Bangin' South American fare

This venue is closed

Sorry to disappoint you, headline pedants, but El Capo is South American with some Mexican flavours. “There’s a tendency to label things Mexican as it’s easy to understand. But El Capo is about Latin flavours,” says chef Omar Andrade. Whichever way you want to look at it El Capo, which means ‘the boss of bosses’ is a whole lot of fun.

A local artist was commissioned to decorate the walls with bling, guns and girls, but most disturbing is the drawing of the bikini babe with a rooster for a head holding a large machete with the words los nuevos gallos! scrawled just above it. (It means ‘the new roosters’.)

It’s not about tacos or tequila here, though there are little deep-fried corn bread pucks ($6). The menu has more of a focus on pickles, chilli and smoke.A ceviche ($15) of kingfish is incredibly acidic, layered with a fine sheet of potato cellophane. We’re loving the bed of creamed corn with whole pick- led purple and orange heirloom carrots sticking out the top, topped with toasted quinoa ($10). The ‘smokey beans’ ($15) are, indeed, hella smoky and topped with a slow-cooked egg, but the beans are slightly chalky.

You might be better off with the lamb cutlets ($22) served with a thick horchata cream. Deep-fried school prawns ($10) with ribbons of jamon are an absolute winner, side by side with a crisp Pacifico beer. Finish with the tres leches – a cake of three milks – topped with little pieces of cherry and layered with caramel ($10). Sure, you’ve gotta walk through the kitchen to get to the toilet (it’s past the door sprayed with a Virgin Mary warning you to “never snitch”) but El Capo is definitely worth a drive-by.

Sign up to our monthly food & drink newsletter

First published on . Updated on .

By Myffy Rigby   |  

El Capo details

52 Waterloo St

Surry Hills 2010

Telephone 02 9699 2518

This venue is closed

Open Mon-Wed 12 noon-10pm; Thu-Sat 12 noon-12 midnight

Surry Hills area guide

Restaurants near El Capo

Izakaya Fujiyama

19m - At Izakaya Fujiyama, Kenji Maenaka’s new Japanese bar and restaurant,...

Orto Trading Company

60m - If you're a fan of Baffi and Mo , the cute café that's had Redfern all a...


79m - Some places mix Japanese with French. Other places mix it with Italian. This...

Bars & pubs near El Capo

The Dove and Olive

28m - We'll admit it's taken us a while to warm to this pub, which seemed to take...

Madison Hotel

104m - A solid local with cheap meals and big screen sports, pool tables and a...


112m - No matter how many winning new enoteche chef-owner Andrew Cibej opens (see...

Other venues near El Capo

Snog the Frog

53m - A stone's throw from Central Station, Snog the Frog is delightfully kitsch...

William Angliss Institute

74m - The William Angliss Institute is a specialist centre in Sydney providing...

1/2 doz.

164m - 1/2 doz. present short-term and site-specific exhibitions across Sydney and...

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus

© 2007 - 2014 Time Out Group Ltd. All rights reserved. All material on this site is © Time Out.