Down Mexico way: 5 Mexican restaurants to try in Dubai
Our pick of places to cure your Mexican munchies.Peter Iantorno April 6, 2015
The reputation of Mexican cuisine has taken a bit of a beating over the years, with the likes of fast-food giant Taco Bell serving up great troughs of Tex-Mex slop that does very little to excite the tastebuds.
However, when it's done right, Mexican is one of the most vibrant cuisines on the planet. Here are five Dubai restaurants that are fit for Mexico City:
Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen and Lounge, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa
Internationally acclaimed celebrity chef and native of Mexico City, Richard Sandoval is the driving force behind Maya - an award-winning restaurant that puts a modern twist on classic Mexican cuisine. With the option of dining either inside with the vibrantly decorated interiors as a backdrop or out on the peaceful terrace overlooking the gardens of the Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, the venue is as inviting as it is diverse.
There's also a dedicated tequila room, housing more than 60 different labels, as well as a cigar bar when the finest Latin-American smokes can be enjoyed.
One to try: Tacos De Barbacoa - succulent shredded braised lamb served with a creamy avocado, pickled onion, chili pasilla sauce and wrapped in a homemade corn-spinach tortilla.
Tortuga, Mina A'Salam, Madinat Jumeirah
Set along the winding waterways of the Madinat Jumeirah, Tortuga is all about the classic flavours of Mexico served in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere typical of the most welcoming of Mexican homes.
As well as the authentic Mexican food, the bar also specialises in Latin-American cocktails. With a different happy hour for every day of the week, including tequila blancos and build-your-own margaritas, the drinks selection never gets boring.
One to try: Chamoyada - Mango ice cream with chilli sauce.
Fuego, Souk Al Bahar
Understated, sleek interiors with strong dark woods and a brown and purple colour palate prevail in Fuego, which proudly eschews any hints of tacky stereotypical Mexican decor in favour of a more sophisticated look.
While the decor is minimalistic, that's certainly not the case with the food, as Fuego's Mexican chef, Jose Manuel, delivers flavour in spades, with his trio of ceviche, slow-cooked lamb shanks and guava and tequila short ribs particularly impressive.
One to try: Beef tacos with jalapeno- and celery-infused tequila.
Loca, Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa
First and foremost, Loca serves as a lively bar, as is evidenced by the plasma screens around the venue showing sporting fixtures and the on-table beer pumps that encourage guests to pour their own pints.
However, the food at this place is amongst the best Mexican fare the city has to offer, with traditional dishes such as corn husk tamales and banana leaf wrapped roasted lamb more than proving its credentials as a serious restaurant.
One to try: Guacamole - made fresh at the table to your spice specifications, it's a must-try.
Cactus Cantina, Wafi
One of Dubai's original Mexican restaurants, having opened its first venue in the city all the way back in 1992, Cactus Cantina is still one of the best. From the Mexican classics of flat-iron fajitas and three-cheese quesadilla to the massive selection of aged tequila, everything about this fun-loving restaurant screams Mexico.
One to try: Baja fish tacos - grilled or crispy battered fish, chipotle sauce, Mexican coleslaw and pico de gallo salsa.