Islamabad’s food scene has been expanding in the recent years, giving way to new eateries that are forging their way into our hearts. But a noticeably missing cuisine among Islamabad’s restaurateurs has been Mexican.
Enter Tacostan, a home-based taco kitchen run by Raymal Ahmed Mumtaz, a 24-year-old entrepreneur, since 2021. With a singular focus on the epitome of Mexican cuisine — tacos — Tacostan dedicates itself to delighting Islamabad’s taco enthusiasts. Their menu revolves exclusively around this dish. With their plans of expanding their business into a café in Islamabad soon, we were excited to try what they had to offer.
Tacostan has a limited menu but has options of chicken, beef, and vegetarian in both hard and soft shell in two sizes; a normal eight-inch and a mini size three-inch. Do-It-Yourself kits and party platters are also available.
The serving size for mini tacos are available in six, 12 and 15 tacos. Add-ons available include siracha, spicy corned salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, corn/olives/beans, and Cheetos.
Order & delivery
The ordering process is fairly simple. Decide what you want and order a day before via Instagram or WhatsApp. Tacostan is super quick to respond to your queries. Once ordered, you can mutually decide a pickup time or opt for delivery. We opted to pick up.
What we ordered
We ordered six mini chicken tacos, six chicken Cheeto tacos and six beef tacos in hard and soft shell, including mini size and full size. The shells also come in regular tortilla or Cheetos tortilla. All tacos essentially had the same toppings, so it comes down to your personal preference between size, shell, and the meat.
The standout offering from Tacostan is the mini chicken Cheetos taco in soft shell, for a variety of reasons. One bite delivers the entire flavour of the taco. The Cheetos in the tortilla and the filling lend a welcome crunchy, spicy tanginess. Mini size is also a better eating experience than the full size. Apart from the meat, all tacos were topped with onions, tomatoes and lettuce laced with sour cream and sriracha. The sauces were enough to keep the taco filling moist, without being dry.
The soft shell, for all Tacostan’s tacos, is superior to the hard shell, especially in terms of flavour. The hard shell taco does have a bite to it and offers a crunchy texture. However, the tortilla tasted like a flour and was too thick. It is better to go for the paper-thin soft shell.
What would have made the tacos shine was more acidity to balance flavours. In terms of size, the mini taco is unexpectedly small but the filling-to-shell ratio was perfect. For the full-size taco, the filling-to-shell ratio was off balance, making the taco feel more like an open wrap with incomplete filling.
Having said this, a platter of 12 is indeed a great addition to teatime and for when guests come to visit. Be warned, the sizes are truly mini and make for a one-bite snack only.
Considering the size of the tacos, the price points are a bit steep. Six mini chicken tacos will set you back Rs1,299, while six mini chicken Cheetos tacos will damage your pocket by Rs1,650.
If you are looking to order tacos from Tacostan, opt for six mini chicken Cheetos tacos and ask for spicy corn salsa and sour cream as add on to enhance your experience!