Steamed parcels of corn dough filled with meat and vegetables, wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves during the cooking process, and topped with salsa, tamales are a Mexican street food staple. They're also the main dish on the menu at The Midnight Special's latest pop-up, with the regional American cuisine-focused Lulu's stopping by for a ten-evening takeover.
Serving up flavoursome fare made with ingredients sourced from local and independent producers, Lulu's is driven by chef and owner Monica Luppi. She calls her tamales 'California-style', explaining that they draw upon her childhood in San Francisco, as well as time spent road-tripping along the US West Coast. The results of those American travels feed into her culinary venture, which heads to Newtown from October 4 to 15 to feed hungry stomachs.
On the menu during Lulu's stay at The Midnight Special, which runs from Wednesday to Sunday nights: tamales stuffed with 12-hour chipotle pork shoulder or a slow-roasted sweet potato and handcrafted Oaxaca cheese combination, and patacones made from twice-fried plantains (or cooking bananas). Daily specials include jalapeño hush puppies, potato and smoked cheese bombs, and sandwiches of the chicken katsu (topped with fresh shaved pineapple and smoked chilli mayonnaise), grilled mortadella (aka 'The Liz Lemon') and open-faced sausage variety.
A quarter of the proceeds from Lulu's pop-up will be donated to OzHarvest.
Images: Tajna Bruckner and Nash Ferguson.