Gluttonous Adventures in Jindabyne at Cocina Mexican Restaurant.
There’s always a story when it comes to people and places and food and that’s what we love most about our gluttonous adventures. The story of Cocina goes back a long, long way. It begins with Con the owner of the restaurant, growing up with his Greek family, in Jindabyne. Con’s family owned the local Greek family café which sat within the same walls as Cocina. Con’s whole childhood was spent in and out of that café while his parents worked long hard hours to bring Greek hospitality and warmth to the Snowy Mountains. Eventually the café was sold and the next owners turned it into a Chinese restaurant for the next 27 years. Con became a ski instructor and spent many years teaching skiing overseas and in Jindabyne. One day he noticed the restaurant was up for sale. He seized the opportunity to get the shop back into his family and bought it. After much thought Con decided to turn the café into a Mexican restaurant.
My instant question was: Why not Greek?, to which Con replied that he wanted something different and with less food preparation so that the focus could be on connecting with the people who dined at his restaurant. He also had visited Mexico and loved the place, the food and the culture.
Cocina was born and Con found himself immersed in the life that he knew only too well from a childhood growing up in a food business.
What a lovely story.
We began our adventure at Cocina with cocktails. Who can go past margaritas at a Mexican restaurant? Not us, that’s for sure and certain. Pete’s a big cocktails fan but he is extremely partial to anything spicy so his ears pricked up when the manager mentioned a jalapeno margarita. He loved it. And it was hot and full of cucumber and jalapeno chunks! I indulged in the more traditional margarita. It was served in a jar with salted lip and wedge of lemon. Yum! Delicious and refreshing.
After our drinks we ordered some starters. The Chilli Lime Squid was delicious. The squid was the softest, most melt-in-the-mouth squid we’d ever tried. I loved that there wasn’t much done to the squid. It was simple, whole food with just a mayo dressing.
We also tried the Duck and Chorizo tacos with pineapple and mint salsa. Once again, yummy, simple foods yet full of fresh summery flavours. The pineapple gave these tacos it a tropical taste but the gentle spice and chorizo gave it a more traditional Mexican flavour. The combination was so tasty.
For our main meals we shared two different dishes. One was the Yucatan Chicken Fajita which was served with guacamole, salsa, spinach, onion,pico de gallo, capsicum and sour cream. The other dish was the Chimichurri Beef Salad. The beef was spiced with lovely Mexican flavours and then served with a salad of sweet potato, pepitas, pickled cabbage, salad leaves and the gorgeous Chimchurri dressing.
We scoffed these meals down like it was our last meal on earth. Everything tasted so fresh and light yet full to the brim of Mexican flavour.
But oh my goodness, the piece de resistance was this divine pile of sweetness on a plate!
Churros with Chilli Chocolate sauce. Words can not describe the pleasure we both had whilst eating these delectable morsels. They were warm and crunchy on the outside but inside was this soft, fluffy sweet cloud thing happening. We smothered each bite with the chilli chocolate sauce and I may or may not have got my finger in that little chocolate dish when all was said and done, and made sure there was not one drop remaining.
So, so, so, sooooo gooooood!
The loveliness of Cocina is in the entire experience. It’s not just about the beautiful and flavoursome and so, so yummy food. It’s also the atmosphere, the ambience of the place. This is what makes Cocina the ultimate gluttonous adventure. The staff are warm and friendly and ever so accommodating and attentive even though the place was a hive of activity. The music was folky and relaxing and just what we like to listen to. There were warm woolen blankets piled up in baskets outside for people who needed a little bit of extra warmth.
You can read more of our Gluttonous Adventures in the beautiful Jindabyne and surrounding Snowy Mountains here, and here and here and here. It’s been fun sharing these with you over the past couple of weeks and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our little road trips to the high country. Please let us know if you get to venture to any of these precious little gems. You can check Cocina out here and here on Facebook.
We’d love to hear about your gluttonous adventures too.
Happy weekend and happy Spring! (I’m secretly grieving the loss of Winter)
Kim & Pete xx