Halisco is the latest Mexican restaurant to hit Brighton, opened by two best friends Alex and Isameel. There are few reasons to make the trip to Preston Street, but Halisco is definitely one of them.
Since opening at The Square we’ve been pretty stressed and haven’t had much time for ourselves. So Josh decided to surprise me to dinner out to make up for the not-so-fun month we’ve had setting up a business.
As Josh used to work with Alex, one of the owners, he decided to take us to Halisco to see if they would become our favourite Mexican in Brighton.
The centrepiece at Halisco has to be the Trump wall. An image of Donald’s ugly head takes up a whole wall which definitely creates a talking point! The rest of the interior is bright and cheerful, with Mexican music playing and a funky bar in the corner.
The Halisco Menu
Their menu is made up of small plates, tacos and burrito options. You can either opt for 1 small plate as a starter or snack, or choose 2-3 per person as your main meal.
Being the greedy and curious people we are, we went for 3 small plates + 2 portions of tacos. We simply couldn’t resist trying what they had on offer.
To get started Alex brought us over some guacamole and salsa with tortilla chips. Sounds pretty basic right? Wrong. The salsa is made with slow roasted tomatoes and garnished with coriander. The guacamole had been smoked – and you can really tell! On top of that, the tortilla chips are homemade and come piping hot!
The small plates were served as they were ready, which meant a stream of Mexican food being served to us. Heaven.
First up, Pork Carnitas with a twist. Deep fried pork balls sat on a bed of chilli and raisin jam. The flavour combinations worked wonderfully, the raisins had been poached which we loved and a touch chipotle adds a little heat.
Next up, Calamari. You’re probably bored of us talking about how much we love Calamari by now. If it’s on a menu, we order it. So very few restaurants in Brighton have impressed us. Halisco did.
The batter was very light but still crispy and the squid was cooked perfectly. The dish came with a side of garlicky dip which we couldn’t get enough of.
Last, but not least, came the sweet potato croquettes. These were probably my favourite of the three small plates. The sweet potato had been made with mint and cheese and they sat on a chipotle mayo. So. Good.
Josh went for the Baja Tacos, his favourite choice when we visit Wahaca. Believe it or not, there are two tacos under there. Each taco came with two chunky pieces of battered cod, topped with red cabbage, carrot, onion, coriander and an avocado dressing. They’ve taken this dish to the next level, with even the tacos being homemade.
I couldn’t resist the very popular Ox Cheek Tacos, topped with crispy red onions and a bone marrow sauce. The meat was so so tender and the portion was incredibly filling. You get so much for your money here!
It wouldn’t be a night complete without a shot of tequila. This isn’t your average tequila, Halisco serve a similar drink called Mezcal. Derived from an algave plant in Mexico, it has a much softer taste than tequila does. That doesn’t mean we liked it as we’re not drinkers.. but it was fun giving it a try with smoked salt and orange.
As you can tell, we loved it at Halisco. Alex and Ismaeel have created something a little special here on Preston Street. Isameel has a clear passion for food and at the moment is on his own in the kitchen, which is incredible as our food was served so quickly! He makes everything from scratch and is always thinking of ways to reinvent classic Mexican dishes.
For everything above, our bill came to less than £50 and we ordered more than the normal person would! It’s a must-visit and ticks everything on our list for a good restaurant. We’ll be back to see how their menu evolves over the coming months.