A mexican style lunch at The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby on Division Street is perhaps known best as a city centre spot for drinks and cocktails. That’s all well and good, for this post though I want to focus on their food and Shy Boy Cantina.
Recently, I was invited to try their newly launched menu which has a 50/50 split on meat and vegan dishes.
Kicking back on a Sunday afternoon and catching up with friends with good food is my idea of the perfect weekend. On this particular day, there was a chilled out vibe with a few diners in, all was quiet and calm in the Gatsby. My friend and I took our menus and got down to some serious reading. We decided to get a mix from the meat and vegan choices to maximise the tasting. I could have probably ordered anything from the menu and enjoyed it, if I am honest, but then I am greedy.
After some deliberation we made our choices of tacos and sides, plus my friend’s gluten free requests were catered for without any problem. As the food arrived our conversation was soon filled with genuine excitement as the attractively presented dishes were placed on the table. I was looking forward to tasting the fillings to gauge the eclectic influences from Mexican, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
As we got stuck in there were plenty of encouraging ‘mmm’ sounds and ‘that’s delicious’. Each dish had something interesting about it whether that was the leek crisps or the beetroot falafels – we couldn’t pick a favourite. The habanero cod cheeks with lemon braised fennel were flavours that really worked well together, The combo of surf n turf with sirloin steak, crayfish and chimichurri was a winner. After trying the beetroot falafels with grated carrot and courgette hummus, I want to try these out at home – they were beautifully vibrant. All the spicing and chilli heat was pitched right to add more flavour, nothing was overpoweringly hot.
For our sides we enjoyed Mediterranean flavours with sweet cooked tomato and olive crumb together with crisp squash and sweet potato fritters. The perfect comfort food was the Katsu curry fries, I could eat just this for dinner! Think pimped up curry sauce and chips topped with black and white sesame seeds and slices of spring onion.
Throughout the meal we tried our best to work out the ingredients used, the techniques and how the dishes had been put together. This is my kind of cooking where interesting and innovative ideas are used, with layering of flavours and textures to give balance. Our most talked about taco was the BBQ oyster mushrooms with pickled blueberries, a bit wacky but a flavour explosion. First you got a little salty tang and then the sweet pop of the berry, fabulous. Who needs meat?
Everything was on point with the food, prices are good value and you can enjoy deals of 2 tacos and 1 side for £7 Monday to Friday 12-4 and Sunday 12-9. The menu offers exciting options whether you are a meat eater or not. We chatted to one of the chefs afterwards about the process to make the pickled blueberries, it was clear there is passion and creativity behind the menu. This is infectious and has inspired me to want to make more tacos at home and come back again to the Shy Boy Cantina.
The Great Gatsby
73-75 Division Street,
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