Not a Tex Mex in sight.
Again this must have been a fate experience.
Off we all trot to a new Toys R Us, called Express Toys R Us as due to Amy’s recently tooth falling out she had some cash burning a hole in her little pocket. She wanted to buy jumping beans (weren’t they originally Mexican Jumping Beans?? Read on.)
Sadly they had none so she bought some other bits.
Where is this shop – it is the new CentrePoint shopping Centre on Orchard Road, next to this is Cuppage Road.
Cuppage Road, Cuppage Road – and Cuppage Terrace, hmmmmmm thought I when I saw the name, and I thought back.
When we first lived in Singapore we used to go there all the time as we lived just off Orchard Road, behind Pentagon Shopping Centre. We used to go there because it had a hawker centre within a single building (yep air conned hawker), and as we had not really explored much yet we thought this was the bees knees. Since then you have seen all the other blogs of course of other experiences – but hey here we are standing next to it. Let’s go have some lunch kids – all were in unison so seemed a good idea.
When we go there I started to see signs on the wall for Wine Connection, Something Something Spa, a Japanese Udon joint – hey not very hawker, and yes we walked in and f*ck me all change it seems as all are more mainstream joints now not hawker centre types. What to do, what to do?
Jude was grumpy as buggery as well, so we walked up the length of all the restaurants – Udon, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Wine Connection etc etc. Hmmm, not what I had in mind at all for lunch today. Shame Shame.
Off goes Jude again – waaaahhhhhh.
Kids what do you want to eat – “Whatever”
Mary what do you want to eat – “Don’t mind”
Off goes Jude again – waaaahhhhhh.
Ahhh right you lot sit here and I will walk Jude until asleep – hey presto they sat at Viva Mexico. More in a second. I came back with Jude asleep shortly with some ‘crispy charsiew pau‘ – what a discovery have you ever heard of them before? Me neither!!!
Right let’s eat. But firstly apologies for the photo quality as I did not pre-empt this all I had was iPhone.
But as we’re in, what I thought, was another local Tex Mex – I ordered a Sol, a shot of tequila and requested a sombrero. Make it authentic as possible type thing. Hey where are bloody guys banging out the Mariachi I ordered???
Who needed any of those items. Just a quick look through the menu and I knew something was different about this place. Utilising Mexican chilis and other such Mexican ingredients in their cooking. There were dishes I had never heard of before. Many more varieties that in the usual ‘Taco Bell’ franchise style of all Tex Mex restaurants – ‘one menu fits all’ – we just outdo each other with our decor.
This place the other way around. Very un-assuming as you can see.
Yes I did notice on one of the signs – ‘experience authentic Mexican music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday’, Happy Hour for Tecquila etc. I hope they don’t goo too far and stick to QUALITY food that we had today. Another very sad thing was that apart from us they were empty. Perhaps because we have all had enough of Tex Mex, perhaps you don’t know where they are located, perhaps the Udon Noodles next to us are so f*cking good no one would come here.
No matter – you should!!! It was worth every cent.
Best Mexican I have experienced;
- outside of Mexico,
- oh OK and from when a small piece of Mexico visited Singapore at the Street Food Congress (when I met Bourdain – see Ceviche blog).
This stuff was amazing and we will absolutely be back for more of their menu. A little up there on the ‘ouch-o-$meter’ for a lunch, but to be honest in Singapore for what we had, a bill of $230 on Orchard Road is pretty good for 4 big eaters. We ate and drank a lot.
- 1x April Lady
- 1x chimichanga beef
- 1x chocolate
- 1x garlic mushrooms
- 1x cheese quesadila
- 1x lime juice
- 1x mojito
- 1x cheese nachos
- 1x pork carnitas
- 1x tortilla soup
- 1x veracruzana fish
- 2x mango juice
- 2x Sol
See what I mean.
We ate and drank a f*cking lot – so again for $230 on Orchard, I am cool with that!!!
Let me explain a little more in detail;
Tortilla Soup – Holy crap!!! This was simply stunning. Best tomato soup ever, and one I shall be trying to copy. Smoky, chili, tomato, herby, tortilla-y – oh my!!! According to the menu this was; “Tortilla Soup – Fried crunchy tortilla, tomatoes, sour cream and avocado. A classic.” Sorry guys, description does not do this justice as a dish. Beautiful soup!!!
I saw garlic mushrooms. I like garlic mushrooms. Shall we hmmmm, OK some of those please. F*CK me!!! Look what rock up. These were incredible. Again the smokiness from the dried chili knocks it out of the park, let alone the tomato sauce and garlic in there. Ooooooohhhhhh! Again according to the menu this was; “Hongos Al Ajilo – Harmonizing the Spanish and Mexican culture, a fine mix of mushrooms, garlic and Mexican Guajillo chilli, served with tortillas.” Shit yeah boys this was bloody good.
Here is my main – the incredible pork carnitas, menu says; “Michoacan style pork served with corn tortillas, pico de gallo and lime.” Again gents seriously that does not do this dish justice. Holy cow. Pulled pork arrives in a skillet, sizzling away, growing and crisping. Oh my. Take a fresh corn tortilla, lay some down, squeeze some lime and add some of the salsa, roll her up and much on. WOW!!!
What else did we eat;
“Beef Chimichanga; deep fried flour tortilla with cheese and refried beans, topped with tomatillo and served with rice, salad, guacamole and sour cream.” Good choice Ollie. This was like beef slow cooked for days, that fall apart braised beef experience, guacamole to die for on top. A Beauty, that Mary could not stop tucking in to too. Again Ollie boy – great choice – WOW!!!
“Veracruzana Fish; A recipe from the East Coast – Veracruz the first Mexican city built by the Spanish. Tender fish covered with bell peppers, onions, capers, olives and chillies.” Mary enters the main courses. And pulls a winner. Massive Spanish influence of course with the olives and capers, huge overtones of spicy, salty. Look beautiful and tasted exactly the same.
Desert time arrives;
“No not me thanks mate.”
“Go on Sir try one.”
“Nah thanks!!! I like savoury not sweet.”
“Ah then Sir try the chocolate.”
“Eh???” “Go on then”
She arrives. “Chocolate Caliente Mexicana. Chocolate with cinnamon and almonds, whipped in steamed milk.” OMG. Tough to explain this one, eating truly is believing. Looks like a normal cup of hot chocolate. Take a sip. Hammer round the back of head – type thing.
After the meal I asked for a card and maybe got some answers to the “here we are eating Mexican, in Singapore, with a Filipino, 2x half Japanese-English and a Westerner being served by Indians” question that I had. Palate Vine is a group of restaurants of which one is Vivo Mexico, and the other two are Ras the Essence of India at Boat Quay, and Ras Bites at Changi Business Park. Clearly an Indian connection. So you know me next is the Indian at Clark Quay, cos if these boys do Mexican like this I truly cannot wait to try their ‘home turf’.
Seriously guys BEST Mexican food ever – just wonderful experience thanks. We’ll be back.
See you then!!!