Mexican festivals are all about colour, music, friends and of course, good food. This is exactly what new restaurant Sin Vida has captured, bringing Day of the Dead festivities to everyday Brisbane.
Located in M&A Lane in the Valley, Sin Vida offers another international dining option among the American meals at Mighty Mighty, Spanish dishes from Gordita, and Creole inspired foods from Papa Jack’s.
Leading into the restaurant is an Aztec garden dotted with concrete sculptures including a skull if you want to get your Hamlet on. A colourful Day of the Dead mural on the windows also brightens up the establishment.
The menu caters for all size appetites, with a mix of entrées, small plates, large plates, salads and desserts.
It’s one of life’s big treats to start a meal with a serve of pork crackling, and the kitchen at Sin Vida nails this share dish, serving it up with achiote and lime. Thankfully there is a Mexican food glossary at the back of the menu, clarifying that achiote is a condiment, which can also be used for body paint. Handy if you’ve left your Day of the Dead face paint at home.
This starter lives up to its crackling name, with perfectly puffed pork pieces that have a nice bit of tang about them.
For something a bit healthier, the chargrilled street corn with cheese, chipotle and lime is extremely satisfying. A subtle smoky taste contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the crispy corn.
From the larger plates section of the menu, it was hard to go past the chili braised goat, served with green rice and tomatillo relish. The meat in this dish was soft and tender, while carrying a spicy kick to the back of your throat. Goat is quite gamey, so be prepared for a strong taste to this dish.
We also set about working our way through the soft taco menu, with fillings including pork belly, shredded chicken, swordfish , beef brisket and king prawns. There is also a vegetarian taco option featuring tender prickly pear and beans.
The spicy chicken filling came with a cooling avocado and tangy lime, ensuring maximum taste for what can sometimes be a bland meat. The slow cooked beef brisket was a melt in your mouth affair, served up with a fresh salsa.
For dessert, the lemon scented set custard was creamy in taste and velvety in texture. It was served with a crumbly Mexican shortbread that contrasted well against the smooth custard.
Given that there are a few spicy things on the menu, you will need something adequate to wash down you meal, and the drinks at Sin Vida do not disappoint.
Margarita-lovers can engage in frozen watermelon, blueberry mint and black cactus versions of the drink. For anyone not in need of stiff liquor at lunchtime, an array of fruity Mexican sodas are available as well.
The beer menu features an impressive list of Mexican offerings going well beyond Coronas.
For an extra $1.50 you can add a salt rim and fresh lime to your beer of choice, which is then served on ice. For an extra $2.50, you can get some hot sauce and tomato juice mixed in. Both of these options turn the everyday beer drinking experience into a festive event.
Sin Vida is on McLachlan St in Fortitude Valley, and is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.