After transporting us to a sun-kissed Greek taverna, a Colombo canteen, and a post-colonial Pakistani tandoor house, it was only a matter of time before Black Sheep Restaurants took us on a culinary journey to Mexico — specifically the westernmost sunny state of Baja California. For a city that prides itself on being a culinary melting pot, Hong Kong’s quality Mexican restaurants are few and far between. This shortcoming has been a constant sore spot for diners — it’s one of the most common complaints we hear, right behind high prices and greedy landlords. Luckily, Hong Kong’s superstar restaurant group has swept in for a heroic effort at giving the city the taqueria it deserves — “one for the fans,” according to BSR co-founder Christopher Mark.

Enter Taqueria Super Macho, the prolific F&B group’s long-awaited ode to the roadside taco shacks found up and down coastal Mexico, where seafood reigns and you’re never far from a thirst-quenching, agave-based cocktail (the energetic staff here make sure of this). They’ve tapped Chilean-born chef Billy Otis (who spent two years as head chef of Lily & Bloom and has trained under celebrity chef and Mexican food expert Rick Bayless) to head up the effort, and while Super Macho’s bright white taco shack seems to have been magicked over from the coast of Baja California, the concept has been a long time in the making — three years, in fact, a period in which we can only imagine Otis and Mark have had lengthy discussions over everything from proper corn nixtamalization to top tequila brands.

In that time, Otis — who previously headed up the kitchen at Carbone — and his team of bandanna-wearing bandits have undergone the rigorous Black Sheep school of training (read: smile, act suave, and always approach guests with a bottle of alcohol in hand). As a result, like many other BSR openings, Super Macho seems to have skipped straight past the growing-pains phase and is firing on all cylinders from the get-go.

 

Ambience

Like the rest of BSR’s concept-driven portfolio, Taqueria Super Macho takes design cues from an authentic source; in this case, inspiration comes from the ubiquitous roadside taquerias which Mexicans flock to (and are prone to profess fierce loyalties towards). Inside, corrugated-tin walls nod to mobile taco trucks, while rough-painted white walls decorated with palm tree motifs, neon light installations and the coral-and-turquoise hues of Super Macho’s logo evoke the feel of a sunny beachside stand, a place where sandals, beach shorts and bandannas are welcomed.

Sunny Baja California vibes on Bridges Street.

Lest you forget where you are after one too many margaritas, the Super Macho branding is everywhere you look: scrawled across the walls and on the white tin cups which serve as salsa bowls, and stamped into the giant coconuts which arrive with over-the-top embellishments such as pink flamingo stirrers and colourful cocktail umbrellas. The party vibes are fuelled by the rowdy bar that anchors the first floor, while downstairs can accommodate another 15–20 tequila-happy patrons. On each communal table sits a bottle of Valentina hot sauce, and a tin of wet wipes to prepare you for the inevitable sauce-stained shirt emergency.

 

Food & Drink

You’re here for the tacos obviously, but don’t miss out on the handful of ceviches and platos pequeños (small plates) which can prolong the party. Presented in a cocktail glass garnished with a fan of avocado slices, the rock shrimp aguachile (HK$88) is plumped with fresh chunks of kanpachi, rock shrimp and bay scallops, but the liquid, or more accurately, “chilli water” comes across as a bit muddy for our liking. The Japanese surf clam ceviche (HK$108) fares better, with succulent strips of clam bathed in a homemade clamato juice, scattered with fresh pico de gallo and puffy pork rinds. Both come with a platter of saltines and tostadas on the side for scooping.

Mexican street corn is an instant crowdpleaser.

The crunchy yellow discs also provide a sturdy base for the grilled chicken tostada (HK$58), which is spread with black beans, then weighed down with juicy grilled shredded chicken, freshly pounded guacamole, crunchy pickled escabeche and capped off with a flurry of shredded cilantro. Despite the heavy load, the dish never falls out of alignment and though the staff insists it’s supposed to be handheld, we resort to using silverware to shovel up every last bite while wiping away at the rivulets of juice dripping down our chins. For a crowd favourite, the Mexican street corn (HK$38) is an instant classic — the just-blistered kernels slathered in crema, and covered in a snowfall of cotija cheese, red flecks of Tajín (a spicy Mexican seasoning that seems to be a favourite ingredient of both the kitchen and the bar), and a liberal squeeze of lime to keep the richness of the cheese and cream in check.

