least the host with the most founder Jace who makes it a point to greet all of his diners before they go introduce himself and down some free Tequila shots directly from Mexico. Jace’s modern, out of the box, warm and personal approach to each and every one of his diners was amazing thing to experience and watch.
Taco Ria is definitely my best dining experience to date and I highly recommend that you visit if you’re ever in the Southend area.
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