We attended a blogger meet* at the ever-so-pastel Muchachas, which is another eatery set up by the brains behind Tom & Serg, The Sum Of Us and Common Grounds. Wide space, long tables, warm lighting and a range of authentic dishes make up this Mexican Cantina. We sampled dishes from their ‘Off The Street’ menu hence got to try a bit of everything.
Our verdict: This Mexican Canteen style set up is all about sharing plates, fun and a chilled out atmosphere. Have a few drinks, share some latin flavoured bites and enjoy conversations with friends. Definitely a bit pricey but since it’s all about sharing, dining while in a group shouldn’t break the bank.
Guacamole [AED 48]: Pico de gallo, jalapeno, lime, coriander served with tortilla chips. This popular dip comes already prepared to your table. It was tasty enough but don’t forget to add some of the lime that comes on the side. It does need it to boost the flavour.
Inca Corn Salad [AED 42]: One of the best dishes we tried, starchy large white kernels of Inca corn, charred cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and red jalapeño. The corn still had some bite to it so it wasn’t mushy. Great dish and definitely something different to try out.
Cheese Fondue [AED 48]: This isn’t your typical fondue that comes in a fondue pot. Instead it’s presented in a small iron skillet. Queso fundido, smoked cheeses, topped with pickled mushrooms, green apple, serrano oil. Served with about 4 small soft tortillas and a few pieces of cornbread. Gooey, melted cheese in a tortilla, what’s not to enjoy! Loved this dish. Add some of their ‘unicorn tears’ that’s on every table just to add some punch.
Scallop Ceviche [removed from the menu]: Chunks of scallops with red chillies, fresh passion fruit, avocado, cherry tomatoes and lime. Perhaps a little fruity for some, but M thinks it worked well with the scallops which take on the flavour of the ingredients accompanying it. Unfortunately this item has been removed from Muchachas’ menu.
Kingfish Ceviche [AED 58]: This was T’s favourite of the two. King fish cubes with chunks of fresh mango, avocado and lime. It had great flavour and enough citrus that wasn’t overpowering.
Tacos [AED 15 each]: We tried the tofu taco which consisted of Buddha salad, black bean cream and deep fried lotus root. T wasn’t a fan but M didn’t mind it, the black bean cream proved to be overpowering in terms of texture, definitely add some lime and maybe some hot sauce before taking a bite, it comes off as quite bland.
Free drinking water: Love that they do this.
Chido [AED 35]: A mocktail consisting of apple, strawberry, coconut and lime. This is quite a fruity drink and for once we actually tasted all the ingredients. There was an added textural element as well with the addition of grated coconut. The drink was well presented in a wine glass with a strip of grated coconut lining the exterior, topped with slices of green apple and fresh sprigs of mint.
Mexican Mudbath [AED 59/2, AED 79/ 4]: Quite a spectacular dessert! It consists of half a watermelon carved out in the middle and filled with melted chocolate (the mudbath). The edges were lined with fruit skewers and placed around it were pieces of the watermelon, churros, homemade marshmallows, raspberries and cotton candy. Definitely a fun dessert and you won’t feel too bad since it is technically a fruit filled one.
The service at Muchachas was quite nice. The staff were friendly and explained the dishes while placing it on the tables. Special shout out to Rita, she was our lovely hostess for the evening and accompanied all our requests.
Muchachas has an interesting set up. Once you enter you’ll see a little platform in front you with hanging plants, behind this they have tables along with a wall covered in knick knacks. As you move towards the right you’ll find tables set up and the bar lining one side, with a cosy nook at the extreme end for a more private setting perhaps. Pastel colours of blue, yellow, green, pink and white sets the colour scheme so you just know that during the day this place is an Instagram dream. We loved the open space and hanging plants. It gives you a sense of being outside in a little decorated garden…without actually being outside.
To Book or not to Book
Having visited on a Saturday evening, Muchachas was busy but not so busy that you wouldn’t get a space as people were coming and going. So it is probably best to make a booking on the weekends at least if you’re more than a group of two.
How to get there
By Car: Muchachas is located in Holiday Inn Express hotel in Business Bay, near the Emaray Atrium and the Gulf News buildings. There is RTA parking outside, but if you drive to the side of the hotel i.e. take the turn after the hotel if it’s on your left side, you can inform the parking booth staff that you’re visiting Muchachas and you’ll be allowed to park in their basement parking.
By Cab: The drive would surely know Holiday Inn Express hotel in Business Bay. If they don’t, then tell them to take you to the canal area under sheikh zayed road, near the gulf news office.
Public Transport: The closest metro station is Business Bay Station (seaside), exit to the other side of Sheikh Zayed Road. It’s about a 15 minute walk from there towards the hotel.
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/cvZ15T5X65S2
Muchachas is located on the ground floor of the hotel. As soon as you enter Holiday Inn Express, Muchachas will be straight ahead of you. Hard to miss. The waiting area space at the entrance has a cool typography wall decal stating ‘Los Buenos Tiempos’ which translates to ‘The Good Times’. There’s a bench with cacti plants around as well. Nice little spot for a group pic.
- Chido: AED 35 x2
- Guacamole: AED 48
- Inca corn salad: AED 42
- Cheese Fondue: AED 48
- Kingfish ceviche: AED 58
- Scallop ceviche: AED 58 [removed from menu]
- Tofu Tacos: AED 15 x2
- Mexican Mudbath:AED 59
Total for 2: AED 413
Note: Our meal was provided by Muchachas as part of the blogger meet. However, our thoughts and opinions are unbiased and our own.