Feugo: Bringing us the bold taste of Mexico
It was Diwali (end October) and one would assume the choice of cusine would be Indian. WRONG! We decided on Mexican and we decided to try the upscale casual restaurant and bar Fuego Contemporary Mexican at Souk Al Bahar. (I have to admit since the end of October and today I have already found myself back at Feugo, but this review is based on my first experience).
The name Fuego is inspired by ‘fire’ or ‘flame’ that is induced in Mexican food through both, flavours and sight. The flavour is that of the Mexican chillies used as an ingredient and the sight is presented by the live flame used in cooking and grilling the food.
The restaurant space is modestly sized, and slightly elongated with a bar section where you are allowed to smoke. The overall impression was slick and smart, with an understated palate of browny-purples melding into one.
Depending on the weekday you chose to visit, I suggest you make a reservation as seating is limited and if like me you need to be seated in the smoking section (thanks to my smoking-friendly companion) I think it’s a good idea.
We were shown to our table for in the bar area and from then on we were looked after by a wonderful and fabulous hostess from Mexico. I usually don’t make references to the staff, but Karina deserves a special mention. Not only did she patiently explain the menu and make suggestions but focussed on us having a great experience. (To the Management of Fuego I have one piece of advice – don’t let Karina go).
Unfortunately on our first visit we did not have alcohol but on a subsequent visit we did try the Margaritas and Tequila – both did not disappoint. Just a note: If you choose the frozen Margaritas they are less strong then the classic and the ice seems to dilute the taste.
For starters, we ordered the Gringas Al Pastor (AED 45), an open-faced crispy flour tortilla with chilli al pastor-marinated chicken an Mexican cheese, served with coriander cream dip.
For our main course, my companion ordered Tacos Gringo (AED 59), 4 hard shelled tacos filled with certified angus minced beef, cheese, lettuce and pico de gallo alongside Mexican rice and charro beans. I ordered the Enchiladas Poblanas (AED 77), the traditional folded soft corn tortilla filled with hand pulled chicken topped with cheese and Feugo’s signature mole sauce alongside Mexican rice and pinto beans. Now for a special mention – for the sauce topping I was asked if I wanted to try the traditional sauce which has a hint of Mexican chocolate in it and seeing my puzzled look I was offered to taste the sauce in a sample size. It was different, interesting and it tickled my taste buds so I said yes. Had I not liked it, they would have offered me a choice of the regular green or red sauce. And ofcourse instead of the pinto beans I asked for refried beans.
So now that the orders were placed we settled down to enjoy the fresh tasty nachos which were accompanied by spicy and not-so spicy salsa dips.
Our starter arrived accompanied by 3 dips – Harbenero, one made with green chillies and green tomatoes and the third one unfortunately I cannot remember. The Habanero is for those who enjoy it very very spicy. My favourite was the green one – it was spicy but not like the Habanero. The Gringas Al Pastor was tasty and flavourful and I nearly forgot to take a photo of the dish – it was that good.
Our mains were both very nice. The Tacos was crisp and the beef filling was yummy. The enchilada with this Mexican authentic chocolate fused sauce was absolutely nothing like I had tasted before.
The portions are filling, so do be careful in terms of how much of the nachos and dip you devour at the start.
With just a little space left to try the dessert (actually it was us being over indulgent), we settle on the Feugo Churro (AED 35), a deep fried dough sticks filled with berries compote and served with a chocolate dip. Delicious.
To sum it up, the food at Fuego is very enjoyable, well-made, well-presented and in some cases, the use of intriguing ingredients or ideas adds a touch of authenticity to the food. It is a restaurant that has drawn me back to experience the Mexican hospitality and the food.. and the tequila.
Location: Level 3, Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, Tel: +971 4 449 0977, Open from 12.00 PM – 1.00 AM www.fuego.ae