6th July 2016 6pm
The first I’d heard of Topolabamba was a tweet last week saying they were shortly due to open on Lothian Road. I later found out that Topolabamba was already a firm favourite in Glasgow and they’ve branched out to Edinburgh. I was invited with a friend to the VIP launch night to get a nosey. This restaurant, unsurprisingly, has a vibrant Mexican feel. The menu mainly consists of street food but also offers some larger dishes if that’s your bag. Our lovely waitress said although the menu says 3-4 of the street food dishes recommended per person, she thinks 2-3 is more accurate. You even get little pencils to mark out on your menu so you don’t lose track of what you want to order. We went for three each (although sharing the lot between us) and we did struggle in the end to finish it all. However, it was still worth it. So we opted for classic queso fundido, Jalapeño poppers, Pasilla King prawn tacos, Crispy fish fried tacos, Calamares con morongo, Albondigas con casabel. Topolabamba also has a vast range of tequilas (although we missed the shots being handed out). We ended up getting a watermelon and an apple margarita each. I was a little disappointed their frozen margarita machine wasn’t ready yet as they have a nice mango one on the menu. The margaritas we had were lovely though.
The classic queso fundido was essentially corn chips with a cheese fondue which had peppers and chorizo mixed into it. This was amazing and I could have happily eaten just a giant portion of this. The cheese was perfectly gooey and lush. The jalapeño poppers were large and had chilli cut through the cream cheese rather than a stuffed chilli. It came in a beautiful Bravas sauce. However, these were very hot, at least for my palate, so I had to have a little rest to let my mouth recover before continuing. It was worth it though, although my friend found them a little too large for her liking as she found the cream cheese a little overwhelming. They weren’t exactly ‘popper’ sized.
The King prawn tacos and crispy fish tacos were quite similar but equally lovely. The tacos themselves were a delight, with the Mexican slaw a particular highlight. My friend really loved the crispy batter, as it genuinely was crispy. The prawns and fish were beautifully cooked.
The calamares con morongo were baby squid, stuffed with minced pork, black pudding and ground chorizo and they were sat in a chilli sauce. I quite enjoyed these. The squid almost acted like a sausage casing but with more flavour. Finally the Albondigas con casabel were beef and pork meatballs in a casabel cream sauce. These were a big punch of meat and were delicious.
Whilst I was really struggling to fit in any more food, my friend wanted to try dessert, so we went for the tequila toffee pineapple and got two spoons. If we’d had more space we would have tried the churros. However, the pineapple dessert was perfect; sweet but not sickly so. Pineapple in jelly with flecks of chilli, toffee sauce and cream. Yum.
We both really enjoyed Topolabamba and were already talking about heading back again before we’d even left.
Food – 9/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8.5/10
Overall – 34.5/40
Would I eat here again? In a heartbeat
Cost – complimentary but true cost would be around £50
Please note that whilst thie meal was complimentary, views expressed are my own. Thanks to Billy from Topolabamba for the invite.