Monday, February 6, 2012

Azteca Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant


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


Tortillas

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.
Chicken Fajitas

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



18 comments:

  1. Nice review Edgar Sr will have to get along there soon and try those fajitas.

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    1. Thank you so much, and I'm telling you that the fajitas are great. Hope you get a chance to try them soon!

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  2. Looks over prised.

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    1. Looks can be deceiving, and besides we don't even know what their prices will be. One thing we must consider is the fact that the some of the ingredients needed for Mexican cuisine are not readily available locally, this means they have to be shipped in and that means charging a bit more.

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  3. i love spicey food but it doesnt look very spiced for Mexican Food

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    1. You are right, it wasn't very spicy but that was intentionally done so that people that are NOT used to or do NOT like spicy food can taste it. The owner has said that they will provide spicier versions upon request...

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  4. I'm from Texas, and I'm used to eating authentic Mexican food with my Mexican friends in their homes, and unfortunately, I'm a bit disappointed. It seems as if they are trying to make it into a fancy "fusion" style Mexican restaurant. It looks nice and all, but I wish it were a straight up home style, hole-in-the-wall, mom & pops Mexican kitchen place (which usually have the best food). I loved that about Lita's-- you could walk-in there, grab a taco or some mole and go! So unfortunate it is no longer around. I haven't been to Azteca's, but I'm really hoping their food is good as they are probably the only Mexican spot around now. BTW, I hope the portions are bigger than they look!!

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    1. Hey W, I know what you mean about the "Hole-in-the-wall". I am from California and we've got plenty of those and sometimes THOSE places tend to be more delicious than other fancier places, but I'm glad that we'll at least have a place to go when we want to have Mexican food other than a franchise!

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    2. Longhorn In KuwaitFebruary 8, 2012 at 7:16 AM

      I am sure this place will have plenty of business but only the ones willing to pay the price to eat there! Lita's was over-hyped only because it was the closest thing to "Mexican Food" here in Kuwait! It was only good for me and the wife for when we didn't feel like making fajitas or something ourselves. Plus the one thing that peeved me off about Lita's is the supposed time they said they would open, in which they didn't really open till about an hour later. thankfully myself and other Texican compadres here in Kuwait can cook our own dishes! wish you all the luck Azteca!

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    3. I also wish them the best of luck because at least we'll have a Mexican restaurant again, I'm sure that as time goes by and they establish themselves they will be able to expand their menu to offer things the customers ask for. We'll just have to wait and see on that though, as far as Mexican food I am covered on that end since I eat it everyday but it's nice to be able to go and eat out once in a while.

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  5. Have been waiting for a couple of months for the signboards to change from Opening Soon. The review seems promising...only one issue though...will there be enough vegetarian fare?

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    1. Tell me about it, I've been waiting for almost a year and I can't wait. As for the vegetarian fare, I have no idea but as soon as a menu is finally settled on I'll ask the owner to give me a chance to post it... So check back regularly for updates on menu, hours of operation, pricing and opening day!!

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  6. When do they open?

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    1. They haven't said exactly when but I am sure that in about 2 weeks at the latest, sometime during the week of the 19th of February..

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  7. Were those sample plates? In California we have 10 pound burritos and 10 pound nachos so that's what I'm used to. I went by there last Saturday and still closed. Is it small inside? I wish there was El Torito. I miss the sweet corn, chips and salsa. Chili's tries but it's just not the same. I'm willing to give it try though. Talking about Lita's I went there once but didn't like what I saw. I wanted some carne asada burritos but they only had ground beef and at that time they didn't have Jamaica or Horchata. Took one look at the menu, saw the prices and decided to go home and cook it myself.

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    1. Yeah, those are sample plates and trust me I've already mentioned the portion sizes to the owner. It has been open for sometime now, and it's usually open around noon. I'm from California as well, and I miss those Taco Stands with the $5 Burritos that are falling apart from the all-in-one meal shoved inside that flour tortilla.. hahaha

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  8. I finally visited and I wasn't impressed by the burritos. I've never had white rice in a burrito and no refried beans? I was told that the types of burritos we are used to are "American" burritos and that they vary depending on which part of Mexico you go to. My chipotle burrito was bland. I did enjoy the tamale. They are supposed to change the menu next month. I might give it a second shot later on. I talked to the chef and owner and told them what I thought. It seems some people complained the food was too spicy but bland is worse than being too spicy.

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  9. We were so looking forward to having some good Mexican food but guess it wasn't so. We had these vouchers from OSN where we could get 2 for the price of 1 in the main course and we had 2 such vouchers for our table of 4 people. I had called the day earlier to inquire about the process and all they said was to bring our said vouchers. When we turned up the next day before our server could take our order I informed them that we have these 2 OSN vouchers that I would like to set it off against my bill, the server was a bit confused in the beginning (its quiet understandable /:) with Kuwait ) but she agreed and we looked over the menu to place the order and another server showed up to take our order, as we were placing the order when the server to whom I had inquired about the OSN vouchers (I know confusing eh but do bear with the rambling ;) ) came over to tell us that we can use only 1 voucher per table, though it was clearly stated in the voucher that each table is allowed a maximum of 4 vouchers. And we were being fair by having 2 separate vouchers for 4 people meaning we pay only for 2 people and the other 2 people eat for free and this was accepted. So I pointed this fact out to the server to please inform the manager about this clause (very politely) which was clearly printed on the voucher. We place our order on hold and wait for the server to get back to us. Server comes back and seems their manager had another brilliant idea.... the manager wanted each of the vouchers to have different person names on it (please note that both our vouchers had unique ID numbers) I mean seriously which planet did this manager of Azteca step out of? or is it really that difficult to understand some simple and easy facts especially when it is clearly printed. I asked if I could speak to the manager but the server refused saying she wasn't on site, I requested for the managers number and name I wasn't given the number but thankfully they gave me the name. The server took down my number and mobile promising their manager "Sylvia Alhammoud" would be calling me, well I am still waiting for the call. I can't blame the servers they were mere pawns in all of this. We choose to walk out because we felt it was wrong of them to misrepresent facts and it wasn't very ethical. So yeah I can't comment on the food but just customer service (the servers were good and polite but not the manager) and misrepresentation of facts was more than enough to turn me off this restaurant. I am still on the hunt for some great Mexican food but for the time being will need to satisfy myself with some home made guacamole and salsa (I make a pretty mean Guc :P ) !!!!!

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