Authentic Mex on the Beaches
As we turn into Avalon Parade, there’s one establishment that immediately catches your eye as the place to be on a Friday evening.
To our excitement, we find out it’s the eatery we have arranged to dine at – Alma.
The authentic Mexican restaurant is buzzing, as groups and couples revel in the dusk warmth with their colourful cocktails.
And when we say authentic, we mean authentic.
On arrival, Jack Leary explains to Peninsula Living that he and co-owner Tim Christensen (formerly a chef at Chica Bonita) headed to Mexico to sample dishes from 20 of the top restaurants across the country, and then hired Mexican chefs to come back to the Northern Beaches and work in the Alma kitchen.
Jack explains that their aim before launching Alma in 2017 was to offer a true experience of Mexican cuisine.
Best way to embrace this, we thought, was to opt for the ‘Trust the Chef’ six-course tasting menu.
From the obligatory corn chips and guac, we rolled through prawn salbutes; zesty seasonal ceviches with plantain chips; soft shell crab tostadas; and pork belly tacos.
And while we could have paired the courses with tequila or mezcal, we decided to leave that for another time. Instead, indulging in a jalapeno margarita – ridiculously tasty with a good kick – with a cool Pacifico to follow.
We then took our time savouring the juicy and tender black angus scotch fillet with salsa verde – also known as carne asada. The freshness of the smoked marlin salad complemented this perfectly.
The final course was the highly-anticipated dessert leg, and we were fortunate enough to be presented with the tres leches – an orange genoise soaked in a delicious rum cream, with smoked almond ice cream on the side.
Each course was an absolute delight, and even after all that, there is still so much more to discover on Alma’s menu.
If that is authentic Mexican cuisine, then we really need to get over there. But for now, we are quite content making regular trips to Avalon for the Alma experience.
47 Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach