Starting 13 until 22 May 2014, foodies in Jakarta can enjoy special Mexican Food Festival at Cinnamon, Mandarin Oriental Jakarta, Viva Mexico. This 10 days Mexican food feast is a collaboration between MO Jakarta with the Embassy of Mexico for Indonesia. Chef Angel Vazquez Caztelan from of Intro Restaurant in Puebla, Mexico, flew in to Indonesia and he will prepare Mexican, specifically Pueblan cuisine for lunch and dinner.
All this time, the only kind of Mexican food I knew were such as tacos, tortillas, enchiladas, and other mainstream dishes as can be found in most Mexican restaurants in Jakarta. Thus, I was naturally intrigued by the term 'Pueblan' food, which is apparently a sub-genre of Mexican cuisine, pretty much like Padang food in Indonesian cuisine.
Chef Vazquez explained that the signature of Pueblan dish is the Mole (read: mo-lay). The Mole is commonly cited as the Mexican version of curry, only it is made with chocolate / cacao as the distinctive ingredients, and it comes in various versions, depending on the region and the dishes. Click on the link to find more details about mole sauce.
For the next few days until 22 May, Chef Vazquez shall dish up a delightful feast of Pueblan classic favourites, such as what we had on the first evening:
- Enmoladas de Pollo, Cebolla, Queso Cotija - soft chicken tacos with onions & cotija cheese in Mole Poblano sauce
- Camaron en Sasa de Pipian Rojo - shrimp in Pipian Rojo (sesame seed & pumpkin seed red sauce)
- Pollo en Salsa de Chipotle y Epazote, Calabaza y Elote - chicken leg & thigh in a chipotle Epazote sauce
- Filete de Huachinago Relleno de Mariscos con Salsa de Acuyo - red snapper fillet stuffed with seafood and Acuyo Sauce
- Arroz Blanco con Elotes Rajas y Crema - white rice with Poblano peppers, corn & cream
- Frijoles Refritos - refried beans
|Arroz Blanco con Elotes Rajas y Crema|
|Foreground: Enmoladas de Pollo, Cebolla, Queso Cotija - soft chicken tacos with onions & cotija cheese in Mole Poblano sauce|
From the Live Cooking Station, the dishes prepared (which are my personal favourites):
- Flautas de Pollo - fried, flute-shaped tortilla with chicken filling, but it is not limited to chicken filling only.
- Tostada de Tinga - chipotle sauce, sautéed onions and shredded chicken served on top of a slice of tostada shell
|Flautas de Pollo - fried, flute-shaped tortilla with chicken filling|
|Tostada de Tinga - chipotle sauce, sautéed onions and shredded chicken served on top of a slice of tostada shell|
I had actually expected the dessert station to be filled with anything cocoa, but the Mexican dessert I found that evening was not what I'd ever imagine Mexican desserts to be. What I observe is that the dessert mostly use cream and milk-based such as the Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding), Mexican Flan, etc. I've never tried Mexican dessert before and after my first time tasting it, I realize that I actually liked them well!
|Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)|
Some signature Mexican drinks to accompany the feast, such as Magarita (also available in mocktail version), Tequila Shot and Corona Beer. I remember my experience from a few years ago, my first time I drank Tequila straight, it was terribly unpleasant, I swore to never drink it anymore. I must have done it all wrong or the tequila shot was simply terribly concocted. It was at a wedding function and everyone was eager for some booze, so I guess the bartender was overwhelmed and didn't do it properly (perhaps).
Apparently there's a way to properly enjoy a tequila shot, which is to lick the salt rim first, then drink the shot at one go, and immediately suck on the lime provided. And that's what I did with the tequila shots served at Cinnamon. I was pleasantly surprised to find it actually tasted quite refreshing despite being quite strong! The next shots were in order soon as we finished the first shot. Cheers!
|Left: Chef Angel Vazquez manning the live cooking station|
Viva Mexico buffet price is IDR 295,000++ / pax (IDR 360,000 nett) and is only available for lunch and dinner from 13 - 22 May 2014. Besides the Mexican dishes, guests will still be able to enjoy the standard international buffet lineup (Western, Japanese, Indian, Asian, cold cuts, dessert, etc).
JL. M.H. Thamrin (Bunderan HI)
Ph: +6221 29938823