It is a chilly mid-winter Tuesday night, but in one cozy corner of Garema Place, people are flocking in for a Mexican fiesta and a taste of the subtropics. Inside, the lights are low, the beats are up, and the vibe is palpable.
Bartenders shake, flourish and expertly pour out delicious concoctions for a queue of thirsty patrons who sway to the beat like a conga line. Staff sashay expertly through the crowd with trays of tacos and chips and queso. It is Taco Tuesday at Loquita!
At some stage in the evening, my head has acquired a red sombrero and I am not mad about it. My first drink, a frozen margarita, is absolutely way too delicious. From the addictive saltiness surrounding the rim, the mix of tang, sweet and salt is just so enticing.
Drink number two is a virgin mango batida, smooth coconut milk and mango blended with a dash of salt. It is the best mocktail I’ve had in a long, long time. I have a sip or three of a friend’s watermelon cooler, juicy and bursting with freshness, using Loquita’s signature watermelon syrup as its base.
Primarily a mezcal bar, Loquita has recently launched a new drinks menu. The seven margarita offerings range from refreshing to smooth to downright daring in the case of the Hot Sauce Committee, where you get to choose the hot sauce that goes in your drink.
The cleverly named Largerita is an economical option if you know you want more than one.
Next Taco Tuesday, I will try the Me-hico Express, made on cold press coffee and Kahlua, and the Yucatan Colada with plantation pineapple rum from the cocktail menu. As far as margaritas are concerned, the original margarita I am drinking tonight is so superb, I will stick with it.
While it is a tequila bar, Loquita also dabbles in delicious tacos. There are five taco offerings along with corn chips with guac, loaded fries and chicken wings.
Tonight, trays of tacos swoop past in delicious blurs. Miniature tortillas are filled with a variety of toppings and sauces that are consumed in three bites. This means you get to sample several!
The beef taco features beef strips, a smokey verde sauce and piquant red onion. It is spicy and creamy and fragrant and soft all at once. The eggplant taco is full of crunch, eggplant portions, then topped with mayo, jalapenos and coriander. The chicken with tomatillo guacamole is delicious, but my favourite is either the pork belly with kimchi and shallots or that beef taco.
Loquita is located at 17 Garema Place and is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 5 pm until late. Happy Hour at Loquita is from 5 pm to 7 pm and the frozen Margaritas are $12. On Taco Tuesdays the tacos are $4.