Saturday, 8 June 2019

The Bearded Taco, Cardiff Mexican street food review

Fusion food. At its best it’s a melding of different cultures from across the world to make killer flavour combinations like cauliflower Manchurian, chicken katsu curry and California rolls.

At its worst, it results in abominations like chocolate orange chicken tikka and spaghetti burritos which should never ever see the light of day.

When it comes to fusion cooking, Bearded Taco have nailed it.

This Mexican street food truck, which pops up at events, markets and festivals across south Wales, has global influences across its menu from Morocco, to Korea and the USA. Their owners are even a fusion cultures with one hailing from Cardiff and the other from California.

We visited Contessa, the affectionate name for their converted Ford Transit van, at a pop-up at St Canna’s in Canton. This cosy micropub hosts street food Thursdays every week with a changing roster that includes Keralan Karavan, Bwydiful and Pregos.

Perched at the bar, we ordered a few beers from St Canna’s mostly Welsh selection which focuses on cask rather than keg. A can of Polly’s Brew Co Ekuanot Mosaic Pale Ale was a delicious tropical hop showcase from my favourite Welsh brewery. I was less sold on an Ilkley x Tiny Rebel milkshake pale ale collaboration but that’s probably down to my lukewarm relationship with cask beer. 

Whilst the Bearded Taco’s compact menu includes starters such as corn on the cob with chilli, parmesan and lime, and tortilla chips and salsa, Mrs G and I skipped ahead to mains and ordered all three of their different varieties of taco. 

Each pair were served on handmade corn tortillas with a pleasing corny note and slightly firmer texture than the unpleasantly pappy wheat flour tortillas you find in the supermarket.

All of them were delicious.

The standout was a ridiculously good Better Call Seoul (£6) which combined tender shreds of pork bathed in a Korean BBQ sauce combining sweetness and savoury soy topped with a richness busting spicy kimchi and sesame twanged aioli. Mrs G and I both agreed we’d happily eat a bucket full of them.   

The Rage Against the Tagine (£6) saw tender Moroccan-style chicken coated in a sauce spiced with a myriad of warming spices and topped with a light slaw of shredded carrot, crunchy flaked almonds, chickpeas, slightly tart cranberries and a good a dollop of yoghurt subtly flavoured with pokey harissa. 

Let’s Avo Cwtch (£6) was the kind of indulgent vegan food that is right up my street. A generous piece of perfectly ripe avocado was coated in a super light and crisp gin and tonic tempura batter and garnished with citrusy red cabbage slaw and creamy aioli.

The one pud on offer was a cracker. A warm brownie (£4) was mega-chocolatey and perfectly gooey with a delicate chilli heat. Clotted cream ice cream and a couple of token berries helped balance out a bit of the richness. 

I’ve got a lot of love for the Bearded Taco. For the second time their Better Call Seoul has left me hankering for more. I highly recommend you check them out the next time their van pulls up nearby.

The Details:

The Bearded Taco
Website -
Telephone - 07856 678694

St Canna's
Address - St Canna's, 42 Llandaff Rd, Cardiff CF11 9NJ
Website -
Telephone - 07890 106449

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