Bring on the Mexican wave: Xico will make you come back for more

Almost everything at this restaurant is delicious , but don’t leave without trying the best guacamole in Mumbai

mumbai Updated: Dec 15, 2017 18:34 IST
Roshni Bajaj  Sanghvi
Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi
Hindustan Times
Xico,Mexican cuisine,Guacamole
Bright yellow sofa booths, Aztec prints on the walls, blue doors and hand-painted details on high chairs, Xico is quite instagram-able.(Aalok Soni/ HT)
  • Rating: 3.5 / 5
  • Where: Trade View Building, Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel
  • When: 7 pm to 1.30 am
  • Cost: Approximately Rs 5,000 for a meal for two, with one drink each
  • Call: 2497-8910 / 77384-47111

We’ve been hearing about this, and now we do know it’s true. Xico has the best guacamole in the city. It’s fresh. It’s made tableside, on a moveable counter, manned by a server who halves and de-seeds Hass avocados with fluid dexterity and coaxes them into a slightly lumpy mash. It’s a pleasure to watch the process (already an Instagram favourite), and the guac is good enough to cause fights at the table. Order one per person, customise heat levels, keep the peace.

Also Instagram-able, when you look up from guac trolley, is the room. Bright yellow sofa booths, Aztec prints on the walls, blue doors and hand-painted details on high chairs.

After a sip of the expertly made Michelada (El Sol beer poured over a mix of spices) look at chef Scott Linquist’s menu. Have the fundido. Linquist runs Miami’s popular Coyo Taco, and he’s cooked and studied Mexican (not Tex-Mex) food for decades. Xico’s queso fundido (flamed cheese) has the satisfying, slightly grainy stretchiness that makes fondue look boring.

Also have the refritos negros – creamy refried black beans that are redolent with ghee. Black dal seems slightly overrated in comparison.

On the day we visited, duck tacos were the special and highly recommended. We wish we hadn’t fallen for the sell. They were unpleasantly funky, and the mix of textures in the tortillas wasn’t thrilling. The cochinita pibil gordita (marinated roast pork, refried pinto beans, and pickled onions in a cornflour dough) made up, with their complexity and their depth. Xico imports Mexican cheese and dozens of chilli varieties, and uses them competently for flavour and fun.

The refritos negros, creamy refried black beans redolent with ghee, will make black dal seem slightly overrated. (Aalok Soni/ HT)

From the page that offers cazuelitas (mains served with tortillas and accompaniments) and especials (house-special mains) we picked pescado veracruzano, a mix of Old World and New World flavours. A perfectly pan-cooked fillet of red snapper sat on a chunky sauce of tomatoes, olives, capers and oregano, alongside a darkly charred, halved, extra juicy bitter lemon.

Almost all of we tried was delicious. For dessert, we chose pastel tres leches over churros, and we did not regret it. The intensely milky cake, brightened by tart strawberry compote, and flakes of salted, toasted almonds, was rich but not nap-inducing. We’d come back for Xico’s ceviche and flautas, so the churros might still have a second chance.

(HT pays for all meals and reviews anonymously)

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 18:34 IST