Last week I was invited to a private event by the owners of Azteca Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant, they were inviting some close friends to their restaurant to sample some of the items on their menu and to give them an honest opinion about those items. They did this over a period of two days, Friday February 3rd and Saturday February 4th, 2012 with half of the group invited on one day and the other half the following day. American, Australian, French, Italian, Kuwaiti, Mexican, Scottish, Spanish, Syrian and Venezuelan nationals all got a chance to have a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine.
So let me tell you about Azteca, the owner is a Mexican lady who also participates in various exhibitions throughout Kuwait selling traditional Mexican Huipil dresses. The Chef is also Mexican with a degree in gastronomy with 12 years of experience having worked in several cities throughout Mexico such as Cancun, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Puebla and recently in Oaxaca where he worked at Fuego y Sazon restaurant located in the historic Jalatlaco area.
During the event the owner addressed the group and told us “I want to give people here in Kuwait a taste of REAL authentic Mexican food, with a modern twist. I don’t want them to eat Mexican food from a franchise and think that what they had was real Mexican food.” She continued by saying “My restaurant has been designed to give a feeling of being in a restaurant in Mexico with a contemporary touch, a lot of the decorations were handmade and were imported directly from Mexico because I wanted that authentic feel.”
|Azteca Restaurant logo on the outside|
Her speech was then followed by the food which started out with our choice of drinks, Horchata, Jamaica or water. Then a plate of Pozole which was deliciously served with fried Corn tortillas (called tostadas), and garnished with shredded cabbage and sliced horse radish. It was flavorful without being too spicy for people not used to spicy food. For those of us who like spicy food, a chili paste was served on a small dish along with limes to add extra flavor.
|Pozole with Tostadas|
This was followed by fish Ceviche which was served with diced tomato and onions with lots of lime juice which oddly enough was not too citrusy, and size of the fish in the Ceviche was just proportionate enough in size that you didn’t have to struggle to chew it and not too small you wouldn’t even know it’s not there. This was served with more tostadas that were cut into bite sized triangles, which was good for putting some on there if you didn’t want to use your fork. Although I do have to say that I wish it had contained shrimp, since I’m used to Ceviche having both fish and shrimp.
|Ceviche with Tostadas|
After that delicious entrée we were then served Ensalada de Nopales (Nopal Salad), now I have to be honest here so I am going to have to say that I skipped the salad. Not because I don’t like salads (I actually do like them), but because I don’t like Nopales so I can’t really comment too much on this dish. But I CAN comment on the next one (I know right, just how many where there?), well in case you are keeping count that’s 4 now with what came out next. Queso Fundido, served with Chorizo and tortillas so we could pour the cheese on the tortilla and slather some salsa on it to make the taste even greater. I am not lying when I say that it was fantastic, I just wish there had been more!
|Ensalada de Nopales|
|Queso fundido with Chorizo|
Believe it or not it wasn’t over because the Chicken Fajitas came next, now those were delicious beyond belief, the best fajitas I’ve ever had without a doubt. What I liked the most was the flavor of course, but a close second was the fact that the chicken wasn’t drowned out by the onions or the peppers meaning that I could actually taste the chicken.
I thought for sure that the desserts would come next but actually we got a surprise in the form of Tacos de Camaron, also known as Shrimp Tacos. I am not really sure if they are planning on calling them anything special or just simply Shrimp Tacos, but to me they were served Baja California style. That is when the shrimp or fish is fried or grilled, served with lettuce or cabbage and with some sort of sauce or sour cream and that’s exactly how they were served. Well minus the sour cream, but still with lots of flavor. Now I wish I had taken some pictures of those but unfortunately they were so good, they flew off the plates rather quickly and I had no chance at stopping long enough to take a picture.
You’d think that by now we would have had our fill but just in case, out came dessert in the form of Churros served with Cajeta which topped off the whole meal nicely.
|Churros with Cajeta|
All in all it was a good experience, the décor definitely had a Mexican feel to it but it’s immediately obvious that it’s got a modern touch. Like the owner mentioned in her speech about wanting to give a feeling of being in a restaurant in Mexico with a contemporary touch, the decorations although sparse were very beautiful with a promise of more coming at a later date due to the fact that they are being hand-made and that of course takes time. There is also an LED television that sits on the main wall; this will display movies from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema which ran from the mid 1930’s thru the late 1960’s and that, I think is a nice touch! The restaurant is tentatively scheduled to open by the end of February in “The Village” in Funaitees and their landlines have yet to be hooked up so you cannot call to find out more information as of this time. I hope your experience there is as good for you as it was for me, and I hope to you there when they open.
|The location of Azteca Authentic Mexican Restaurant|