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Adam Lynas is cooking the finest Mexican food in Ireland, in the most unprepossessing room in Belfast.

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Adam Lynas has an impressive CV in Irish food - he worked alongside Andy Rea in Roscoff, and put in kitchen time in Belfast’s excellent Shu restaurant.
But the direction of his cooking changed after he met Mexican Eliza Vignolle, in Montreal, and travelled back and forward to her native Monterey, all the while learning the nuances of cooking real Mexican food.
In 2016, he opened La Taqueria, in an utterly unprepossessing upstairs room in the building that also houses the Belfast Cookery School.
What started as a pop up has become a very busy taqueria and Adam has morphed into some sort of Northern Irish Alex Stupak.
The tortillas he offers - from Nino Blanco in Tipperary – are revelatory. Both blue and corn tortillas are wrapped into tacos, with toppings like prawns in tomato salsa, or mushrooms with green chilli adobo. There are also quesadillas filled with La Taqueria's own chorizo, and other concoctions, and Quesos Fundidis, which they describe as a kind of fondue - the cheese and ingredients are baked in a cast iron pot and served with flour tortillas.
Three bottles of home-made salsas are placed on the table, each at different heat scales, including a zesty tomatillo, and two smoky, biting blends of chilli salsa. Guac comes plain, with smoked chilli, or with crispy pork fat. Sometimes they run out of refried beans, which is sad if you come late to the party.
The Quesos Fundidos is made with mozzarella, rather than a Mexican queso, and is a fascinating example of a chef merging two cuisines. The food is authentic Mexican, but Adam brings a Irish interpretation, through ingredients, and home-learned skills, that makes for very appealing cooking.
The bar offers a selection of Mexican cocktails and beers, and the room is energised by the smart diners who have found their way to this unlikely upstairs canteen with its atmospheric Dia de los Muertos inspired murals.
The food is great and, from a slushy iced margarita to a wild shot of mezcal, the drinks match the upbeat mood. No wonder they fill the room several times over the course of a day. La Taqueria is a winner.

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