Head to newcomer Coyote for a bellyful of tasty, spicy Tex-Mex fare, mama
Love your margaritas and nachos, mama? While we were sad to see family brunch favorite Spruce close its doors a few months ago, its been replaced by Coyote Tex-Mex Grill & Bar, which we’re happy to report serves up delicious Tex-Mex staples like nachos, hot wings and ribs while still offering up a weekend family brunch (including playground and bouncy castle!) in one of our favorite al fresco settings in Singapore.
As nice as it is for the kids, though, Coyote also offers a fun array of margaritas, tequila cocktails, and shooters (try the en fuego “Cockroach” if you’re feeling bold). There’s also the massive “Coyorita”, which is a bottle of ice cold Corona slowly combined with a margarita – I realize this sounds (and looks) a bit strange, but trust me, it’s delicious. Combined with the breezy open-air vibe and pulsating Latin beats (after 5½ years in Singapore I finally know where I can go to dance to Reggaeton!), it’s a great spot for a lively night out with friends.
Coyote’s extensive list of starters are also the strongest component of the menu: you’ve got flavorful Elotes (fresh corn with Cotija cheese, chili pepper and lime), real cheese Volcano Nachos piled high with pulled pork or pulled beef, and a range of house-made salsas. Coyote prides itself on preparing nearly everything in-house.
Best of all is the “Live Guacamole station” in which guac is freshly prepared at your table, made to order. During my visit we kicked things up a notch with extra jalapenos and chili padis – muy delicioso.
Among the mains, my favorite were the hearty (and admittedly unhealthy) Chimichangas: rolled flour tortillas filled with a choice of meats, a whole bunch of fragrant veggies and herbs, frijoles rice and melted cheese, then “fried to perfection”. Golden brown and ultra-flavorful, without being overly greasy, this one’s a winner that will stick to your ribs.
Speaking of ribs, another highlight for me was the grilled, spice-rubbed Baby Back Ribs, which are sous vide for two days and come out super tender to the point that the meat is literally falling off the bone. The ribs are perfectly complemented by a zingy pineapple salsa. Another main I’d recommend is the chef’s specialty, Beef Brisket that’s slow cooked in a surprisingly flavorful Coca Cola marinade. I was rather disappointed by the tacos, which feature flour tortillas (rather than traditional corn) and tasted a bit bland, although they do come with a wide range of fillings, including beef, pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, or veggies.
What truly sets Coyote apart, though, are its hot wings. The restaurant offers six levels of spiciness, ranging from the tangy Orange & Lime and Tequila, to heaty Jalapeno and Chipotle, to a legitimately spicy Habanero (my fave).
If you have, say, lost a dare, consider trying out the infernal Scorpion wings, which are made with one of the world’s hottest-chilli peppers. These wings are no joke, mama – I actually had to sign a release form before trying them. The heat comes in waves; it eventually feels like a million little daggers on your tongue, then your lips seem like they’ve caught on fire (amusingly the Reggateon hit “Gasolina” came on just as I was riding this gustatory rollercoaster).
Spicy thrillseekers will no doubt enjoy the wings. I managed one bite, and that was plenty for me. I also felt like I’d earned myself a sweet ending, and really liked the Bunuelos, lightly fried tortillas topped with a dusting of cinnamon sugar, chocolate sauce, and a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
I liked Coyote so much that I subsequently visited for brunch, and sure enough my daughter loved the outdoor, shaded playground and the massive bouncy castle (which is only there on weekends). I like the wide range of brunchy options (Huevos Rancheros, Breakfast Nachos with scrambled eggs, Mexican Omelette), although I found the Huevos Rancheros undersized and pretty disappointing. My husband liked his burrito, though, and we were both impressed by the extensive kids’ menu (items range from $10-$15, which feels expensive, though it does include a drink).
As an American, I feel like I’ve got an advanced degree in junk food and fried appetizers, and would rate Coyote’s nachos among the best I’ve had in Singapore. The freshly made guacamole and mains are equally satisfying (and thankfully a bit less heart attack-inducing). They’ve also got a full slate of nightly promotions, including Taco Tuesdays, Tequila Thursdays, Fiesta Fridays (bottomless nacho bowls!) and more. Give it a try for a run night out, mama!
Opening hours: 11am to 10:30pm (Tue-Fri); 9am to 10:30pm (Sat – Sun and PH); closed Mondays.
Coyote Tex-Mex Grill & Bar, 320 Tanglin Road, Phoenix Park, Singapore 247980, Tel: (+65) 6836 5528, www.coyote.com.sg