Tonight we decided to forgo the Thai food and try a Mexican food restaurant here in Phuket. A fellow expat from California recommended Sala Mexicali as being the closest thing to California Mexican food in all of Phuket. Lucky for us it is just a short drive down the street from our house. And we were not disappointed, in fact I should have walked home to work off all the yummy eats I divulged in this evening.
Sala Mexicali is on Jaofa (also spelled Chaofa) East Road in between Chalong and Rawaii. As we drove up the sign for the restaurant directed us into a small parking lot adjacent to an outdoor eating area with approximately 15 tables. The ambiance was pleasant with low lights at every table and a garden surrounding the tables outer edge. The dining area was clean and tables were set with linen napkins. For those that have never visited or lived in Thailand, it can be hard to find a place to eat that has real napkins. Restaurants here tend to offer “napkins” that more resemble toilet tissue. I always appreciate a place with nice useful napkins, especially when eating with a
We started with chips and guacamole as an appetizer. We were served those promptly before we even had a chance to order our meals. What service! The chips were homemade from what seemed to be corn tortillas cut into fourths and fried to a soft crispiness. There was a smattering of salt on them that was just right. The guacamole was a little small, maybe half a cup, but was hand made fresh with avocado, tomato and onion. The whole time we were eating we could hear them using the mortar and pestle in the kitchen making fresh salsa and guacamole. I do not think many of the Mexican food restaurants back home could boast of such fresh ingredients and preparation of their chips and dips.
I ordered steak nachos grande for my dinner, Chad ordered Tres Tacos (two hard-shelled, one soft, all steak), and we ordered Zoë a side of rice with black beans and corn. While we waited for our entrees, we ordered another bowl of tasty chips and salsa. We realized that this was a HUGE mistake when our GIGANTIC plates of food arrived. We had ordered way too much food!
My nachos were a sight to behold. It was a plate of homemade tortilla chips, topped with black beans, sliced tomatoes, slices of steak, and all covered with a
fattening healthy amount of cheddar cheese. On the side there were cups of sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. I am trying to think on how to describe the taste of these nachos besides just saying they were delicious… The saltiness of the chips and beans, mixed with the sweeter spiciness of the salsa (I think it had some chipotle in it), and the tender savory bites of steak were like a taste of home, a perfect complement of flavors that filled me up more quickly than I wished for. I wish I had a bigger stomach, but I guess I will be having left over nachos for breakfast (truly the breakfast of champions, right?!).
Chad’s tacos were much larger than the tacos I’m used to in California. They all had the tender slices of steak, and salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. The tacos were filled to the brim with the meat and fresh green lettuce that had been spritzed with balsamic vinegar. At first I was unsure about the mixture of salsa and guacamole with balsamic vinegar, but they actually worked with each other nicely.
Zoë mostly ate chips with sour cream (she ate very healthy the rest of the day I swear!), but begrudgingly took the bites that I made her take of her rice, beans, and corn. She seemed to like it, but I honestly did not have any room in my belly for anything else, so I did not try them. I can tell you that the ingredients appeared to be fresh and smelled wonderful. Now Zoë has left overs for breakfast as well! We scored!
The prices at Sala Mexicali were not bad, we left stuffed to the gills, and with enough left overs for another meal for two of us, and it cost just 910 baht ($28.11 USD). We probably would have paid more than that back home for the same food at a taqueria. What a delicious meal.
If you are craving some Mexican food, and you are in Phuket, make sure to try out Sala Mexicali.
**I was not asked to write this review and all opinions are my own. I just wanted to share this amazing restaurant with you so that you can enjoy it as well. Also, I apologize for the bad quality of the photos, my iPhone did not handle the low lighting very well.**