Tacos are DIY, but come with a helpful staff primer.

Super Macho’s approach to tacos is DIY, but the staff are keen to demonstrate recommended condiment pairings. There are numerous house-made salsas — from a verdant tomatillo to roasted tomato salsa huevona and a piquant pico de gallo — and creating the right balance of toppings is key to ensuring maximum taco bliss. So for those who want to come prepared, here’s a quick primer: for the crispy shrimp (HK$38), grab a fistful of cabbage slaw as a refreshing contrast to the succulent shrimp, sheathed in a thick, copper-toned batter which crackles satisfyingly with each bite. In keeping with the seafood theme, the al pastor (HK$38) swaps pork for fish (Vietnamese sole, to be exact), and the fiery red coating of achiote paste and adobo is best offset with a tablespoon of sweet grilled pineapple, bits of crispy bacon, and a generous ladle of the salsa verde teeming with garlic and onion.

Adobo (USDA prime) steak (HK$38) — heavily marinated and bearing a whiff of smoke — is a strong match for the potent salsa roja, a fiery, chilli-laced blend of tomatoes, garlic and onion. The tacos are rounded out with the crispy fish (HK$28, best with cabbage slaw) and an adobo-marinated squash and chilli number (HK$38) for vegetarians — each delicious, handheld bite buttressed with two thin and supple corn tortillas, topped off with a heaping spoonful of onion and cilantro, and a generous squeeze of lime (“one lime, one taco” is the staff’s directive).

Super Macho’s spread of tacos, toppings, ceviche and beer.

Save for perhaps the habanero salsa, none of the condiments should make your eyes water — but that doesn’t stop us from deliberately plodding our way through the cocktail list, starting off with a swig of the Jarrito Loco (HK$88), a fruity concoction of Tequila Silver, grapefruit and lime with a splash of jalapeño liqueur. By the time we’re on our second drink (Coco Loco’s hibiscus-infused tequila sweetened with coconut cream, HK$98), we’ve been merrily brainwashed by Super Macho’s Mexican holiday vibes; our minds are somewhere off the white-sand coasts of Mexico and we shamelessly order a round of frozen margaritas (the classic on the rocks is certainly more elegant but hey, passionfruit flavours and colourful cocktail umbrellas!).

By the third cocktail, we’re on a trip — joining the rambunctious cheers of the staff, dancing along to the Cumbia tunes and trying not to get knocked off our chairs by the giant tequila piñatas which line the windowsills, our heads starting to spin from the mouth-puckering, Tajín-rimmed agave cocktails. This taco and tequila party might be just what the doctor ordered…

Let the good times roll.

Verdict

Even the nit-pickiest of Hong Kong diners will find little to fault at Super Macho — save for a few small stumbles, Super Macho delivers exactly what it promises: authentic tacos, well-crafted tipples, and above all, “buenos tiempos” (literal translation: good times). At HK$28–$38 per taco, it’s also a smidgen cheaper than the other taquerias in town, which means you can rack them up all while drowning in copious amounts of tequila, donning a sombrero and reminiscing back to spring break. Super Macho hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but the familiar flavours and classic combinations are there and executed with great attention to detail. Is it groundbreaking? Perhaps not, but a quality Mexican restaurant in Hong Kong certainly is.

Opening Hours: Tues–Sun, 6pm to late. 
Recommended Dishes:
 Crispy shrimp taco, fish al pastor, adobo-marinated steak taco, charcoal-grilled Mexican street corn, grilled chicken tostada, Japanese surf clam ceviche.
Price: Dinner ranging from HK$200–$400 per person with drinks.
Noise Level: Rowdy and rambunctious (at least the staff are).
Service: Experts on DIY taco making.

Taqueria Super Macho
Address
33-35 Bridges Street, Central, Hong Kong
Website
Phone
Leslie Yeh
Editor in Chief
Having worked as a lifestyle editor for almost 10 years, Leslie is thrilled to be writing about the topic she loves most: wining and dining. When she's not out pounding the pavement for the latest new restaurant opening or tracking food trends, Leslie can be found at home whipping up a plate of rigatoni vodka and binge-watching Netflix with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand.