This trendy buzzing 37-seater restaurant in the busy hub of Stanley Street is owned by Aiden Pienaar, a young talented chef who has taken his experiences abroad and brought them back to Port Elizabeth to create a unique dining concept. Aiden shares a love for Mexican cuisine and wants to create a spot where very basic Mexican food is transformed into fun dining.
The food at Tilting Heads is true to the Mexican culture but adds hints of fine dining in the presentation and in the taste. The menu is not extensive and includes the Mexican standards: tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, ensaladas and a really delicious dessert menu featuring Spanish churros.
The nachos are a hit and are unlike any other nachos you’ll ever try – crisp corn chips, salsa fresca, cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole and coriander complete this outstanding and very tasty dish that will leave you with cravings days after your first bite. The vegetarian option is more than enough, but you can also add meat at an extra cost.
There are also several tacos available to order. The Cordero taco is a great mix of flavors – a soft shell taco filled with tender lamb shoulder, sour cream, mint, cucumber and garnished with fresh coriander leaves. The portion sizes of the tacos are rather small, so you may want to order a bunch of different options and share them among friends. The Pescado Crujiente is new to the menu and does not disappoint, complete with crispy battered fish, shredded cabbage, avocado crema, salsa fresca and coriander – the flavors are simply incredible.
The enchiladas are also a great option to try. Aiden explains that this dish is traditionally made with single tortillas, which are filled, rolled and placed side by side. The Tilting Heads take on this dish is to layer the tortillas, lasagna-style, and add the fillings in between the tortilla layers. Try the El Pollo Enchilada, which comes with tender deboned chicken thigh, recco sauce, grilled corn, kidney beans, rice, chipotle, cheese, sour cream and coriander.
There are limited vegan and vegetarian options available – with either tofu or roasted cauliflower as the meat substitute. The panko bread-crumbed avocado fries are also delicious and different.
As if the mains weren’t enough, there’s also a great dessert option to try. The churros are a must-order: a light and fluffy Spanish doughnut, cinnamon sugar and chocolate sauce.
Tilting Heads is famous for its rather potent drinks. They make tasty margaritas on site with a choice of lime, strawberry, strawberry and lime, jalapeño and coriander or an avocado flavor. You can order these by the glass or, if you’re feeling like a good time, a 1.8l pitcher. There are also beeritas (a Corona beer combined with a margarita). For those who aren’t so keen on trying alcoholic options, there are coffees, ice teas and cooldrinks available too. They also have a selected wine list, spirits and other local beers available.
Service time is the only letdown. While the kitchen is understandably small and all dishes are prepared fresh, the food takes quite a while to arrive at your table. So if you aren’t in a rush, you will most definitely enjoy your stay. Staff are friendly, polite and clued up about what’s on offer.
The Mexican playlist is a winner, and the eclectic and colorful décor suits the vibe and setting. There’s also a beautiful mural of a Mexican lady that forms the backdrop for this quaint restaurant. Little nuances of Mexican culture create a wonderful casual dining space, which makes you feel as though you’re in Mexico City.
Date night or dinner with your best friends.
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