Summer to me means days at the beach… and fruity cocktails… and guacamole. So while it doesn’t tick the first box, The Blue Flamingo does do the other two – and that was enough to lure me in for an invited lunch with fellow foodie Bryony of Perth Eats. I’d initially attended the opening of this venue back in October but it was a rainy night, I’d had a few too many cocktails and the crowd kind of prevented me from experiencing all this place really had to offer.
So coming back for a late lunch on a Sunday afternoon, it was just the right time to soak in some sunshine, indulge in a cheeky drink and try The Blue Flamingo’s Mexican inspired fare.
We hang out for the afternoon with the Bar Manager Nick, who takes us through our food an drinks as they arrive at our table. It’s warm and bright, with big groups of people around us enjoying pre-Christmas celebrations or just a good old fashioned Sunday session.
Like all great Mexican feasts, things start with guacamole – with their version accompanied by salsa roja and tortilla chips ($9.50). I just love guacamole (to the point where some nights I’ll happily clean some homemade guac up as my dinner option) and there’s was creamy and fresh. I personally prefer my guacamole screaming of lime flavour, and with coriander, onion and some kind of sweet addition like tomato. There’s was more of a mashed avocado, which I’m not opposed to at all – but it wasn’t quite the authentic Mexican fare I was hoping for.
The tortilla chips were crisp and shattered under my teeth satisfyingly when I bit down. The salsa roja was deeply flavoured and tasty, with the sharp tomato taste coming through in each mouthful. A nice addition to the plate to kickstart our appetites.
What I like about The Blue Flamingo is that their cocktail menu has both singular serving sizes and carafes, which is definitely a more economical way to enjoy a sweet tipple if you’re in a group (or not driving!). We had two different carafes to try that day – the Pink Dolphin Sangria ($14.00/$35.00) and the Cachaca Highball (same price).
The Pink Dolphin Sangria was definitely my favourite of he two, and really different to your normal sangria offering. Comprised of rose, brandy, vanilla, hibiscus, strawberries and mint, it was sweet and fruity, with the vanilla flavour complimenting the wine nicely. I thought that the hibiscus, while pretty, was more of a painful addition than anything as the dried petals got caught in my teeth. A strainer for when pouring would have been welcome!
The Cachaca Highball was made of cachaca, apricot brandy, lemon, ginger ale and bitters. Cachaca is a Brazilian based spirit which is made from sugar cane syrup. I first tried it at The Standard, but I have to say it still hasn’t quite resonated with me – the strong alcohol flavour just isn’t quite my cup of tea but Bryony thought this one tasted good.
Next up we tackled the low and slow cuban pork sandwich ($16.00) which is full of slow roasted pork, pickles, mustard and smoked mozzarella. If there’s one movie that tends to be my secret pleasure for watching, it’s easily Chef – which really opened the worlds’ eyes to how amazing cuban sandwiches are! While not Mexican, I wasn’t complaining to see it on the menu at The Blue Flamingo.
This was a really tasty rendition, with that meat just completely falling apart. The flavour of spices shone through, and the sharp housemade pickle was exactly what the sandwich was begging for to be rounded out fully. I only ate half (barely) and found this really filling which was great to see for the price.
Plus if you need an extra chilli kick, there’s a great range of sauces on hand to turn up the heat!
Because you can never have too much pork… we next tried the pulled pork tacos with grilled pineapple and salsa ($12.00). Oh how I love the combination of pork and pineapple!
The tacos are thin and texturally spot on, which is nice to see. The meat is juicy, the pineapple slightly smoky but sweet. The sharpness of the red onion is a welcome addition that cuts through the other ingredients perfectly. A little squeeze of lime makes my mouth zing from all the contrasting and tasty flavours.
Our final dish for the afternoon was the salmon ceviche with ponzu and amarillo chilli ($15.00). I love ceviche, with the freshness and tanginess of the ingredients – it tends to be a crowd pleaser. I thought that The Blue Flamingo’s version looked pretty, though personally I’m not the biggest fan of salmon as a ceviche protein – I prefer white fleshed fish as the texture tends to be more palatable (for me).
The use of ponzu was a spin on the classic, though deviated from the Mexican theme of the menu. I did really like that there were so many of those corn chips on the side – they’re so addictive!
By the time the last chip was demolished and the guacamole was swiped clean, I was feeling pretty damn full! The menu here is quite limited since they’re a bar, rather than a restaurant, so we’d managed to work our way through most items. I would like to try the Mexican corn next time since corn is one of my all time favourite things ever (and I mean ever). But on that occasion I was sitting quite comfortable with the warm sun and a tummy full of their fare.
Big thanks to the team at The Blue Flamingo for showing us such a great afternoon chocked full of food and drinks.