We have a lot to thank Mexico for: tequila, tacos, and festive music, for starters. And Mexico's annual holiday Cinco de Mayo is as good an excuse as any to celebrate the country's colourful culture. SoCal, Neutral Bay's southern-Californian eatery, agrees and has scheduled a series of events showcasing Mexican booze and bites. Created in partnership with Olmeca ALTOS tequila, the inaugural Taco and Tequila Fiesta will see SoCal host seven days of Mexican-themed festivity. As well as the events, a special Mexican sundae, created by renowned pastry chef Andy Bowdy (and owner of Enmore's Saga), will be available all month.
It's no surprise that the all-you-can-eat taco night on Tuesday, May 8, booked out pretty quickly. SoCal will accept walk-ins on the night, but if you're all about those guarantees, here are some of the other highlights to fill your calendar with.
CINCO DE MAYO PARTY
The week-long party kicks off on the Mexican holiday. The day traditionally commemorates the historic victory of the Mexican army over the French army in Pueblo, Mexico on May 5, 1862. In modern times, all around the world, the day marks an opportunity to celebrate Mexican culture. So, from midday, SoCal will be decked out in cacti and sombreros, slinging margaritas and playing Mexican-themed live music well into the night. Score a free flower crown with your margarita between 12pm–2.30pm or don a sombrero and celebrate all things Mexico.
Cinco de Mayo will kick off at midday on Saturday, May 5.
MY TACO RULES! CHAMPIONSHIP
Eating taco after taco on any other day could be considered gluttony (not that it stops us). But on Monday, May 7, it's all in the name of research. The SoCal terrace will be transformed into a MasterChef-style kitchen where head chefs and bartenders from Applejack Hospitality venues — The Botanist, Endeavour Tap Rooms, The Butler and, of course, SoCal — will battle it out for taco and tequila cocktail superiority. A team of judges, including pastry whiz Andy Bowdy and Olmeca ALTOS brand ambassador Rachel Macdonald, will crown the winner, but there will also be complimentary tacos and tequila cocktails distributed for the crowd to select the 'Audience Choice' Award.
My Taco Rules! Championship will kick off at 5pm on Monday, May 7.
CHARITY LIVE ART BATTLE
On Wednesday, SoCal will be filled with blank canvases that four local street artists will transform into colourful artworks. At the end of the night, the artworks be uploaded to the SoCal website and silent auction will take place — with the winners announced on Tuesday, May 15. The artist with the highest-selling artwork will then be commissioned by Olmeca ALTOS to create a mural on SoCal's back wall. Not only will you get your dinner with a side of colourful entertainment, but all proceeds from the artwork will be donated to the artist's charity of choice: win, win.
Charity Live Art Battle will run from 6pm–9pm on Wednesday, May 9.
TACO & TEQUILA DEGUSTATION
The week of festivities wraps up with a taco degustation menu. Grab an amigo and feast on five courses of tequila-paired culinary delights. Dinner will start with a refreshing tuna and kingfish ceviche-topped taco paired with a jalapeño-spiked tequila cocktail, move on to tacos topped with Moreton Bay bug and grilled tofu and will end with buñuelos — a dessert of crisp tortillas, dulce de leche, agave praline and ice cream — and a caffeinated cocktail with Kahlua and vanilla-infused tequila.
Taco and Tequila Degustation will be held on Friday, May 11. $65 per person with a minimum of two people per booking.
For the full list of events happening during SoCal's Taco and Tequila Fiesta, head to the website.