Meal Ticket: Taco Taco, Dublin 2

Taco Taco don’t take reservations - you’ll have to rock up and take your chances at getting a seat before they move on to the next trend

   
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Taco Taco

Mexican food makes money in Ireland. Chains such as Pablo Picante, Boojum and Little Ass can’t keep the burritos and fajitas coming fast enough. Cheap, cheerful, fresh and filling, it’s ideal fast food. Taco Taco is a pop-up restaurant run by the team behind San Lorenzo’s on George’s Street. These guys know a trend when they see one, having queues out the door on the back of their #brunchofchampions hashtag on social media last year.

So they’ve turned their attention to tacos in the old Odessa buliding on Dame Court. It looks very much the same as the old Odessa - forgivable when it’s a temporary set-up - with banquettes along the walls and lots of 4-top tables in the centre. Music is great and on the night we visit it’s busy all evening (including a few lost souls seeking Odessa, which has moved up onto the first floor).

The menu comprises a handful of starters - Maryland crab cakes (€11.95), sweet and sour chicken noodle soup (€6.95); mains include half-a- dozen tacos and a few other Tex-mex style dishes - “super” nachos (€14.95), a rather terrifyingly large burger (€17.95) and grilled swordfish steak (€19.95).

The tacos aren’t cheap - ranging from €14.95 to €22.95 for a sashimi yellow-fin offering. However they are large - without the usual Mexican fillers of rice and beans. The standard fish taco (€14.95) has three good flour tortillas, chunky tempura hake fillets with lots of lettuce, salsa and some very good smoky charred corn. The Chinese five-spice duck is better (€16.95) with sweet, sticky chunks of sesame seed speckled duck and slivers of leek, cucumber and Chinese cabbage - plus an extra pot of hoi sin sauce in case it isn’t running down your arms already.

Sides are good value - street style chargrilled corn (elotes) come slathered in mayo and parmesan (€3.50 for two servings) and in a rather incongruous nod to Canada, there are some poutine fries - slivers of fried potato drowning in black pepper sauce, melted mozzarella and flecked with chunks of bacon, declared “filthy, but good filthy” by my dinner companion. Desserts echo the heart attack-inducing dishes in San Lorenzo’s, including their Nutella chocolate cheesecake

(€7.95) and a pail of popcorn slathered in hot caramel sauce and three large scoops of peanut butter ice-cream (€6).

They don’t take reservations here - you’ll have to rock up and take your chances at getting a seat before they move on to the next trend.