Soy sauce, sesame oil and tamarind margaritas

We had a leisurely breakfast with the entire family and left Alamos around 11 and headed back to Hermosillo. The rain and clouds were gone and the sun beat down on us for the entire four-hour drive through the driest looking deserts I’ve ever seen.

It was agreed that we’d all meet at another of Luis’ favourite restaurants, El Farallon, on the north side of Hermosillo for a late lunch. We all arrived around 3.30pm, famished and hot, and quickly sat and ordered drinks. I decided to try a tamarind margarita since the one I’d had a few nights ago was so good. This one was even better – much less sugar so the sour tamarind flavour really stood out. I had two as we ate tortilla chips with a lovely roasted salsa that was much darker in colour than usual and was packed with chili seeds.

Tamarind margarita. Amazing.

Salsa, lime and chips

The first dish to arrive was the inspiration for a dish we made a few weeks ago for the magazine – crispy baby calamari with buttered corn tortillas. The calamari was chopped up into small pieces, coated in batter and deep-fried with spring onions. My first thought was that it tasted very much like a Chinese dish – Luis and I stared at each trying to identify the different flavours. It seems the recipe has changed since he was last there and they’ve started adding both soya sauce and sesame oil – the latter being especially apparent. The calamari was very crispy, almost to the point of being overdone, but underneath the batter is was still very tender.

Crispy calamari with spring onions

Buttered corn tortilla

Close up of calamari

We ordered a couple of seafood platters to share as well as plate of assorted quesadillas -a mix of shredded crab, prawn and smoked marlin. The platters were huge and included around six different items. My favourite was the tempura battered prawns that had a really unusual flavour- when we asked what it was we were told it was Sriracha sauce, which was a bit of a surprise! There was also shrimp cooked with sweet chilli skin (in the metal bowl), battered pomfret, fried fish fillet, fried rice with shrimps and vegetables, which had been cooked with chicken stock and very generous amounts of butter. Overall there was a lot of Asian influence in this food, I would almost call it fusion, but Luis would probably kill me.

Seafood platter. We had two of these.

Assorted seafood quesadillas

The nieces and nephew also ordered some sushi, which is apparently the newest and most popular food in Mexico at the moment. There’s no raw fish involved though, and a lot of alternatives are used such as chicken instead of fish, and adding sauces like chipotle to the rolls.

Mexican style sushi with chipotle sauce and mango

Tempura battered prawns

Fried fish fillet

The wine cart in the restaurant

El Farallon

www.restaurantelfarallon.com

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