Socialito is actually 2 restaurants in 1 -- an casual counter-top taqueria on the street-front, and a more fancy formal dining area indoors -- with different menus.
We went for the casual tacos on the store front. I ordered the duck carnitas taco ($75) while the SO ordered the vegetarian corn tamales ($95). We also split a horchata (forgot the exact price, about $50) and a side of tortilla chips with guacamole and pico de gallo ($75). Now, these prices are on the pricey side for casual/Mexican fare, but since it was LKF/Soho area, it was not unexpected.
Verdict on the venue:
1. A really well-designed taqueria front that feels authentic, and the restaurant inside is well-done as well. What you would expect for the group behind Lily & Bloom.
2. The staff are friendly.
Verdict on the food and drink:
1. Duck taco ($75) -- two very small tacos in a paper container. The meat was generously portioned and the texture was good (not too dry, not too wet). However, the duck meat was way oversalted (even for someone who's used to salty food!) and lacked balance. It could have done with more vegetables or herbs (cilantro, tomato? something else?) to balance out the heavy saltiness of the meat. The size was about the same as the tacos at Mr Taco Truck (but the price there is $34 for two tacos).
2. Corn tamales ($95) -- again, two small tamales that came in what appeared to be banana leaf, and not corn husk. The banana leaf gave a very bitter flavor to the tamale. The tamale was a bit too wet with the sauce and had not flavor, despite all the crema, queso fresco and chili on top. The texture was a bit weird, like lumpy curdled tofu. The tamale should be light and fluffy, like good polenta. For the price for a vegetarian dish, it was not acceptable.
3. Horchata (about $50) -- OK, but it tasted like the restaurant used UHT milk or evaporated milk instead of fresh milk. For that price, they should be using fresh milk. Not much cinnamon flavor and the ice cubes are very big.
4. Chips with guacamole and pico de gallo ($75) -- OK. The tortilla chips were the best part of our meal. The Pico de gallo was fresh and good. The guacamole was average as the avocado wasn't fully ripe but overall OK, because I know it's hard to get good avocado in Hong Kong. However, if you've been to Mexican restaurants in the US, you know that the tortilla chips are usually served free. It's frankly a bit cheeky to charge almost US$10 for it.
Our meal cost just under HK$300 for two people (without tips or service charge). Due to the bad taste and small portion of the food, this seemed poor value. We can eat much better in Central at this price level.
Based on our experience with the "cheaper" menu of Socialito, we would not return to try the more expensive sit-down menu for the indoor restaurant.
However, we may give the place another try for only drinks, as the bar area inside is very nice and the staff is friendly. We would be very hesitant to order food. Drinks should be OK.
Supplementary Information:There is no 10% service charge, but tipping is encouraged.
Recommended Dish(es): none
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Jan 02, 2013
Spending per head: Approximately HKD150(Dinner)
Value for Money1
Keep it up!