CALI-MEX IN TSIM SHA TSUI, HONG KONG
Most Hongkees would have surely tried Cali-Mex some time or another in Hong Kong. For those that don’t know, Cali-Mex is a Tex-Mex joint that serves quick lunches – I love their tacos and quesadillas. and they’re pretty much in all the expat hotspots. For example, I used to frequent the Quarry Bay and Wanchai locations a lot because it was close to where I worked.
Cali-Mex traditionally were kiosks and it was a grab & go type of place, but they just opened one of their very first sit-down restaurants, and we were invited to go give it a try, so tried we did!
The location of the sit-down restaurant was actually a pleasant surprise as most of their other locations are located on Hong Kong Island. The dine-in Cali-Mex we went to was over at the Dark Side – over at Tsim Sha Tsui to be completely accurate & I live on the Dark Side so I was a very happy camper. 14 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, for those wondering.
Pretty nifty huh?
They’ve even got beers on tap, literally at your table. Good way to start to the night!
My cousin (also the photographer for all the photos in this post) went for the non-alcoholic option – that being the Jarritos soda in the Mandarin flavour. She said it was very reminiscent of the Jones soda that was all the rage in the 90’s (dang, now you know how
old ancient we are!). I went with the classic Mojito and it was a great way to start the night =) No complaints here! If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, I would recommend the Isla Paraiso ($128), which is made with Tequila, blue agave liquer, fresh lime juice and pineapple Jarritos. The added bonus is that it looks very Instagrammable!
NACHOS WITH CHIPOTLE PULLED PORK ($128)
I usually order the nachos as a fab sharing dish but I’ve never ordered it with the Chipotle Pull Pork topping and it was tasty indeed. That being said, I think that I still prefer it without the Chipotle Pulled Pork topping because it was too filling as a starter for us two girls. I also love my chips to be super cheesy and crispy & with the addition of the the pulled pork, it makes the dish more filling and the chips a tad less crisp. Nevertheless, you can never go wrong with nachos from Cali – Mex – love the whole concoction – tangy and such a great starter dish.
BAJA FISH TACOS ($98)
I love fish tacos. I prefer the soft shell tacos versus the hard shell, but I believe they told me that their hard shell tacos are more popular. The fish is flavourful, juicy and so yums. Then again, I knew all that before this tasting – the fish tacos are one of my usual orders at Cali-Mex. In addition to soft shell and hard shell, you can also choose a corn shell taco. We went with all the sauces they had to offer from: mild, medium to hot and for a spicy lover, the medium spicy sauce was the perfect middle ground (me thinks).
GRILLED RIBEYE 10 OZ. ($198)
A surprise because I would have never ordered a steak at Cali-Mex and pleasantly surprised I was! Not at all greasy or fatty, but full of meat flavour and it was cooked to perfection! We said medium rare and medium rare we got. It was a steak done simply, no overbearing butter or herb sauce, but just pure steak & meat flavour. We were pretty full from the tacos and nachos, but this was so delish that this steak was a goner in minutes. For the quality of the steak, it was an absolute bargain for money because we all know how expensive steaks can be in Hong Kong!
SPINACH QUESADILLAS (HALF $78| FULL $118)
The surprise winner of the night! I’m not a huge fan of spinach dip so you can only imagine my surprise when I bit into this. We took a lot of photos but even after all that jazz, these hot pockets were still piping hot on the inside, and the spinach filling was saucy and the cream was never overbearing to the spinach. It was the best combo ever, and the tortilla was never too crispy, dry or hard, but had just the perfect amount of bite and chew. I might have to change my usual order of fish tacos to the spinach quesadillas the next time I come back to Cali-Mex!
CHURRO WITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE ($38)
After the wonderful meal, we washed it all down with some churros. There was an option to have it either with chocolate or caramel sauce, but let’s face it, my brain stopped functioning after the waitress mentioned chocolate. My favourite place to get churros is at PNE, an amusement park in Vancouver because that’s where I’ve been getting my annual churros for the past 20+ years. And perhaps it was because of this nostalgic bias that I felt like the savoury foods at Cali-Mex had much more to offer than their churros (if you like cinnamon, ask them to give you a more generous sprinkle of it).
I would definitely recommend the Cali-Mex dine in restaurant & I especially love Cali-Mex for a quick bite to eat. For me, besides the fish tacos and quesadillas, my other favourite is the breakfast burrito – for the ladies, they’re big enough to share so you can order a serving of nachos as well =)
Now, Cali-Mex has been very generous and they have given me 4 x $50 gift vouchers. There are more details and fine print that apply of course, but the general gist is that I have 4 x $50 gift vouchers that I can give away to others so they can have a chance to taste the scrumptious-ness at Cali-Mex. WOOHOO!!!
For those that don’t know, I run my own company in Hong Kong called Humid with a Chance of Fishballs Tours and we run a Free Central Walk that runs Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays at 9:30am, in addition to other events. I will be giving 2 of the vouchers away on Humid with a Chance of Fishballs’ Instagram so check us out over there. I will be giving the other 2 vouchers on my Free Central Walk in HK so join us if you can =)