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  • ellenday2002

Mercato Metropolitano

My mum had been telling me for while to check out Mercato Metropolitano and, when I finally did, I wasn’t disappointed. I felt like a kid in a candy shop, looking out across the hall at the multitude of mouth-watering food options. From Mexican tacos to Italian sourdough pizzas and German mixed grills, the possibilities were endless. Let me tell you, I explored a fair few of these options.

I started off at the Mexican stall where I ordered the trio of tacos. I went for the chicken, pork and beef varieties which all came with their own different accompaniments and were served on a warm, soft corn tortilla. The different meats were phenomenal, from the smokiness of the beef to the perfect spiciness of the chicken, but what really shone for me were the accompaniments. The pinto beans were smooth, creamy and smoky. I could’ve eaten a whole bowl of them! The habanera sauce had the perfect level of spice and the sharp taste from the vinegar in the sauce matched so well with the smokiness of the beef. I washed the tacos down with a Jarrito- a Mexican soft drink that comes in a variety of flavours like mandarin and pineapple. If you haven’t tried one before I highly recommend you do- they have a sweet, almost sherbety taste that is pretty addictive. They are available to get at most Mexican restaurants and from Mexican grocers. If you do end up buying one, I would suggest getting the guava flavour. I tried this one for the first time at Mercato and I now absolutely adore it.

I shared my trio of tacos with a friend and so she shared her trio of bao buns with me. I haven’t actually had many bao buns before and these ones have now set the bar extremely high. The bao buns in themselves were incredibly soft and fluffy and almost melted in the mouth. The fillings provided that burst of flavour with my favourite being the duck. The hoisin sauce it was in was a perfect balance between sweet and sour and complimented the shredded duck so well.

Now onto mains. After the success of sharing starters which allowed us to try a couple of dishes at one time , my friend and I decided that also sharing mains was the way to go. After another stroll around the hall we decided on pasta with a side of topped fries. The pasta was from a stall led by a really sweet Italian guy (I’ll be honest, this opinion is mainly based on the fact he called me ‘bella’). There was a large selection of fresh pasta displayed for all to see and an array of options of sauces and toppings. I’m a sucker for good burrata and so we went for the tomato and basil tagliatelle with burrata and, of course, a load of parmesan. I’ve had a lot of pasta in my lifetime and this was up there with one of the best. The key to a good pasta dish? The cooking of the pasta itself and this pasta was perfectly al dente. We went to an American burger stall for our fries and decided on the bacon and cheese toppings. The fries were thin and crispy while still having that slight fluffiness and the creamy cheese sauce poured on top was to die for.

After finishing the pasta and loaded fries, both my friend and I claimed how full we both were, how we were never eating again, the classics you say after consuming a large amount of food. But did we then go get dessert 30 mins later? Of course we did! We decided on the Italian gelato stall and I went for two scoops- one peach sorbet and one raspberry sorbet. I’m not usually a massive sorbet fan. I normally prefer to go all out when ordering gelato with mint choc chip, Stracciatella or an extravagant flavour like Ferrero Rocher. But after eating a lot of food that evening, the sorbet was a refreshing end to my eating experience.

I went home that evening feeling full and, most importantly, content. It was amazing to be able to try all the different cuisines in the same place and I fell in love with Mercato. So much so, I returned just a few days later to experience it again with another friend and it was just as enjoyable as the first time.

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