Arca – Stefan’s Connoisseur Weblog

We weren’t planning on doing any ‘high quality eating’ throughout our trip in Mexico, as we have been anticipating that the ‘common’ restaurant meals can be particular sufficient. However once we realized we have been staying near quantity 29 on Latin America’s 50 greatest eating places and that we might nonetheless e-book a desk for the subsequent day (albeit at 5:30pm), we determined to go for it. And so we ended up at Arca in Tulum. The Mexican-American chef Jose Luis Hinostroza has a formidable resume, which incorporates not solely Noma but in addition El Celler de Can Roca (my private greatest restaurant on this planet), and De Kromme Watergang.

We have been actually trying ahead to the 12 course chef’s tasting menu that was listed on the web site. Nonetheless, though this was not talked about on the location, the tasting menu needed to be pre-ordered. So we had to decide on à la carte. There have been 14 dishes to select from, with costs round US$ 30. The recommendation was to share the dishes, and order 4 of them. The wines have been costly, with the least costly bottle beginning at US$ 90. We ordered a mix of Xarello, Chardonnay, and Muscat from Mexico that was fairly good (however not well worth the cash).

The primary dish was scallop ceviche with basil and coconut salsa verde, and scallop chicharrón. Chicarrón is the Mexican title for crackling, and this was a scallop cracker that was very tasty. The entire dish was very good.

Subsequent was smooth shell crab in amaranth tempura on a hoja santa leaf as a taco, with grilled hoja santa leaf and a pickled habanero salsa. Very tasty and properly crunchy.

Striped sea bass, seared on the pores and skin, with a charred poblano and tomatillo mole, and a recent coconut and daikon salad. The fish had very good texture with crispy pores and skin and unctuous flesh. The mole was very good, though a ‘brighter’ taste would have been good. The salad was principally concerning the texture.

Octopus al pastor, guajillo adobo, lentil puree, and lentil granola. The crispy lentils have been nice and the guajillo very flavorful, however the octopus was a bit bland and appeared overcooked.

For dessert we had avocado icecream with sponge cake and one thing that regarded like avocado pores and skin. Good presentation, however missing in taste.

Within the introduction I discussed that we weren’t planning on doing any high quality eating. The query is, was this the truth is high quality eating? Judging by the value tag, it definitely was. There was additionally one thing pretentious about every part, like that the restaurant refers back to the menu as “micro seasonal”. A few of the dishes have been actually nice and worthy of 1 Michelin star (there isn’t any Michelin information in Mexico). The ambiance was not high quality eating. The skin seating amid palm timber could be very good although. The service wants numerous work to be worthy of a Michelin star or to be ranked on the 50 greatest eating places. In the event you provide a chef’s tasting menu that needs to be pre-ordered, that must be clearly famous on the web site. The serving employees was consistently cleansing the desk (wiping it down with a fabric) and even altering our plates or cutlery whereas we have been nonetheless consuming. However n the opposite hand not persistently altering the cutlery between programs. The white wine was served at room temperature and thus wanted numerous time within the ice bucket to chill off. This was remedied by pouring some (very good) glowing Mexican grenache rosé on the home. In different phrases, the serving employees doesn’t have an identical resume because the chef.

Altogether we had a pleasant dinner with some glorious dishes that present numerous potential.

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