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22. August 2012: Restaurant Pujol

| August 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

Being number 36 of the world is not only a question of honour but also a matter of expectation handling – and although everything was outstanding, my expectations were somehow disappointed. I decided to enjoy the “Menú de Tierra” (980 MXN) which had eight courses while my company had the seafood menu.

As an amuse bouche from the kitchen we had small corn cobs with a chocolate and coffee mayo, chili, ants in olibanum. With it a tea made of onions and chili was served. So it started quite promising as the crunchiness of the ants and the taste of chocolate and coffee mayo with the corn cob was definitely great. The quite spicy tea which was served was good after the corn cob.

In order to allow us to spice up the dishes as we wanted, three different kinds of salsa were served: A green salsa Habanero with green tomatoes, a red salsa and a salsa made of pepito, calavasita and apples. I only had the chance to try the last one which was not spicy at all and did not dare to try the other two as they were both – according to the waitress – spicy and I know what Mexican spicy means.

The first course from the menu was a “Taco de Chicharrón de queso y guacamole”. Basically, it was a taco with three different kinds of Guacamole or some kind of it. And I must admit that the taco was definitely tasty but the differences between the three different guacamole were difficult to identify as you had basically nothing you could eat (as the thing was that small) and therefore, to part it in three was quite a challenge already.

The second course was a “Ensalade de jitomate heirloom (Hoja de frijol. Quesillo frito)” – and with it came two feelings. One of disappointment and one of positive astonishment. The disappointment was the salad it self as it was absolutely nothing special at all. The astonishment came from the small cheese balls (in beige colour in the picture) as they were fried but liquid inside and were definitely again a candidate for shivers.

Somehow the next course was already the highlight of the evening – a “Tostada de escamol (gusanos), colinabo y poro (asche de Cebolla)”. The tostada itself was regular, the toppings were though what made it special. The small white things you can see in the picture were absolutely declious and great in taste. I ate them all (by hand) cose they were so good. I only realized later that they were maggots. Even then I had to say, the best course of the night.

Next was a “Tamal de Tuétano y chipilín (salsa roja cruda. queso cotija)”. The dough of the tamal was delicious but the filling (medulla) was so small so it had absolutely no taste effect on the overwhelming thickness of the (admittedly tasty) dough. The leaves with the “queso cotija” were quite great though.

Following the tamal, a “Taco de cordero lechal (puré de chícharo y aguacate. salsa de tomate y hoja santa)” was served. It was tasty, the meat was good and the avocado was fine and in combination it was quite luscious but nothing really exceptional.

The main course – if you can call it that – was a “Cerdo pelón en racado blanco (frijol alfayayocan. vegetales encurtidos)” and it was definitely also one of the better courses that night. The pork was good and due to its fat crust it was even quite tasty. The three different kinds of radish which were served with it were also quite good. The liquid fried beans which came with it were luscious!

After the so called main course, the first desert was served. A “Plátano dominico pasado (Ralladura de macadamia. Hierbabuena. Crema agria)” which was basically a small banana, covered with macadamia nuts and cream. Refreshing, sweet, and a welcome change in taste after the pork.

The next course was a surprise from the kitchen – and again adjusted for the menu. The course was not the same served for the seafood menu as for the Menú de tierra. Basically, it was plum ice cream which was lit …

with aniseed booze. The combination itself was not so impressive but due to the fact that they put sea salt in the desert it became quite surprisingly tasty and the optical effect was very nice of course too.

The last official course was “Camote enmielado. Guayabate. Helado de yogurt (Gelatine de leche. crujiente de amaranto)”. The guayabate purree was rich in taste mainly because it is a taste I was not familiar with. The gelatine de leche was basically pure gelatine with not much taste of its own and the yoghurt ice cream was very tasty and rich.

The real last coursewas again a surprise from the kitchen with a mousee au chocolate from Oaxaca with cream and orange. The Oaxaca chocolate mousse was great and refined with the taste of the orange it was even quite good but also not really anything surprising to be fair.

The interior of the Pujol is simple but a nice mixture between black and white and was definitely appealing to me. It is somehow sterile but it fits the place.

The prices are also pretty fair and moderate – starting with the menu continuing with the water (1L, 60 MXN), a double espresso (48 MXN) or a bottle of Pasion Biba (856 MXN).

What was really a disappointment was the service. I mean, it was still very good but for number 36 in the world, I definitely expect more. First of all, there was no waiter really responsible for our table – probably every single waiter in the restaurant was at our table during the course of the evening. And you were also able to feel that as the service was very unloving, no dedication from the waiters (expect two ladies and the wine responsible – calling him sommelier would probably too much). Plus there were mistakes in the service like taking my company’s plate before I was done, serving the wrong water or taking the plate from the wrong side.

To sum it up, the food at the Restaurant Pujol is definitely great, no question here but I expected more. Also, the service for a restaurant in this category was disappointing. If you are looking for high cuisine with great dishes, reasonable prices and dedicated and passionate service, I would rather recommend you to go to the Restaurant Biko just a few blocks away – “only” number 38 of the world but in my eyes definitely better!


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Pujol

Francisco Petraraca No. 254

11570 Mexico City (MEX)

Tel.: +52 55 55 45 41 11

Tel.: +52 55 55 45 35 07

Homepage: http://www.pujol.com.mx

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.

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