The standard dishes that come to mind when you think of Mexican cuisine tend to be burritos and quesadillas (not to mention the drinks, hello margaritas!). La Tablita, a fairly new Mexican Restaurant located in the Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights (not to be mistaken with Hyatt Regency Dubai in Deira) has driven the focus away to the less popular but ridiculously delicious, tacos. However the only reason this works is because they have a decent menu overall so it comes off as a hit or miss.
Our verdict: come for the ambience and friendly at-table-service, but you can definitely get better Mexican food around town.
While you prepare to order they serve you complimentary chips and dips. Salsa, habanero and chilli. Pretty standard. The habanero was our fave.
We ordered the following dishes:
Camaron (AED 55): a prawns and coconut milk concoction that was truly divine. The flavours were amazing and it truly hit the spot. A must try.
Taqeuira aka ‘Taco Shop’ (AED 15 each)
Champi: sautéed mushrooms. Bland and boring, don’t bother.
Pescado: battered fish, garlic mayonnaise. Great balance, but for those who don’t eat fish often, it had a ‘fishy’ taste to it.
Pescadillas: crispy fish taco, radish salsa. The whole thing was deep fried! Something different to try out, it had a nice crunch to it.
Camaron: battered shrimp. Best one out of the lot! Crispy shrimp, flavourful sauce and just enough of a red cabbage slaw on the top for some added texture.
We weren’t completely satisfied yet, they are small portions (two bites and a taco is done) and we were two people sharing after all.
And so we decided on the:
Empandas de queso (AED 35): fried corn dough, cheese, guacamole. What can go wrong with fried dough and cheese? Portion was good enough considering we didn’t want something large at this point. The empanada was pretty good. Not as crispy on the outside as we would have liked, but with the cheese and guac, it was a satisfying end to the savoury part of our meal.
Tres Leches (AED 35). It needs no introduction. Being big fans of this delectable milky cake fiesta we tend to order it whenever it’s on a menu, thus we can be hard to please. La Tablita has an interesting twist on it, with the use of candied jalapeño in and on the ice-cream that sits atop the cake along with some crunchy caramel nut brittle. The cake itself was soft and moist and the ice cream was delicious, but just a tad bit underwhelming.
The desert makes you ooh and aah as you bite into it so we definitely recommend ordering this, but don’t expect much heat from the jalapeño ice cream. Not the best Tres Leches in town (M thinks it comes real close though), but it’s definitely worth a try.
The experience at La Tablita was dramatically split into two parts: greeted & seated and while dining.
Before being seated at our table, the staff at the door was unfortunately a bit rude. When we rang up the restaurant earlier in the day, the person who answered the phone was also the same (we guessed by now that it was perhaps the same person). The first impression came across as uninviting, dismissive and uninterested. However, once you have a seat its like you are in a completely different restaurant altogether. Our server, Cindel, was friendly and helpful. She provided us with her recommendations and was attentive enough even though her section was pretty much full.
La Tablita is a well decorated restaurant with variations of the skull that represents the Día de Metros (Day of the Dead). The venue is almost split into 3 parts. The bar, the quieter dinning area which is a step above the ‘noisy’ dining area. The noise at the restaurant it really nice to be a part off because its the sound of live music, groups having a good time and the general chatter of people enjoying themselves. If you are looking for a quiet time, this is not the venue, but if you get to sit on the quieter side its still a pleasant experience.
To Book or not to Book
When we called La Tablita and asked if we need to make a booking, the lady mentioned that they do not take reservations, but there might be a wait due to the restaurant being busy. When we arrived, the restaurant was relatively full, but there were enough tables empty that we could be seated immediately, yet she told us we had to wait at the bar. With a little protesting she then said she found us a table. The whole thing was quite uncomfortable and unnecessary, as the attitude was off-putting. The idea that the restaurant was so busy, hence exclusive enough to have people wait for a table was too forced. Instead just let the menu, venue and vibe do the talking.
To answer the question, you don’t need to make a reservation, but the restaurant can get busy on weekends, so keep that in mind.
How to Get there
By Car: If you have a designated driver or if you do not intend on drinking alcohol, then the easiest way to get to the hotel is by driving yourself. The Hotel has free valet parking (upon validation). La Tablita is straight ahead on the right from where you enter.
By Cab: If you are planing on drinking alcohol, then this is the way to go. Make sure you mention that you want to go to Healthcare City and the full name of the hotel. If the driver does not know the way, you can also give the Creek Park main entrance as a landmark. The hotel is right opposite the creek park entrance and impossible to miss from there.
Public Transport: If you are taking public transport then you can take the green line on the metro and get off at the Dubai Healthcare City Metro station. From there it’s roughly a 12-15 minute walk (following the main roads). Alternatively you can take either Bus 42 or C7 and get off at the Creek Park main gate.
Not ideal to get to via public transport, so the Omnom recommendation is to take a taxi or drive.
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/2F7uJMh5H122
La Tablita is located in the lobby level of the hotel. From the entrance, there are little skull stickers on the floor that lead the way to the restaurant. It’s a nice way to get people like us to a venue without having to ask anyone for directions, although the valet at the entrance did ask us where we were heading and was kind enough to escort us there.