If you’re a huge fan of high-quality steak but not so much the price tag that comes with it, Taco Mata’s latest offering, “The Soho” (P240) is a budget-friendly and delicious alternative. The non-traditional taco joint has added a beef-based taco to its roster of reasonably priced offerings, and The Soho is something you shouldn’t miss out on.
According to the taco shop, The Soho is a “French-inspired USDA tenderloin steak au poivre, seasoned with herbs & coarsely cracked peppercorns, cooked sous-vide for six hours, then seared with butter.” The steak is then “laid on a bed of caramelized onions and topped with Taco Mata’s homemade potato strings and brandy infused, peppercorn pan sauce and served on a 5-inch flour tortilla.”
When you order The Soho, it comes in a taco kit (with a cute New Yorker Magazine-inspired instruction card) that you have to assemble by yourself. The steak is wrapped in an aluminum foil and the sauce and caramelized onion are packed separately so things don’t get soggy.
As a person who’s practically a food delivery veteran at this point, I had high expectations for this taco. Taco Mata has been known to take familiar flavors and turn them into something completely new and familiar at the same time. With The Soho, they’ve done exactly that.
The meat itself is seasoned exceptionally well and is astonishingly tender. For the price point, I wasn’t expecting the steak to be fork tender, but it was. What really blew me away was the fact that the meat pulled away cleanly with every bite. It wasn’t tough at all and didn’t string out (like most inexpensive cuts usually do) or put up a fight, thanks to the six-hour sous-vide bath it took.
The taco as a whole was basically a high-end steakhouse experience on a flour tortilla. You can taste all the familiar elements of the steak au poivre in a single bite. The sauce is tangy and peppery, which plays a good balance to the jammy richness of the caramelized onions. To be completely honest, it’s better than some of the steaks I’ve had on vacation in Soho.
The shoestring potatoes serve as an excellent choice of toppings. It pays homage to classic steakhouse fare while adding a flavor and texture boost to the taco.
The final layer to the symphony of flavors this taco makes in your mouth is the cilantro. I thought it was a curious choice at first—specifically because it wasn’t a classic steak au poivre element—but I immediately understood after taking the first bite.
Much like the traditional steak au poivre, The Soho can be extremely rich. The cilantro adds an unexpected freshness that balances out all the flavors and in general heightens the experience (unless you don’t like cilantro, then you can just skip it).
I’ve had this taco warm out of a delivery bag and a few hours old sitting in an air-conditioned room, and I’m happy to report that with a little bit of toasting, it tastes just the same. While The Soho tastes exceptionally good on a flour tortilla, the restaurant also serves it in rice bowl form (P270), if you’re looking for something more substantial.[READ: Missing Poblacion nights? These New York-inspired tacos can help]
I’ve been a big fan of the restaurant since pre-lockdown days, and its latest offering has further proved something I’ve known since the start: Taco Mata serves really damn good tacos.