Mexican street food at its finest

Published On: February 7, 2020 12:26 PM NPT By: Anweiti Upadhyay

It hasn’t been long since Street Taco opened its doors at New Baneshwor, just a few buildings down the street from the swanky new Eyeplex Mall. But many people have already been to the restaurant and its popularity is slowly soaring by word of mouth.

Although the three co-founders of Street Taco, Gyanendra Rai, Sailesh Raj Pant and Swasti Pandit Chhetri, had been talking about launching their own food hub for over a year, they finally started developing this idea further late last year. 

The eatery launched on December last year—exactly a year after Rai came back to Nepal (in 2018) after completing his undergraduate studies in the US. 

“We initially wanted to launch Street Taco in November but because some of the operations logistics took longer than expected to iron out we had to move the date back by a month,” says Rai adding that because the delayed launch date (December 7 to be exact) is significant to him, he doesn’t mind that the eatery had its opening later than planned.

Currently, Rai is handling most of the operations at the eatery himself—with two cooks helping him at the kitchen. Both Pant and Chhetri are still in the US but Rai claims they help him out however they can when he comes across a problem. He reveals that because he used to work part time at a restaurant while he was studying in the US, he is familiar with the workings of an eatery and thus he doesn’t encounter that many problems too often.

Although Rai mentions that the eatery has plans of expanding their menu in the future, currently—as its name suggests—Street Taco only serves a handful of Mexican (inspired) street food items. Rai says that after trying out Mexican food at a bunch of restaurants around Kathmandu, he decided to start out by serving Mexican street food. He feels even though most restaurants do a good job preparing Mexican cuisine, they charge a lot for it. 

“And that shouldn’t be the case because essentially what they are serving is street food,” argues Rai adding that everything at Street Taco is reasonably priced. And, in fact, the highest priced item in their menu is the Chicken Quesadilla which comes at a cost of Rs 170.

Rai, along with his team, has tried his best to recreate Mexican cuisine but because many of the ingredients used in authentic Mexican food isn’t available in Nepal, they do swap a few things which results in the food tasting a bit different. Rai also states that importing ingredients isn’t an option for them since that would cost a lot which would work against their motive to remain cost effective.

In the future, Rai wants to open more outlets of Street Taco around Kathmandu. But because there is a while till that happens, he is only focusing on developing the eatery more right now. He says that Street Taco will have a set menu in about three to four months and their décor, which already looks pretty interesting with green and orange wall art and a variety of fun bulbs and lamps, will also be complete in the next few weeks.

Chicken Quesadilla, Price: Rs 170
The Chicken Quesadilla is apparently the most popular item at Street Taco and I can definitely see why. The quesadilla is made from grilled chicken and cheese filled into soft tortilla pieces and I was taken by its taste at first bite. The savory tomato dip they serve alongside was a wonderful addition for me because I want a little flavor on my food but you can surely enjoy the quesadilla on its own too. If you were to only have one item at Street Taco, I would highly recommend you try their quesadillas.

Chicken Tacos, Price: Rs 140
According to Rai, the tacos served at Street Taco are actually inspired by Costa Rican tacos which is made with more ingredients and is richer in flavor than typical Mexican tacos. It’s also soft tacos made with wheat flour tortillas. I personally prefer soft tacos and their taco fillings was fresh, just the right bit of sour, and flavorful. At Street Taco, they also have Egg Sausage, Buff and Tofu tacos so you can take your pick. 

Cheese Nachos, Price: Rs 140
Cheese Nachos hadn’t been listed on Street Taco’s official menu when I visited the eatery but Rai revealed that he was planning on adding this to the menu soon. It’s a great item to snack on and paired with the toppings of freshly marinated vegetables and their in-house savory tomato dip, the nachos tastes pretty good. It’s pretty light though so I would suggest you only order it as a side dish because it’ll definitely not fill you up on its own. Street Taco also serve Plain, Buff and Chicken nachos.

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