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Hong Kong restaurant reviews

New restaurant in Hong Kong: Los Sotano, Central - tasty Mexican food but the tiny tacos are hit and miss

Los Sotano serves the tiniest tacos we’ve ever seen and the tortillas do not hold up well. Luckily there are some good fillings, and a decent selection of main courses to make up

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 12:49pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 July, 2018, 7:24pm

Los Sotano might be famous for its selection of tequila and mescal, but the basement space – accessed either through the ground floor Cali-Mex on D’Aguilar Street (the staff will lead you to the stairs) or a concealed entrance on Wo On Lane – also serves a selection of Mexican dishes.

My guest and I are both from Los Angeles, California and miss Mexican food, so we were excited when we looked at the menu.

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We refused to order the expensive guacamole (although we were curious about what made it so special to cost HK$150) and went for several types of tacos to start instead. We asked if we could have corn tortillas instead of flour, but were told that wasn’t an option.

They were the tiniest tacos we’ve ever seen. The flour tortillas were also rather flabby (they should have been griddled longer) and didn’t hold up to the wetter fillings.

Tucking into the first two tacos did nothing to lift our spirits. The tortilla disintegrated under the carnitas (slow-roasted pork belly, HK$50), which was too finely chopped. The pescado (beer battered fish with mango salsa and pico de gallo, HK$50) had batter that was too thick.

We liked the other tacos much more. “Lobster drunk on tequila” (lobster marinated in Avion tequila served on a dollop of guacamole, HK$70) was firm and meaty. Even better was the al pastor (HK$50): small, fatty chunks of spit-roasted pork shoulder balanced with sweet, tangy pieces of pineapple.

Many of the mains sounded tempting, but because there were only two of us, we could choose only one. We decided on the cerdo crujiente (48-hour slow-cooked pork belly with black bean truffle mole, HK$250). The meat – nicely layered with fat and topped off by crisp skin – was very tender, and the mole was intense, with just the right amount of truffle.

We ordered a side dish of roasted avocado (HK$70) which, unfortunately, confirmed my long-held belief that avocado isn’t nearly as delicious cooked as it is raw.

A dessert of churros (HK$50) – freshly fried and served with vanilla ice cream – hit the spot.

Los Sotano, Basement, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, tel: 2970 3887. About HK$300 without drinks or the service charge.

While you’re in the area:

New restaurants in Central: Agave – same great casual Mexican

Glow Oyster Bar in Central review: fresh ingredients, well priced

Restaurant review: 1935 in Central – Sichuan delights, elegant surroundings