Saturday, April 18, 2009

MARGARITA'S - Mexican Food

18 April 2009

404 East Coast RoadSingapore 428998 Tel: (65) 64408030

108 Faber Drive Singapore 129418 Tel: (65) 67771782Blk 11 Dempsey Rd #01-19 Singapore 249673 Tel: (65) 64713228

We headed to the newly re-opened MARGARITA'S at East Coast Road, a Mexican restaurant which have disappeared along this road for about 8months since Sept 2007, when the quaint shophouses underwent major renovation to convert into a peranakan-style boutique hotel of 65 rooms with eateries on the ground floor.
Now in a bigger premise, as it used to occupy one shoplot and now two, this mexican restaurant which boast to serve one of the most authentic Mexican food in town is again packed with Saturday nite diners and all reservations are fully taken up!!

I have never been here before and as we entered the door, the place is abuzz with diners, both locals and caucasians enjoying their meals, soaking in the mexican mood with glasses of margaritas except there was no waiters who don sombrero or seen strumming the guitar.
Immediately I was approached by a matronly Chinese lady with a white apron, which I thought was a bit unusual in a mexican restaurant. She apologised quickly that it's full house tonight and reservations are already staggered into two time slots for the evening and yet both are fully booked.

However, since I am here with full of expectations for a totally different dining experience in mexican cuisine and with a strong urge of sipping margarita drink or pina colada or tequila, I did persist a bit more that I just needed a quickie fix. In fact, she paused and then in a split seconds, she decisively told us that we can have the table in front, pointing to a 'reserved' sign on an empty table.....hurray !!!
Later I was to find out that she is Vivien the owner and to my bigger surprise this restaurant is home-grown and yet it is so popular. I read on later that Andy Yap, the owner once visited Mexico and is so delighted with the mexican dishes he had tasted there that he went back to stay for months to learn not only to cook but enthused in setting up a mexican restaurant in Singapore and we are now enjoying the fruits of his labour or the success of his restaurants are now the fruits of his own labour (lol). It now has expanded to three outlets, the other two in Faber and one at the hip enclave of Dempsey.

As we poured over the menu, I was in a frenzy on what to order as being unfamiliar with Spanish language, the official language of Mexico, I had to read the details on what each dish contains. Well Vivien was still dashing here and there, seemed a little understaffed, as more diners walked in, some without reservations were politely turned away and some who came with reservations had to wait at the counter before the "next shift" starts.

Well, the waitress did help by asking us if we wanted tortillas with this or that or fajitas where we have to roll or fold the tortilla ourselves with the meat dish. It didnt help with my current non existence knowledge of mexican cuisine besides nachos with salsas. Of course, that was my first dish, CHIPS AND SALSA ROJAS @ $5.50. The salsa was zesty and a bit fiery but it was good.

With the waitress recommendation, we ordered including two interesting beverage. We wanted the highly recommended Margarita which is concorted from 100% Blue Agave (plant from which tequila, an alcoholic liquer distilled from the juice of this plant) tequila and cointreu (famous french liquer of orange flavour) and lime juice but at SGD14.90 for a glass or even steeper, a jug at SGD59.60, we kept ourselves at bay and instead went for the cheaper ones.

which is a creamy blend of coconut, pineapple juice and cream.
The coconut evokes a very strong coconutty aftertaste but it's simply refreshing and worth what I came for. In fact, the next day I had a re-visit of this drink of Pina Colada at Orange Julius, the hotdog fast food joint, for SGD5.90, so relatively it wasnt expensive afterall as it was served in a glass in a restaurant and it definitely taste better at Margarita's.

This is a very nice concoction of orange juice and lemonade, again very refreshing and exotic in taste as if you are sitting by the pool in Mexico sipping this drink on a hot day.

This is fried dish of large cup Button Mushroom and it's big (not portobello big but for button mushroom it's big !!). It well breaded and the seven button mushrooms sits on a garlic sauce and a jalepano whole chilli tops the dish. It's not as juicy as portobello but it's an interesting dish very different from the way the Taiwanese fried their Shitake mushroom which has a stronger taste.

I would add that this is the evening's all time favourite. It's also deep-fried and a burrito of wheat tortilla or flatbreads and you can have a choice of chicken or beef fillings, cheese, refried beans (frijoles refrito) topped with enchilada sauce, guacamole and sour cream. It comes with rice.

Here's strips of grilled chicken served on a base of sliced onions and bell pepers and comes in a frying pan. The corn tortillas, are kept warm and covered in a padded cloth served in a separate plate. Yes, the grilled chicken was sizzling hot when it was served and the smell is so inviting. Here you help yourself to do your own burrito, enchiladas or taco style together with the condiments of frijales refritos and salsas.

At the end of the meal, we were quite filled with no more space for desserts which could be another tortilla related meal.

We came to realise it wasnt so difficult to place an order from the TEX-MEX cuisine menu (texas mexican dish with american texas influence of adding beef to the dishes) as the rudiments of it all was the corn or wheat tortillas and what goes into it, how it was served as in rolled as in buritos, folded corn tortillas as in enchalidas, fold over as in tacos, stacked in layers as in quesadillas, heated tortilla or deep fried ones, ready served or help yourselves as in fajitas and even to the appetiser of nachos is also a deep fried tortilla served as fast food in Mexican cuisine.

The food is very tasty, interesting for the tastebud for first timer, colourful and Vivien reminded me to book ahead the next time I descend to Margarita'S.
It was a good meal, a nice dining experience saved for the very steep price for a meal for three.
Whilst other diners continue to enjoy their evening here, we have to leave soon as promised that we just had a quickie meal but we did savour every bits and morsels of the nice mexican cuisine including the drinks, short of tequila and the salt crusted rims of the glass that you drink from, perhaps next time.



CUMI & CIKI said...

great mexican.. reminds me of the US! Margharitas but the gallon by the jug! great stuff.. :)

backStreetGluttons said...

Wo ! That was a superb lesson in Mexican de la cuisini !

We only like tequila and margarita and love that absolutely cool senorita el lola at d corner

JENCOOKS said...

Ciki - we could be drowned by the gallon by the jug !!

BGS - Eh what senorita Lola in the corner - still in the hits with Tell Lola I love her?

JENCOOKS previous posts

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin