An American chain of Mexican restaurants will open its first branch outside the USA in Khar on Monday. Taco Fresco, which has 16 outlets in the USA, and specialises in authentic Mexican cuisine, opens up on 14th Road, Khar, where Bamboo Shoot used to be.
The casual dining restaurant is run by Sayeeda Kurlawala, who holds the franchise for all Taco Frescos in Asia. She plans to open more restaurants and Taco Fresco quick eateries in Mumbai, and across Asia. She has just returned from the USA, where she lived for 20 years, to start the venture.
“There is very little Mexican food on offer in Mumbai. People don’t use the right ingredients and don’t know how to make it. A lot of it is too sweet and they used tamarind, which is not Mexican at all.”
The restaurant, which seats 42 spread across an indoor and outdoor area, serves Burritos, Tacos, Nachos, Tortillas, Quesadillas and Fajitas with either chicken, fish, shrimps, or vegetables, and options of sour cream, refried beans, pico de gallo (tomato, onion and chilli), melted cheese, and guacamole.
A few dishes have Indian flavours such as Paneer Tacos and Chicken Tikka Burritos. They also serve authentic Maragaritas, Sangria and Mexican beers.Most items are made with locally sourced ingredients. This includes the tortilla chips, tortillas, sour cream and salsa “The only problem we are facing is in finding good avocadoes in Mumbai, “ says CEO and founder of Taco Fresco, Anthony Gambino, who is training the local chefs.
“Indian food is quite similar to Mexican food. Both have breads, sauces and meat and use tomatoes, onions, and chillies. But Indian food is spicier.”