Taste test: ‘Day of the Dead’ Mexican food at Lucha Loco
I tried everything from elotes to chimichanga.
I’ve always been curious about Mexican food and their ghoulish festival, Day of the Dead. Also known as Día de Muertos in Spanish, it is traditionally celebrated on Nov 22 in Mexico to remember loved ones who have passed.
So when the two converged at Mexican restaurant Lucha Loco’s month-long celebration, I knew I had to experience it for myself.
From now to Nov 27, Lucha Loco will be decked out in papel picado (paper banners) and a shrine honoring Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
I perused their menu and set out to try their signature dishes: ceviche, elotes, chimichanga, quesadilla, tacos, frijoles, and a frozen margarita, to give an honest review.
Worth trying: Frozen margarita and frijoles
With a spicy kick, Lucha Loco’s pineapple and calamansi frozen margarita was everything I wanted and more, perfect for a summer day.
This pick-me-up drink that costs $16 was refreshing. The sweetness of the fruit balances the chilli powder and salt on the glass’ rim. The tequila was strong enough, which put me in a great mood.
I regretted not ordering a whole jug ($55) of it. It was that good.
The perfect companion to this zesty drink was the braised frijoles ($6), which are black beans topped with cottage cheese and mixed into a salsa called pico de gallo.
Their version of frijoles was addictively tangy with an umami flavour that made me crave more, especially when paired with corn nachos. This was every vegan’s dream snack.
These two were truly a match made in heaven.
Didn‘t impress but still appetising: Elotes, quesadilla, chimichanga, and ceviche
Fair warning to those on a date: elotes will get stuck in your teeth.
Lucha Loco is one of the few restaurants in Singapore that serves elotes ($7), which is a surprisingly simple recipe — grilled corn slathered with chipotle mayonnaise and topped with chilli powder and cotija cheese.
Don’t get me wrong, it was flavoursome, but it lacked the hot and spicy burn I was expecting.
Their beef quesadilla ($16) is a better choice than the elotes if you want something filling, with flaky wheat flour tortillas generously stuffed with pulled beef, onion jam, ranchero salsa, and cheese.
It was almost perfect, but the beef kind of tastes like rendang but without the spice. At this point I was surprised at how unspicy Lucha Loco’s Mexican fare was.
When the chicken chimichanga ($24) was brought to our table, I finally realised I had over ordered. This dish was massive — the fried tortilla was bursting at the seams with chipotle chicken, set on a bed of Monterey jack and sweet potato.
While I loved the creaminess of the sauce and the sharpness of the raw onions, the chicken tasted too much like the frijoles but not as good. I got tired of the mishmash of mushy textures after a few bites.
The seafood ceviche ($17) was also a bit of a letdown as the super limy sauce overpowered the fresh barramundi and prawns. It was just way too zesty, masking all the other flavors in the dish.
Can skip: Fish tacos
I expected their $11 baja fish taco to be filled with crispy barramundi, but instead, it was fishy and was somewhat undercooked and had too much ketchup.
Without any hint of chilli mango salsa, it was truly underwhelming and was the only dish that was bland. If you do want to try their taco, choose the chorizo and beef brisket instead.
Ultimately, I had a phenomenal time at Lucha Loco — there were gems in their menu, and it felt like I was transported to a fancy Day of the Dead garden party in downtown Mexico City.
So if you do visit, don’t forget to dress in a summery way, and bring some toothpicks for the elotes.