In the Granada Motor Inn complex, a short, mule-ride from the delectable Burnside Village.PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
For two decades Cha Chi’s was the landmark Mexican restaurant on Glen Osmond Road, Frewville. Recent developments have seen it migrate to Glenunga, just a corn chip toss away. Housed within the Granada Motor Inn, old-school carpet and gaudy chairs are remnants of restaurants past – hardly conducive to bringing out one’s inner Latino. Take comfort in its familiar pretty ponchos, sombreros and traditional trinkets. Reassuringly, Cha Chi’s is still colourful, cosy and fun. Young gun chef Adam has steered himself back to the Cantina, after kicking around its kitchen in earlier days. A passionate lad, he is the verbal equivalent of eating a handful of poker-hot chillies. A bullet-fast talker, he is fired up and ready to shoot out your order faster than a tequila slammer.
While the tradition of Cha Chi’s menu continues (you will spot items that may have been your favourites 20 years ago), Adam is introducing new offerings by way of weekly specials. The (mescal) worm is turning. Fajitas continue to be a crowd-pleaser. Prawns, beef, chicken or vegetables come seasoned on a sizzling platter. Guacamole, grated cheese, sour cream and chilli join them in readiness to be rolled into tortillas. A classic (oven-baked) burrito is partnered with its richer, crispier cousin, the (fried) chimichanga. Meatheads may want to check out the racks of ribs whose smoky, Texan flavour is zinged with barbecue sauce. Sides of jalapeno peppers, frijoles and salsa spice things up. For more heat, try the “hot rock” dishes. Not quite the “new concept in dining” that the entrance banner heralds (nor Mexican for that matter), they are a novelty – meat or fish is delivered on mega hot volcanic stone, laid on a stoneware plate. It cooks at your table while you decide between caramel coated custard and chocolate nachos for dessert.