Reviewed by Dinul Hettiarachchi | 7 months ago
If any fast food chain knows how to make an introduction and frolic in the lime light for a long time (for all the right reasons of course), it's definitely Taco Bell.
Despite much heated controversy over whether the dishes are actually Mexican or not, we can easily agree that there is some sort of Mexican inspiration in the dishes and we are all glad it finally hit Colombo like a storm! For those of you standing in long queues to get into the restaurant these days, it'll be worth it when you dig into your taco sliders and flavourful fillings oozing with spices! If the wide range of dishes seems mind boggling at first, EAT has you covered, and the venue welcomes newbies with its interactive screen with an insight into ‘tacology’!
Crunchy Taco with Mexican Chicken and Cool Ranch Sauce | Rs.300
An EAT favourite! The thin, crispy shell which adds a punch to your meal while also not distracting you from the filling inside, is not all there is to taco-bout. The taco was definitely bigger than I expected and the minced chicken filling churned perfectly with the slightly salty, crispy taco shells: a smooth filling cramped between two crusty layers was an occasion worth the the hype. The minced chicken is of a good moist texture and while it doesn’t dampen the crunchy taco, it may fall off the back of the taco. From the first bite it's clear that the flavour of the smoky chipotle sauce really cuts through and makes you scream 'muy biene' (if you learnt some Spanish after listening to Despacito on repeat that is)!
Soft Taco with Fajita Chicken and Smoky Chipotle Sauce | Rs.300
The succulent chicken cubes tossed in a mildly spicy red sauce were the highlight of this dish with just the right amount of moisture and flavour from the spices. Although the soft taco shell is thin, it feels a bit doughy, but the moisture of the filling definitely softens it. Maybe if the tacos were served hot, the soft shell would appeal to us a bit more.
Crispy Fish Chalupa with Smoky Chipotle Sauce | Rs.370
Another EAT favourite! The thicker taco shell is made up of layers with crispy edges and a flaky crust which itself is a delight to bite into. The crispy fish strip inside is battered to perfection and is not too greasy which ensures the flavour of the smoky chipotle sauce is absorbed well before tantalizing your taste buds. Chalupas may be rarely heard of but we are thankful for it being introduced into our lives simply because the fusion of two crispy elements with a thick, moderately spicy sauce is the definition of a killer culinary experience.
Classic Burrito with Fajita Chicken and Cool Ranch Sauce | Rs.550
A cozy rice-filled wrap with a filling so good it makes us want to call it our 'bae-ritto'! Despite rice not being a personal favourite, it was well-cooked and the sauce used really made a statement of Taco Bell's attention to flavour. All in all, the filling definitely raised the bar for all other rice dishes in town, yet the iconic wrap of the burrito may make Mexican food lovers say "creo que no" (“I think not”): it was a tad bit doughy and consequently too chewy.
This is where the dips really come to the rescue - The sour cream worked well with the burrito; one dip into the sauces is all you need to lightly dampen the wrap (while adding a dash of tasteful goodness), and voila! a dish saved. Maybe rolling out the wrap would make the bread thinner thus making it easier to bite into.
Till then, my bae-ritto can wait.
Cheesy Quesadilla with Smoky Chipotle Sauce | Rs.500
This is a dish for all you cheese lovers. A quesadilla packed with thick, cheesy goodness has no close substitute and if Taco Bell manages to make it more crispier on the edge with a melted cheese filling, I'd consider making a daily trip there. Once again the quesadilla bread was doughy which, when combined with the cheese, made the whole thing chewy, however the smoky chipotle sauce added some redeeming moisture and flavour to it. A dip that works well with this is the hot ghost pepper dip which adds a strong, spicy punch to heighten the excitement this dish creates.
Loaded Nachos with Mexican Chicken | Rs.750
These are definitely 'na-cho' average nachos! The nachos were fried to perfection and cracked smoothly with every bite. It's no surprise that nachos and sour cream are like a match made in heaven, but so is salsa (which was only given in moderation)! Say no to tomato discrimination!
