Opened by the team behind renowned speakeasy Employees Only, Papi’s Tacos on Seah Street is an intimate taqueria that bears more similarities to a vintage taco truck than a restaurant.
Owners Josh and Sarissa Schwartz are both foodies with a passion for Mexican food and they wanted to create the sort of place that they’d want to hang out in themselves. The food truck feel is spot-on. The interior is adorned with Mexican touches, incorporating rustic eye-catching decor, punchy tiles and cheeky hand painted signage, and there’s an upbeat playlist of catchy Spanish tunes played throughout the day.
There are only 16 seats available at this eatery and they do not take reservations, so come early during lunch or dinner to secure a spot at the bar counter, where you’ll get to see chef-partner Mauricio Espinoza at work in the open show kitchen. Hailing from Tlaxcala, a small state in Central Mexico, chef Espinoza believes in making everything from scratch, using the freshest ingredients he can get—his commitment to quality is the reason for the great tasting food here.
The menu features all the usual staples—tacos, quesadillas, burritos and nachos. Try the Tostadas de Pollo ($12), comprising pulled chicken with chipotle sauce, refried beans, pico de gallo, queso fresco and sour cream encased within crispy homemade corn tortillas. Other highlights include the Tacos de Asada (from $13), featuring marinated steak on housemade corn tortillas, and the Burrito de Carnitas ($13) with slow-braised pork and Mexican rice.
Wash it all down with a margarita (from $15)—there are a few flavours on offer including strawberry, spicy mango and pineapple.
39 Seah Street. Tel: 6258 0701