Tag Archives: mexican

Of Chipotle & Churros

One of the world’s most popular cuisines, Mexican food has intense and varied flavours. I must confess, I have always been inundated with Tex Mex food and have thus not really tasted too much of authentic Mexican fare in India. Chef Guillermo Favela, from Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek who was at the Glass House, Hyatt Regency Mumbai, treated me to some traditional delicacies albeit with a contemporary twist. Many of his dishes were a revelation.

Corn, chipotle and beans (frijoles) are some of the most commonly used ingredients in Mexican dishes, Chef informed me.

Quesadillas are a flour or corn tortilla with some varieties of Mexican cheese and chicken, meat, sea food or even veggies. We too began our meal with Quesadillas de champiñones, made of mushrooms. This not-to-be-missed dish was cheesy and  had the right bite to it. I loved the texture as well as the generous filling.

Tacos, tamales, nachos, salads, and freshly made salsa. Chef Favela had all this and a lot more on offer for guests.

Guacamole - low

The Guacamole, made of avocado, Mexican salsa, totopos, is something I have a weakness for and this one was exceedingly well-made with fresh ingredients and was buttery alright. I can eat almost anything with this exciting dip. Not merely tortilla chips!

Our light flavourful soup came next. Crema Poblana, sweet corn cream soup, poblano pepper. It was nothing like I had ever tasted before. Of course corn was the main ingredient here too but it was not starchy or insipid as corn soups some times tend to be.

Camarones al ajilo, sautéed prawns, mushrooms, garlic, chili guajillo looked appetizing and were palate-tickling too. Spicy, but with subtle flavours, each bite, had me craving for more. The prawns were fresh and succulent and enveloped in the sauce.

Pescado a la veracruzana, seared red snapper with tomato, capers, olives, almonds, Arroz a la Mexicana, Mexican tomato rice, Cerdo en salsa verde, pork stew with green tomatillo sauce, were some of the interesting dishes on the menu but we did not really savour the main course.

Churros - low

We were served dessert which comprised a platter of churros, a cake and some Buñuelos, crispy dough, piloncillo syrup. “These are ordinary desserts easily available at every street corner,” Chef gushed.

The crispy choux, cinnamon and sugar was as sinful as ever, without a flaw. Calorie-laden though. The cake was simple, yet well-made with distinct flavours. Reminded me of the Goan baath (coconut and semolina cake)The piloncillo syrup, interestingly was made with jaggery.

Overall, it was a light meal, well-presented and boasted of authentic Mexican flavours.

Chef Favela is extremely passionate about what he does and takes care to painstakingly present each dish and explains what he has prepared patiently. It was a delight to meet this talented Chef who has worked with some great masters.

Mexicans are gifted cooks and their ability to use herbs, spices and chilies allows them to create flavorful food which is prepared in a host of interesting and different ways. Chef Favela clearly belongs to this category.

If Mexican fare is what you fancy, head to the Glass House as this promotion is on for  a lunch and dinner buffet till December 1. What’s more, you are eligible for a 15% discount if you mention the code GHMFE15 (GH-Glasshouse /MFE-Minifoodescapades/15%) at the time of reservation.

 

 

 

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Mast Mexifornia @ CPK

Californian Pizza Kitchen offering a menu with a Mexican twist? Sounded exciting enough to lure me to their Infiniti Mall, Malad outlet.

Appetizers, Pizza, Pastas, Some specialties and of course desserts formed the menu. And yes, fresh fruit Margaritas and beverages. Which I decided to skip completely, for a change. Wanted to save my appetite and do justice to the food.

Not a very exhaustive menu, but all encompassing the flavours of Mexico. Cilantro, peppers, squash, tomato, avocado, vanilla, cocoa, corn, all beautifully amalgamated in the dishes cleverly by Chef Pranav. The ‘Mexifornia’ menu did sound interesting and appetizing. CPK had ensured that gourmets indulge in zesty Mexican Cuisine with a twist of signature Californian panache. And I was ready to embark on my culinary expedition.

Sonora Pizza

The Sonora Pizza, a thin crust pizza with a smoky, roasted tomato salsa, roasted corn and black bean salsa garnished with creamy avocado, a snappy jalapeno sauce and a drizzle of cilantro had me in a dilemma, but yet, I settled for the Chicken Asada Pizza- a titillating serving of a robust traditional pizza with a sharp New Mexico chilli sauce with cheddar and fontina- a delicious semi-soft cheese-and shimmering, roasted peppers.And I had no reason to regret my choice. It was a celebration of Mexican flavours. Generous pieces of roasted chicken laced my pizza and the dash of spice and herbs, mercilessly tingled my palate.

Pastas although seemed unusual by way of the ingredients and flavours, I decided to stay away from.

But the piece de resistance of the evening was unarguably, the Chimichanga. This lip-smacking specialty,  a stellar dish of crispy fried wrap filled with California rice, cotija cheese cheese, a bed of shredded lettuce, sour cream and a zesty tomato salsa, rendered me speechless after the first bite. There was a burst of flavours in my mouth. A myriad textures were at play. Easily the best chimichanga I have ever tasted. Absolute value for money.

