Alma in Avalon is Mexican perfection

With a fresh San Jose vibe, you can imagine yourself a long way from Avalon with the food, wine and cocktails from Alma. A chilled-out ambience and super friendly service make you want to pull up a stool and make yourself very comfortable for a long afternoon of wonderful food, drinks and service.

We strolled up, smoke billowing from under the eaves and wondered:  a fireplace? A smoker? A fire? No  – a custom made BBQ that not only cooks impressively, but is eye-catching street theatre as well. 

An old house tastefully decorated to look like a soothing beachside abode, Alma is a place of finely curated offerings, mastered, refined and delicately prepared. The result is thorough depth of flavour in every single  bite

We started with the tacos, cooked on the BBQ (the BBQ is on every Sunday) and up first is the chorizo taco ($7) of grilled chorizo, roasted zucchini, pickled onions and chimichurri. Chorizo is BBQ’d to perfection, juicy and sweet and the onions and chimichurri balance it all out.

Next the Charcoal Roasted Pork Taco ($7). Served on Sunday, the Pork begins its flavour journey with marination, and continual basting for the remaining time, on the Wednesday prior. Layer upon layer of flavour leads to a juicy, delicate, taco filling. Slow roasted, on a rotisserie, the pork is combined with grilled pineapple, onion and coriander in a corn tortilla (also made in-house). 

These tacos were a hot favourite, the smell of the BBQ bringing in folks off the street, like the pied piper of Sunday BBQs,  hypnotising anyone passing by to eat one, or four. 

Not to be overshadowed, though, the rest of the menu is a flavour bomb. The Braised Octopus, peanut mole, charred sprouts  ($44) is tender and has a silk like quality that is hard to find. The peanut mole is a accompaniment  that you never new you needed. The charred sprouts are not your Christmas sprouts, but rather salty, crispy, freshness, slicing through the mole. 

But, the absolute must have, eat three times a day dish is the Agave grilled halloumi with honey glaze and salsa macha ($15). The honey and the haloumi are permanently married in our minds with the sweet and salty perfectly supporting each other. 

Cocktails are as always a must – and the refreshing Cool as a Cucumber is a must – with Mezcal, Cucumber and Mandarin, is both fresh, light and complex ($20). Careful – they go down easy and will be, we predict, the drink of the summer.  

Whether you can wander down or if you have to drive to, Alma is a destination, not just a restaurant that should be visited by locals and tourists alike.

Alma Avalon  47 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon Beach NSW 2107
Wed-Thur 5-10pm, Fri, Sat, Sun 11.30am – 11pm.

BBQ every Sunday

About the author

Michelle hails from the UK – but grew up with big flavours and spices thanks to her Singaporean Mum. International cuisine has always been part of Michelle’s life as she explored the world in the pursuit of delicious food and wine – along with a castle or two. Michelle now lives in Sydney after a lengthy stint in Brisbane (a city dear to her heart, which she visits frequently). She is letting her nose and palette be her guide as she discovers and shares exciting and delicious dining experiences. Michelle also loves, in equal measure, fashion, sunshine and puppies.


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