Also, 'loaded'? The diction made me expect a lot but the Mexican chicken was scarcely dispersed. Overall, the dish is fulfilling and works as a great side dish for anything you order (after all you can't boast about 'Taco Tuesdays' on social media without a side of nachos too!).
Rice Bowl with Mexican and Fajita Chicken (Double Chicken) | Rs.450
Essentially the double-chicken is a savior for all you indecisive souls deciding between Mexican or Fajita chicken; just order the Double chicken and you get the best of both flavours. Whether it's the well-cooked rice or the fusion of perfectly prepared chicken, this dish is making me crave more even as I write this. You might want to avoid adding too much sauce or dips to this dish as the rice itself is tossed with some tomato sauce which adds a lovely aroma as well as a gush of flavour to your experience.
Chocadilla | Rs.200
Is it a quesadilla? Yes.
Is it chocolate? Yes.
It is the chocadilla that has the town talking. The sweet, smooth taste of the melted chocolate spread gently brushing the roof of your mouth is an experience on its own. Devour this dessert like no one is watching: lick the chocolate spread inside, squeeze the quesadilla to let the chocolate spread ooze out, just be creative! The quesadilla is thin and light and it congeals with the thick chocolate spread which is a delight to bite into (although I would've preferred a crispier and a slightly bigger quesadilla)!
Tostadas with Ice Cream | Rs.400
Seemed like one of those things your friends make you eat when you fail to adhere to a dare, but what seems like nachos are actually sweet sweet tostadas! *heart eyes* The slight crispiness of tostada chips together with a mellow chocolate sauce and sticky caramel sauce creates a unique dish. And don't forget the 'dip' you get with it - a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Gently swipe a tostada chip in the ice cream, and simply put it in your mouth - the cold ice cream soothes your taste buds first before allowing the whimsical rush of chocolate and caramel flavours to come through.
California Tan | Rs.200
A mild malt-based carbonated drink sets the mood for a beer but is like the good, little non-alcoholic substitute. If you're looking for a refreshing but not-so-fruity drink, then this is the one for you! Tastewise, it's like a diluted beer and successfully leaves you feeling energized afterwards. It also works well as a palate cleanser! (necessary as everyone's got to try at least 5 different items at Taco Bell)
Passion Mojito | Rs.250
No, they don't serve alcohol at Taco Bell so don't be alarmed. This virgin Mojito is just what anyone needs to beat the island heat! It was definitely sweet and refreshing, but had me craving a more sour punch to it. The drink did justice to Mojitos in general but not so much to passion fruit.
Strawberry Mojito | Rs.250
From the colour to the taste, everything screamed STRAWBERRY! The taste of fresh strawberries accompany the drink (including small pieces of fresh strawberries) which is a testament to how fresh the drink is.
Interior and Ambiance
Loud music along with the rustic elements of the walls create a laid back, party-like atmosphere. With more additions along the way, something you can look forward to is their local culture-inspired wall art comprising of Tacos and 'Yaka' faces! Warm, yellow lighting and a graffiti wall further add to the street food setting ideal for a Mexican-inspired meal.
Friendly staff cater to your every need! From the cashier who takes you through the 'tacology' process to the waiters that serve with a smile. Since they are new and due to the great buzz they've created, the place is packed so we understand minor delays in cleaning tables (after all, they're only human). One of my favourite elements of a culinary experience is the people demonstrating it, and I must admit, I loved my experience at Taco Bell because of the people (in addition to the great food!).
Another one of our favourite aspects of the experience was the presentation simply because of its simplicity. Food was served on top of Taco Bell brown papers along with a plastic holder and a metal tray! Certain dishes like the nachos seemed very messy and disorganized in terms of where the sauces were placed haphazardly, but it's easily fixable! Overall, their minimalist approach to serving is ideal and definitely sets the standard of a local Mexican restaurant serving up traditional tacos!
No need to merely taco-bout it any longer! Go there and check it out for yourself! From their famous tacos to the rarely-heard-of chalupas, Taco Bell promises to keep you wanting more from starters to desserts! If you've been looking for a fast food chain that doesn't welcome you with a red-nosed clown or a smiling old man, then Taco Bell is your calling! A mature and chic approach to a real culinary experience.