California Style Chimichanga_1

Given these two filling dishes, there was no scope of anything else but the Trio of chocolate mousse, of course. Flavoured with three layers of Mexican white, milk and dark chocolate and with a hint of coffee ,served in its very own chocolate cup, this dessert was unique. It was sinful and decadent as expected but I found the proportion of white chocolate a tad more than the other two and felt it could have been reduced. The presentation of the mousse in a cup made of chocolate complete with a spoon et al, bowled me over completely. The chef was truly a master of his craft.

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There was Mexican Caramel Banana Flan served on a bed of vanilla sponge with great lashings of Banana Cream and Caramel sauce. But alas! we had no place in our stomach for that.

On till June 21 at all CPK outlets, across India, I still have a chance of relishing my Chimichanga once more. And yes, many more dishes on the menu worth trying.

Good, attentive service, pleasant ambience and outstanding food, made the evening even more special.

Rating: 4/5

An Interesting Mex-Asian Experience: Kurries & Burries

It is not too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year is it? So, Happy New Year everyone. Have a gourmetastic 2015!

I began my year by visiting a cute, no-frills, QSR Kurries & Burries in South Mumbai near Wilson College.The sincerity and earnest effort of the Proprietor Kushal Todi has got to be lauded. Under his mother’s guidance (who is a great cook) he has started this initiative. Kudos!

The menu is exhaustive and this Café Mex-Asian serves interesting Mexican and Asian food. And all vegetarian. Quite a challenge, but one that is met adeptly by Kushal. A lot of the items on the menu can easily be served as Jain dishes too.

One can look forward to relishing Mexican, Thai, Burmese, Oriental and Chinese food, at pocket-friendly prices. We began with the flavourful Mexican soup made with Mexican beans. The spice element added the right amount of zing to it and the creamy texture was perfect. A good beginning. The crackling spinach with paneer which Kushal recommended was different. Only the paneer pieces were too generous and filled the mouth, with the spinach getting lost somewhere. Else the concept was exceptional, I thought.

Kurries & Burries - Naked Burrito

The Mexican Mex-wich was filling. The mexican beans, cheese sauce, sour cream and salsa teased our palates. A bit too heavy but completely value for money. Sandwiches, Wraps, Noodles, Rice, an array of Mexican dishes. This place has them all. Oodles of paneer, baby corn items on the menu. A vegetarian could not ask for more.

The Indian touch in the food is unmistakable but unpretentious too. K&B is very affordably pried and is bound to be a haven for college students and office goers. It has a visit ratio of 2 – 2.5 times as compared to any other food eatery at the same cost. The platters are an excellent way to try out a lot more.

I was skeptical about a vegetarian Khow suey but it turned out to be good. Authentic flavours and great toppings. And the coconut milk was not overpowering. We enjoyed it. The chef is obviously good.The ingredients are of a good quality and fresh too.

The dessert – Mexican sweet cup was disappointing. Very grainy and synthetic. Maybe we should have tried the chocolate nachos instead. Maybe next time?

Overall a place for good food, but personally, am not a great fan of Mexican food and hence would not dream of mixing it with Asian, my fav cuisine for sure.

Foot-Tap(ping) Music, Disappointing Fare…..

After SBX Sports Bar at Bhandup, being a huge let down, I walked into TAP, a sports bar from the China Gate group on Link Road Andheri with baited breath.

The place looked snazzy, pulsating with music and sufficiently crowded for a Sunday night. The screens projected the FIFA World cup matches and the sports accessories and bric-a-brac matched to boot.  The mood and ambience were clearly reminiscent of a sports bar. On the right track I thought.

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The service staff was lost. Too many of them running around in circles, but not really attentive to a guests’ needs. After catching the eye of one of them, we ordered our mocktails.  We opted for an Orange Flute and Melon Ball. Both the drinks to our dismay were cloyingly sweet. Not as refreshing as I would have liked mine to be.

The menu seems exhaustive- Mexican, Indian, Italian, Chinese. They have everything on offer. Yet, it is not too appealing for some reason. Too much choice maybe?

Mole Polo a chicken dish arrived as our first starter. Roasted cubes of chicken in a mole sauce – red or green.  That ‘s what the description stated.  But sadly, no one asked us our preference. We were served the red one. The chicken pieces were chewy and almost tasted insipid. The sauce, a trifle better,  did nothing to enhance the flavour. A real dampener.

The Pablano Grilled Fish was relatively better. At least it was well marinated and tingled our taste buds to some extent.

We were keen to try the Butterfly Prawns but were suggested Paprika Prawns Tonga instead. A poor mish mash of chicken and prawns, the dish did justice to neither. The chicken pieces completely overpowered the prawns flavour, resulting in a not- so exciting dish.

To play it safe we opted for a Mexican cowboy salad. Not much scope to go wrong there. Decent fare but nothing to salvage our lost taste buds. We decided to skip the main course completely.

The vibe and energy of the place is infectious and the music foot-tapping, albeit a bit loud as the hours tick by. A good mix of sports and entertainment, TAP is the perfect place to relax and unwind with friends and family but the food and service need to be stepped up for sure.