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The Ambitious New Ricos Tacos Is Opening Across Two Levels of The Norfolk Hotel This Month

Ricos Tacos Redfern will feature a "fun, experimental" food menu, Maybe Sammy cocktails and Sunday barbecues out in the courtyard.
By Ben Hansen
September 12, 2023
By Ben Hansen
September 12, 2023

Ricos Tacos is coming to Redfern. Owner Toby Wilson's storied career has seen him whipping up tasty morsels at The George, Gelato Messina, Grifter Brewery, a sleepy corner of Chippendale and even the world porridge-making championship. Now, his most ambitious project to date will swing open its doors before September is out.

After leaving Chippendale earlier in 2023, Ricos Tacos will reemerge as a two-story restaurant and bar at The Norfolk Hotel on Saturday, September 23. The huge 200-person taqueria is opening with help from the hospitality group behind The Strand HotelThe Lady HampshireOxford House and Maybe Sammy — and will feature two distinct areas: an expanded version of the original Ricos on the bottom level, and a late-night disco den and sports bar called Club Ricos up above.

"We never intended to have a 20-seater venue," Wilson told Concrete Playground when the Chippendale outpost closed down. "Ricos was always meant to be something a bit bigger than that."

Down in the main restaurant, quirky food-based characters and Mike Delaney murals will litter the bright yellow walls, and neon lights will surround the rotating al pastor. Looking to pair your lunch with a dose of vitamin D? There's a sunlit beer garden filled with plants and boasting a charcoal barbecue for Sunday sessions.

At the heart of the menu will, of course, be tacos — with the hero dish topped with the likes of barbacoa, al pastor, fish or chicken with almond coffee mole. You can also expect to discover a taco of the week each time you head in, giving Wilson the opportunity to flex his creative muscles.

Elsewhere on the menu, there are hamburgers, half a roast chicken with house-made hot sauce, Ricos' famous hash browns, white fish tostadas, zucchini flower quesadillas and ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

Maybe Sammy's El Primo Sanchez has delivered on the cocktails with a lemongrass paloma and a pavlova colada, which can be paired with the flavour-packed eats alongside beers from Young Henrys, Grifter and Tecate.

Up in Club Ricos you'll find red vinyl seating, 60s-inspired paraphernalia and DJs spinning tunes until late. If you find yourself hungry after many trips to the dance floor, there will be an upstairs snack menu dedicated to late-night feeds.

"Between design, food, drinks and long-time friends, we've built Ricos Tacos with some of the original puzzle pieces of The Norfolk while keeping the Ricos customer in mind," says Wilson.

"It's the blueprint of The Norflok with a Ricos overhaul. I envisioned late nights upstairs, sunny barbecues and fun, experimental food throughout the build process, and the opening weekend will be the first of many momentous days and nights."

To celebrate the opening, Ricos Tacos Redfern is throwing a weekend-long party across Saturday, September 23–Sunday, September 24 with DJs on the decks and an asada barbecue on the Sunday.

Ricos Tacos will open in The Norfolk Hotel at 305 Cleveland Street, Redfern on Saturday, September 23. It'll be open 12–10pm Wednesday–Thursday, 12pm-12am Friday –Saturday and 12–10pm Sunday.

Images: Alana Dimou.

Published on September 12, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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