Holy Moly It’s been ages since my last blog post – university really does NOT hold back on the workload in third year! That being said, I always find time to sneak in a little dinner out every now and again, so I can give you guys recommendations on our bountiful Wellington eateries, and to also keep my sanity! A few weeks ago, I went out with my girls to celebrate one of their birthdays, and instead of choosing to go into the CBD for somewhere to eat, we decided to put our faith in our local Newtown dining scene to see whether It was up to scratch. I would never have thought Newtown would be a dining destination, however over the years I have seen more and more cafés and restaurants opening here and these places have been getting excellent reviews, so we thought why not! Being students, we didn’t want anywhere too expensive – so after a quick look on Zomato we decided upon one of Newtown’s favourite dining places – Viva Mexico.
I always walk past this place on my way to and from home, and when I peer in its always packed with people laughing, socialising, and above all eating some darn good-looking meals! I was excited to try this place out as I am a firm lover of Mexican food, and let me tell you, they do a service to this central American cuisine. The interior of this restaurant makes you feel like you have been transported right into a Mexican grandma’s home, with rustic floors, walls and décor; it’s a perfectly cosy place to enjoy a hearty meal. We were welcomed enthusiastically by each and every staff member, who made us feel more like guests at a dinner party rather than customers at a restaurant. After being seated, we poured at the menu to see what Mexican eats would take our fancy.
Starting with the drinks, I was recommended one of their imported fruity sodas, however as soon as my eyes glazed over the ‘chilli lemonade’ I knew instantly, that as a lover of all things spicy, I had to try it. It’s a drink that you either love or hate, and I loved it! The mix of the sweet bubbly lemonade with the punch of the bitter and hot chilli was a true palette cleanser that added a bit of spice to the evening – in my eyes a perfect accompaniment to a flavourful Mexican dish. Now, onto the main event – The food! Quesadillas are my all-time favourite Mexican meal, and I know it sounds like a safe option, I decided to stray from the classic by ordering the Mexican cactus stuffed quesadilla. All of my friends were put off by it, but I was intrigued by what this flora would taste like; and it was delicious! The cactus has a mellow and bitter flavour, not dissimilar to a green pepper which pairs well with the bean, mushroom and cheese combo sandwiched inside two warm, toasty tortillas. This was served up with a fresh salsa, crisp salad and spicy dipping sauce which created an absolutely mouth-watering meal – and only for $13, a student dream!
Newtown has really amped up their food scene, and Viva Mexico is a perfect example of one of the local restaurants that has deliciously drool-worthy meals on offer. This restaurant perfectly captures Mexican cuisine and culture, with their lip-smacking drinks, hearty home-style meals, and loud and joyous waiters and waitresses – they don’t just provide for a meal, they provide an experience. Weighing up all these factors against the Café Crawler Lucy criteria, I have no other option but to score Viva Mexico an 8/10. This place is perfect for everyone, from kids to adults, students to retirees – there is something for everybody to enjoy (mostly the prices for students). The only thing I would critique is the wait time – it was quite a busy night, so the meals took a while, however we didn’t get our drinks until after our meals had come, leaving us in a state of crazy hunger and thirst. In my eyes, Viva Mexico is not only one of the best cheap eats in Newtown, but the whole of wellington! If you find yourself too lazy to cook dinner, but too poor to eat out – look no further, Viva Mexico has got your back and will serve you up an awesome feed.