Dónde está la taqueria? Opening this week in Mid Valley, Panchos claims it serves the city's tastiest tacos, burritos & quesadillas; there are a couple of other contenders in KL for that crown, but fortunately, this isn't entirely an empty boast - Panchos' food harbours lively, full-bodied flavours that linger in the memory, mirroring its founders' confidence.
Panchos does justice to the fundamentals of a taco shop - customers can choose from soft flour tortillas or crispy shell corn versions, filled with one of the following five - smoky chipotle slow-roasted pulled beef, slow-braised sweet-sticky beef brisket, flame-grilled herb chicken, picante chilli chicken or pan-fried fish - plus pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream, cheese & lime. Convincingly textured, with an unmistakable vitality in taste that's a testament to Panchos' kitchen-produced marinades & fillings, which reputedly include pinto beans from Mexico, made-from-scratch salsa & market-fresh tomatoes, cilantro & onions.
Panchos' burritos are possibly even more enjoyable; have 'em rolled in a warm, whole-wheat tortilla or in a cardboard 'bowl' without the tortilla; either is hearty enough for a filling meal at RM16.90. While Mexican food has its admirers in KL, it still boasts more of a cult following than true mass appeal; Panchos' accessibility - extending to its easy-to-like flavours, its fair prices & convenient venue near the GSC multiplex's ticketing counter - could play a part in promoting a Mexican food wave.
Nachos (RM18.90) & quesadillas (RM14.90) are available too, though these may not stand out as much as the tacos & the burritos. Order a beef filling if you like prefer robust dynamics & heftier dimensions, & add extra guacamole (the rendition here is juicy rather than creamy, with a raw zing & rich zest). Trivia: Panchos is founded by KL-based couple Thomas & Jennifer, who'll be familiar to folks who've patronised their previous project, a private kitchen called Jumak Dining. Thomas is Korean, but his gastronomic influences are genuinely global, having spent years continent-hopping through Mexico, the UK & Australia.
One more tip: Don't overlook the sauce counter, not noticeably tucked beside the slushie machine, where customers can choose hot seasonings & sliced jalapeno peppers to spice up their meal. The extra heat is worthwhile & can be enjoyably washed down with a bottle of Jarritos - refreshing Mexican soft drinks in fruit flavours like grapefruit, pineapple or tamarind.
Panchos Mexican Taqueria
Level 3 Mezzanine, Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur. Same floor as Madame Waffle
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