Only a few weeks after opening, Joburg seems to have already fallen in love with the new Mexican eatery Perron in Illovo – and with good reason. If you’re after something other than the average Tex-Mex classic, Perron’s the place to be.
With Cape Town enjoying a wave of enthusiasm for Mexican cuisine for a few years now – led by the success and popularity of El Burro – it was only a matter of time before Joburgers began lusting after authentic Mexican fare. So when the news filtered through Twitter that Perron: Mexican Appreciation Society had opened their doors, food lovers far and wide took note.
Co-owned by Thomas and Martin of The Griffin upstairs, along with Martin’s sister Christa and her husband Grant, the name Perron means “big dog” or “cool” in Mexican slang. With a name like that, a location in Illovo and a market hungry for good Mexican food, it’s no wonder that it’s already tricky trying to secure a table.
The idea at Perron is to order a selection of smaller plates or “little ones” known as Los mas Pequenos for the table and to dive in. Think sweet potato tacos, Kingklip ceviche, black mushroom quesadillas, beef tacos and an excellent guacamole. If sharing isn’t quite your game, perhaps give the “nibbles” section a go – pork scratchings and chilli poppers are a must, as are the Popeye Espanadas.
If you’ve managed to show some restraint, “The Classics” or mains should be calling your name by now. The Chancho Muncho (slow-cooked pork on steamed rice with a delicious creamy sauce and a garnish of pickled onions) is a great choice – hearty, filling and very satisfying in its simplicity.
The dessert menu includes the usual options – try the churros for a scrumptious dark chocolate and pastry fix.
Perron offers a short but sweet wine list, but of course the wine isn’t the star of the show here. That would be the Tequila, without which no authentic Mexican restaurant can do. You’ll find a variety of 16 brands here (most of which you might never have heard of before) served with a spicy tomato juice that really adds a punch to the evening. There are also beers present, with the classic Corona with a slice of lime a good option to banish some of that chilli induced heat. And save room for a margarita – their jalapeno and coriander version might surprise the taste buds at first but you’ll be ready for a second round in no time.
If there were an award for “Friendly and Enthusiastic” service, the Perron crew would win gold.
The décor is bright and flashy – statement walls come in tones of pink, turquoise and florals, offset by neutral wooden counters. Wacky lampshades add to an overall quirky feel.
Long live Perron! It’s clear why Joburg has embraced this new spot in all its Mexican food glory.