Friday, August 9, 2019

El Mero Mero @ Chijmes - The Go-To-Place For Mexican Gastronomy


El Mero Mero at Chijmes has reopened after undergoing refurbishment. With the re-opening, it has also refreshed the menu. The new menu showcases the traditional flavour combinations, as well as demonstrating the current Mexican culinary trends.

Guacamole 4/5

The Guacamole ($12/$18) is made a la minute. The smashed avocados are paired with diced tomatoes, banana shallots, serrano chilli pepper and coriander. Mixed them all up and have it together with the charred tostadas, for that extra texture to appreciate the guacamole.

Corn Sampler 4.5/5

The Corn Sampler ($15) comes with char-grilled organic baby corns, smoked huitlacoche donuts and chilli mayo. This is my first time to come across Huitlacoche. It is a type of fungus that grows on organic corn, also known as corn mushroom. It is made into a mix with egg, flour and milk, and shaped into a dough. Deep-fried upon order. This goes so well with the chilli mayo dipping sauce.

Hamachi and Coconut Ceviche 4.5/5

I am a fan of ceviche for its firework of flavours, and the Hamachi and Coconut Ceviche ($21) here did not disappoint. The fresh sashimi-grade hamachi is cut into cubes and marinated in aguachile, and then tossed in lime juice, hibiscus flower milk and avocado puree. What you get is a clean tasting dish with the chemistry of sweetness, spiciness and tanginess, igniting beautiful combustion of flavours.

Tostadas De Atun 4/5

The Tostadas De Atun ($17) comes with tuna tartar, avocado puree, chipotle mayo, matchstick tempura banana shallots on a crispy corn tortilla. There are a lot of textures at play, which is a delightful joy to eat.

Avocado Taco 3.5/5

What is Mexican food without tacos, right? Hence we also tried a couple of the tacos on the menu. We started with the Avocado Taco ($11). Nothing fancy, just freshly sliced and smashed avocado on a soft burnt corn tortilla, sprinkled with some smoked sea salt. Maybe I am too used to Tex Mex cuisine for its rich flavours, I find this a bit plain for my liking.

Carnitas Taco 4/5

The Carnitas Taco ($13) comes with caramelised pork neck and belly, paired with homemade pineapple sauce, pickled shallots, and purple cabbage on a soft corn tortilla. Compare to the avocado taco, the flavours are more vibrant. However, I find the pork a bit too thinly sliced for me to fully enjoy it.

Baja Fish 4.2/5

Among the three tacos, my favourite is the Baja Fish Taco ($14). The wheat tortilla is wrapped with tempura toothfish paired with pico de gallo and pickled shallots and chipotle mayo. The toothfish gives the taco a satisfying substantial bite complemented by the chipotle mayo, while the pickled shallots provided the needed acidity to bring everything together.

Tortilla Soup 4.2/5

The Tortilla Soup ($14) is a classic Mexican dish whereby household will use leftover tortillas to make this soup instead of throwing them away. Over at El Mero Mero, to re-interpret the dish, fresh tortillas are dehydrated and flamed. It is then blended with roasted tomatoes, garlic, onion and guajillo chilli pepper. Lastly, it is served with deep-fried tortilla strips and diced avocado and garnished with crema. It is a very hearty and comforting pot of soup.

Gordita 4.2/5

The Gordita ($28) is another homely and comforting dish that I enjoyed, with a generous serving of butter sauteed heirloom vegetables. The gordita reminds me of the local alkaline dumpling brightened by the salsa roja.

El Mero Mero Fajita 4.2/5

The El Mero Mero Fajita ($38) uses the oyster blade cut of the beef. It is cooked beautifully to a delightful tender and dressed in a lovely poblano shishito crema, served with flour tortillas on the side. I actually prefer to have the beef like a taco together with the delicious sauce.

Tequila Pecan Pie 3/5

For dessert, we started with the Tequila Pecan ($14) served with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream. Personally, I find the pie too sweet for my liking. I took a bite and stop there.

Red Velvet Churros 3.5/5

I am not a fan of churros, but it turned out I really enjoy the Red Velvet Churros ($14). Deep-fried, coated in sugar and cinnamon powder, the churros are slightly crisp on the exterior and soft inside.

Braised Pineapple 4.2/5

The Braised Pineapple ($14) is the simplest of all the desserts, turned out to be my favourite. The pineapple has been caramelised in cane sugar before being grilled in the Josper oven. The result is a delectable char on the edges on top of its sweetness.

After tasting the food at El Mero Mero, it gives a deeper insight into Mexican cuisine. Not only that, food evolves with time and this is reflected in the menu too, showing current culinary trends and the dynamic Mexican foodscape as it is now.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

El Mero Mero
30 Victoria Street
Singapore 187996
Tel: +65 97228171
Nearest MRT: Bras Basah (CC Line), City Hall (EW Line, NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu: 5pm - 11pm
Fri-Sat: 5pm - 1130pm

1) Alight at City Hall MRT station. Take Exit A. Cut across Raffles City Shopping Centre to Bras Basah Road. At the junction of Bras Basah Road and North Bridge Road, cross the road to Chijmes. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Bras Basah MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk southwards towards Victoria Road. At the junction of Bras Basah Road and Victoria Road, cross the junction to Chijmes. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

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