Rojo Rocket, Central Coast

“… There’s a track winding back to an old fashioned shack….”

While the sunny Central Coast may be approximately 450km from Gundagai, the famous Jack O’Hagan ditty springs to mind as we wind our way up Avoca Drive in search of the much hyped Rojo Rocket.

A garden of cactus, an artfully painted Mexican door and a friendly welcome are our first encounter with this strangely located oasis. We walk down a path surrounded by tropical greenery while a painted cow statue observes us from a red framed lily pond and a tanned blonde waiter stands by to greet us. We discover a buzzing restaurant full of large table groups, couples reclining on day beds outside and an upstairs taqueria with a cocktail cantina and funky music. Multi levelled and multicoloured, all venues are open to take advantage of the balmy coastal evenings.

Adrian Reed, whose Mexican wife Nigdali came up with the concept, mingles with the holiday crowd, popping by tables and daybeds to ensure punters are enjoying their margaritas, churros and tapas.

Toto, I do believe we’re not in Sydney anymore” remarks a member of our group, the exuberance, artwork and originality of the architecture placing us in some exotic Latin American locale. Every glance reveals a trinket worthy of scrutiny, from a screen playing silent movies in the garden behind the bar, to fluorescent lit miniature nativity scenes built into the wall next to the skull surrounded fireplace.

We decide to settle in the upstairs outdoor bar, and order guacamole and freshly prepared lamb tacos from the flowery taqueria cart. The tacos are succulent and flavoursome, while the generous guac servings disappear quickly. The cantina delivers a steady supply of shaken margaritas and fruity sangria, while the gentlemen among us can’t resist the opportunity to partake in a celebratory post-dinner cigar.

An infectious holiday spirit, incredibly friendly staff and an authentic and well executed Mexican menu are the substance behind the hype of this seaside town treasure. Catering to all from hens’ parties in search of fiesta, to casual family dinners to special occasions requiring silver service, Rojo Rocket looks set to be the must-visit destination of the Central Coast.

See more photos of Rojo Rocket and the Central Coast on the Lifeafterfive* facebook page.

Rojo Rocket on Urbanspoon

Rojo Rocket on Urbanspoon