We Mangos love our grub, and one of Bangkok’s delights is the variety of cuisines available here. I’ll wager that many of your (and our) experiences of Mexican food have been stodgy, generic bean-burdened lumps of brown after a few too many Leos. (Yes, I’m looking at you Taco Bell – don’t pull your face, you earned it – own it!)
So, when the main man of Sunrise Tacos, Greg Lange, invited me and my pal along to the 4th floor of Terminal 21 to sample their new birria menu we were intrigued. Birria? Mango No.2 thought that Birria had been a left-back in the Italian squad of the ’90s. It turns out that it’s a Mexican food style where often goat, or as here beef or chicken, is stewed in a mixture of spices. The meat is used to make various dishes, with the resulting broth, or consommé if you like, being served on the side for dipping. (we Northern Boys know it as “gravy”)
It was a revelation that would have had St. John smacking his lips. We tried half a dozen dishes from their new nine-item birria menu, prepared by Mexico-born chef Cheke. First up was a traditionally-cooked pizza using the stewed meat; it set the scene for the night: moist beef with a great depth and complexity of flavour, the freshness of coriander (cilantro if you wish) and lime with the broth tying it all together. After that, dishes whizzed by. Birria beef tacos – crunch, mouth-filling heat, freshness. Chicken quesadilla – soft, cheesy, comforting, with another excellent consommé.
However, the highlight for both of us was the birria mexican pizza. Constructed with tortillas on the top and bottom and filled with mozzarella, onion, coriander and birria meat, it was wolfed down by the assembled party. A squeeze of lime, a dip in the consommé and a smear of one of the traditional salsas available on the side, it was an unctuous treat. Mexican food isn’t complex and “foodie” enough? Think again. Last up were vegetarian tacos made with hibiscus (jamaica). Unusual and to be honest not to my taste but, as Dr Johnson said, you should try most things once.
Towards the end of the evening, we were offered birria ramen – how about that for fusion? Unfortunately, by this stage, Mango No.1 needed to save space for “afters”, and Mango No.2 couldn’t have managed another wafer-thin mint, so it was left unsampled. Next time though …
Thanks to boss man Greg, Chef Cheke and the staff of Sunrise Tacos.
The birria menu is available at the Sunrise Taco venues around Bangkok. Give it a try – you won’t be disappointed.