Ottawa- El Camino is another of these great restaurants where you can walk past it without even noticing it. When one hears that the only criticism is the long waiting time. This is a good sign that the food is delicious.
We went two times to El Camino. We dine in the first time and waited for 20 mins on a hot sunny day. We got our non-taco dishes relatively quick, while the tacos took a good 20-30 mins until they arrive to your table. Best bet is to order all your tacos in one go - 4-5 tacos/person should be enough. We ordered from the take-out window on our second visit. It took around 30 minutes to have our tacos ready. The food is not the rustic Mexican food that one finds at Corazón de Maíz, but the food here is refined, some with an Asian twist.
The prawn betel leaf is a refreshing starter - cooked prawns wrapped in a southeast asian leaf, then deep-fried in a soda-based batter. The batter is light and airy, enough to give a good crunch. The taste of betel leaf is quite unique if you have not grow up eating it. It has a fresh peppery taste with a hint of bitterness. It melded well with the delicate flavour of the prawns.
Taro is a root vegetable, commonly used ingredient in Asian cuisine. Making it into chips is quite innovative, a good and healthy substitute to tortilla chips. This is served with a big eye tuna tartare. The tartare fell flat as it was lacking of freshness and acidity.
Every taco on their menu is amazing. This is what the big fuss is all about. Every protein put in the taco is cooked to perfection. The ox tongue is one of these ingredients that tends to get tough when not cooked properly. This tongue was cooked tender with great meaty flavour. The fish taco has a perfectly crisp batter with a moist fish. Each taco has its own garnish that is appropriate to the protein.
If you are patient enough to wait for delicious food, El Camino is the place to go.
|Crispy Prawn Betel Leaf|
|Big Eye Tuna Tartare with Ponzu and Taro Chips|
|Beef, Lamb, Crispy Fish, Pulled Pork and Beef Tongue Tacos|
380 Elgin Street