I find that I am now turning to the news from the US before the news from anywhere else. The Donald Trump show seems set to keep us amused or amazed for a while yet. It’s difficult to know what group of people, other perhaps than his own family, that The Trumpster likes. One thing is certain; he doesn’t like Mexicans. As it happens neither Ken nor Jodie Woods are Mexican; he is a Yank and she is an Aussie. These two are the proprietors of the recently opened Coyote in Batemans Bay. The G and I made a trip there the other day for we are partial to a spot of Mexican cuisine.
We would not have known about them at all had it not been that we needed to visit the optician. We need a reason to visit Batemans Bay. We found Coyote in the small mall that runs off Orient Street between EyeQ and the Australia Post Shop. Having found them we determined that their existence was enough to warrant another trip for dinner. We booked and it was a good thing we did so for they were full. This is a good sign for a full restaurant is generally a good restaurant. A second good sign was a pile of newly delivered cases of Negra Modelo. Now, if you are about to eat Mexican then you need a satisfactory beer and I was pleased that I would not be drinking Corona. Negra Modelo is a lovely beer that I would describe as a pale ale notwithstanding its name.
The menu is as you would expect it. There are burritos, chimichangas, tacos, nachos … everything you would expect and more besides (including beans: the Mexicans are the world’s leader in cooking beans). Ken Wood, el propietario himself, welcomed and seated us. He told us they had been open for about 10 weeks and that business was brisk; they had been full pretty well every night. Jodie Wood is the culinary maestro. She had gone off to the US and had fallen in love with Mexican food. As a sensible woman she realised that she needed to return to Australia, which is woefully short of South and Central American cuisine, and bring her Mexican delights to the Bay. We are lucky that she has returned for the food that comes out of her kitchen scores on two critical points. The first is that there is lots of it. You will not go away hungry. We totally over-ordered (we always do). Our waitress said we could take what we left home in a plastic container but we knew that our Mothers would have disapproved of this. The second critical thing is that it tastes really good. The meat was juicy and succulent, the vegetables were fresh and a side of black beans was, for me, de rigeur. You can have your food as hot as you want: just ask.
Food … and lots of it (Photo: Trevor Moore)
The restaurant space is light and bright and the tables are well spaced out. Ken Wood pointed out that the restaurant already has a wall. When you go you will see it. The premises run all the way back to the promenade. I remarked to Ken that he was likely to be very busy in the summer selling nachos to passing holidaymakers. And even though those holidaymakers are passing, they will be back. As will we.
Coyote Batemans Bay, 2/5 Orient St, Batemans Bay NSW 2536, 44726061 Open: Tuesday to Friday, 11:30am–2pm, 5:30–9pm; Saturday, 5:30am–9pm; closed Sunday and Monday Booking is advisable.