After 6 weeks on the road, we are back in Jozi wondering where to next. After some discussion, we hit on the idea to turn October into “Explore the world in Jozi” month. ? Mexico seems a fitting country to start with after our adventures in The Karoo and so we decide that it is time for us to join the Mexican Appreciation Society ?? ?
Perron recently opened its doors on 4th Avenue in Melville. The décor is bold and gorgeous, from the sunburst mirrors to archways of Talavera-style tiles and the façade mural of blooming pink roses on a moody, dark-as-night background. The vibe is laid-back and makes ordering another round seem like a damn fine idea.
We take a seat at the outside bar, I settle for an ITA Imperial Tequila Ale and my companion settles for The gingerbread mule cocktail.?If your thing is tequila Perron will not disappoint.
I’d classify Perron Melville as upscale, cosmopolitan Mexican, for lack of a better term. The menu offers classics with clever names that bear the owners’ unique stamp. Their “Frida-digs-Diego” is a salad with avocado, eggs, mixed beans, cherry tomato, spring onions, rocket, spinach and coriander, topped with the signature house dressing. Then there’s the “peanut pollo mole,” chicken pieces infused with bay leaves and peppercorns in a peanut and chilli mole, garnished with coriander, red onion and sour cream and served with rice. There’s also the “jenny chow” and “Mexican street porn” It’s Perron’s version of corn with an S&N rating: char-grilled corn basted in crema (a Mexican sour cream), mayo and chilli, topped with feta and coriander.
There is nothing on the menu that we don’t want to try so we opted for a number of “los mas pequenos” (small bites). This included the popeye empanadas (spinach, three cheeses and tomato salsa), banana and bean empanadas, bacon quesadillas, sweet potato and corn fritters, and the slow-cooked pork taco. The popeye empanadas were a hit; the banana and bean were not bad, but not quite to my liking. The fritters, quesadillas and pork tacos all were devoured within minutes, they were that good.?
This was all washed down with two levanta muertos – a Bloody Mary prawn cocktail with red onions, tomato, avo and a handful of corn crisps, perfectly spicy and tangy.
I must admit I was rather eager to get to dessert after I spotted churros on the menu shortly after I arrived. Churros have been quite the rage for some time now and for good reason. They were everything I hoped they’d be: hot, slightly crunchy, piled with cinnamon, and accompanied by delectable caramel and chocolate sauces. They had other desserts apple empanadas with lime crème fraiche, and a dark chocolate tart with a crunchy base topped with crème fraiche. However the churros are always a win in my book, Perron has definitely nailed it with the best churros in Jozi.
Perron is a very welcomed addition to the Melville restaurant scene and a perfect introduction to Mexico, with great food and a classic yet elegant atmosphere. There is an awesome tequila menu that we still need to work our way through. It’s definitely the spot to be for lunch or dinner!
NEED TO KNOW
What to eat: The ‘Mexican street porn’, also the Popeye empanadas – cheesy spinach in deep-fried pastry.
What to drink: The gingerbread mule cocktail or tequila, of course.
What to bring: McNab’s Supercharge Tabs to get enough energy so you can enjoy the vibe and to ensure that all the tequila doesn’t leave you with a hangover ?
Check out: The décor is super Instagrammable. Also, you’ve got to love that the bill comes tucked into a novel of your waitress’s choosing.