MUCHACHAS MEXICAN CANTINA: FUN FOR THE FAMILY
Muchachas has been making noise of its impending birth since March this year (at Taste of Dubai), with subtle hints being thrown around to keep us interested, enticed and wanting more!!!
So it was but obvious that I would find myself at the doors to the Holiday Inn Express (a hotel I did not think I would ever need to visit) within which Muchachas has found its home! Since its tied in with a hotel, Muchachas is licensed which is an absolute bonus – think sangrias and fresh fruit cocktails (or mocktails)!!!
As soon as you walk into Muchachas you get this absolutely laid back beach-y vibe which is totally unexpected from the outside! I loved the pastel shades which is so not in-line with the Mexican restaurants in Dubai (which are mostly dark wood); but then again Bull & Roo have never lived by the rules!!!
I of course booked as I was advised to and I am glad I did. Once seated (we went early-ish) we saw more people trapeze in – it was not packed considering it was part of a long weekend (and I assume many had chosen to holiday elsewhere). We were seated first atop the stairs, but the stools were too close to the edge and with children as part of my entourage, a bit risky. So we asked to move and found ourselves in this cozy alcove which may have been a bit too big for just 5 of us, but we absolutely loved it.
Let’s talk food. The dishes here are slightly fancier versions of classic Mexican and definitely do not fit into the Tex-Mex bracket. We started off with homemade tortillas which were made of corn. They were way too salty and we were promised a new batch which we never saw. Neither of the two sauces that accompanied them – one spicy (red) and one not-so-spicy (green) – had the spice level we were looking for. So the little pipette bottle with ‘Unicorn Tears’ written on it, came to our rescue. A few drops of this hot sauce in the red dip gave it that extra ‘zing’ we were looking for. Now where were those less salted tortillas?
For drinks we had a jug of Sangria which was absolutely superb. We also had two mocktails
– one off the menu – Berryland D.F. (Fresh blackberries, fresh blueberries, fresh raspberries, fresh lemon juice, cranberry juice and ginger ale) (AED 35) – refreshing and the other one was a besopoke one with a passion fruit as its base – they did quite a good job with it!
For mains we had the Quesadillas de Camarones (garlic prawns, onions, morita chilli, coriander and mango chipotle) (AED 47) – tasty although I had to dip into my new magic potion dip. The rest of the food were all tacos (as one does in a Mexican restaurant) – all priced at AED 29. We had the Grilled Flank Steak (good enough for us to repeat order it), Gilled Spiced Octopus, Twice Cooked Veal Abodo and Charred Corn. Pricing wise, I found Muchachas on the higher side (when I compared it to La Tablita (at The Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek) which was AED 15 a piece).
One of the kids at the table took a fancy to the watermelon design on the plate, and as one would expect a young kid to do – he asked to have watermelon! So we asked our server for a slice of watermelon and without batting an eyelid, she smiled and said, ‘no problem’ – totally kid-friendly which was one of the things I loved about this place!
For dessert (of the 3 choices on the menu) we ordered the Liquorice Suguared Churros (AED 39) and the Campechanas (toasted custard, spiced honey and coconut sorbet) (AED 39) both wiped clean by the 5 of us.
What I loved about Muchachas is its bright and breezy décor and the service – extremely accommodating! Price and food wise, I felt the portions were small for the price but the food was delicious. I love the fact that the team of Bull & Roo keep coming up with concepts – which are unique and that is what keeps us going back every time they open a new concept outpost.
Location: Muchachas Mexican Cantina, Holiday Inn Express Safa Park (close to Emarat Atrium and Gulf News); Tel: +971 4 327 5878 or +971 56 403 0456 (advise to call and book a table) Open from 12 pm – 1 am Sunday to Wednesday (the kitchen operates 12-3pm and reopens at 6.30pm) and on weekends will go on till 2am (although the kitchen closes at 11.30pm)