When we first approached Loco Inc. I remembered immediately what used to be here. Bistro Paris. Not that I remember much of that evening due to all of the free-flowing booze at our table. Must have been a good night! The Lower North Shore lot either weren’t all that fussed on French food or the hidden location had something to do with their departure. Here’s hoping the new kid on the corner has a longer history.
So what dragged me across the bridge this time? Another OurDeal voucher offering a seafood feast for two including a tapas plate, large mud crab, choice of side and a bottle of vino. You pay $59 and get $151 worth of goods. I reckon that’s worthy of schlepping from congested King Street to the even more congested Military Road, don’t you?
The Loco Inc. fitout is a real feast for the eyes. You’ve got nanna’s dining table surrounded by English pub chairs, an 1870’s chaise lounge, African tables here and there, handmade glass objects, vibrant paintings everywhere you look, even nudie pics on a cushion and in the mens bathroom … gosh, it’s a lot to take in.
The overall menu is almost as eclectic as the décor with the likes of chilli & lemongrass ravioli in bonito stock running alongside fish & chips and duck liver parfait. The asian tapas plate is a collection of pretty decent sui mai dumplings, spring rolls, coconut prawns, huge rock oysters and some seaweed salad. I think the wow factor came from the size of the glass platter they’re arranged on and I’m not quite sure whether this was the $36 version from the menu or a down-sized deal voucher offering. What did wow me was the enormous mud crab cooked salt & pepper style with a delicious lime dressing. Flown in from Cairns, this golden baby was nothing short of spectacular and packed with sweet tender flesh. Choice of sides are fries, veg, mash or salad. We opt for the salad and it’s a very generous fig & walnut salad (normally $18), packed with fig. You gotta love that. The Marlborough sauv blanc went down a treat as well and service is as cheerful as the coloured surroundings. Maybe a restaurant hidden away like this isn’t so bad after all, given there’s a virtual freeway of enraged drivers so near yet so far.