20 February 2023
Mahi Eats is back for 2023 reviewing Ragtag - the new "unauthentic" Mexican joint in Westmere.
Ragtag, after having many pop-ups for tacos over the last few years, has finally set up shop in Westmere with the first restaurant location. Housed in an intimate restaurant with green couches, white walls and low hanging lamps, it feels snug and welcoming.
The restaurant markets itself as 100% “not authentic” because despite the fact that the food is all inspired by the flavours of Latin America (I’m talking tacos and tostadas…), it is very inspired by New Zealand seasonal produce, and a plethora of different flavours from around the world. The menu changes frequently based on the availability of produce and season.
The girls and I all had different overseas travel destinations over the summer, with one in India, one in Japan, one in Australia and myself in Mexico. We knew that for our first lunch together to ring in 2023, it had to start with a bang!
We ordered a round of drinks, with the girls getting Aperol Spritzes. I had to do a Chilli Margarita (which was my mascot drink throughout Mexico). This was a 10/10 chilli margarita, and perfect for a boozy brunch.
To start, we ordered the Prawn Tostada ($14) and the raw fish tostada with ginger and orange ($21). I am a sucker for tostadas; something about the way the tostada crunches is just so sexy. The prawn was in a tomato vinaigrette, which made it zesty and full of citrus. This was a great entree and I definitely could have had around 3 of these each. The raw fish tostada was in a ginger flavoured sauce, and it felt like a delicious ceviche in a peppery, sweet and slightly spiced aroma.
Next, we ordered the Sweetcorn Quesadilla with sage ($20); Despite being a vege dish and just a quesadilla, this tasted phenomenal. We were scraping the plate with this, and the corn added such a nice texture and fresh, starchy, slightly sweet taste perfectly combined with the very cheesy flavour of the quesadilla.
We received a complimentary side of corn tortillas and duck fat tortillas with our meals. This was so great as it meant we could fill it with any of the salads and mains we received. The duck fat tortillas were far superior to the basic corn tortillas.
The Tomato salad with peach and chilli butter ($22) was one of the most elevated tomato salads that I have ever had. The chilli butter sauce was like crack. We were addicted and dipping remnants of all of the tortillas into the sauce.
We ordered the Market Fish ($32). This came with pipirrana salsa. A pipirrana salsa is a fresh, Spanish tomato salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and bell peppers. It was bursting with fresh, citrus flavours but the fish itself was in szechuan sauce, giving it a kick of spice. I would wholeheartedly recommend ordering this.
Our last dish was the Charcoal Aubergine in a bed of yoghurt with harissa seasoning ($20). The charcoal aubergine was tasty, after having some charcoal aubergines of late that felt far too charred, this was perfectly cooked.
Now, for the PQQ:
For Price, I give this place a 7.5. In isolation, the dishes are priced well, but in the nature of tapas this definitely stacks up. In saying that however, $32 for a market fish in this economy is a steal.
For Quantity, I give this a 7.5. Things like the prawn tostadas really need to be ordered per person, which goes in hand with the comments regarding price. Dishes like the market fish however are very well priced and served (easily feeding 4 people from a sharing perspective).
For Quality, I give this an 8.5. Despite being “inauthentic” there are definitely dishes that are very Andalusian and Latin inspired, which were delicious. We couldn’t get enough of what we had ordered, and nothing was mediocre; everything far exceeded our expectations.
Coming to a 7.83 on the PQQ scale, I couldn’t rave about Ragtag more… it's delicious, fun and a vibey new spot.