Food Review: El Mero Mero at Chijmes | Perhaps the Best Mexican Restaurant in town
The Place Opened since 2014, it was only until recently that I knew about El Mero Mero, a contemporary Mexican restaurant which was revamped and reopened a month ago at Chijmes. Literally translating as “the go-to guy” in Mexican slag, the restaurant is run by Mexican born Alejandro Blanco, characterized by marble table tops and leather seats. The front part of the 60-seater restaurant is slightly dim, while the back of the restaurant is my favourite corner which gets a nice dose of natural light in the day. I had the preconceived notion that the food will be mainly tacos and burritos, but boy was I wrong as the restaurant is more than just tacos and burritos.
The Food I started with one of the Mexican classic, Guacamole (S$12/18). The version here is extremely fresh in flavour, where you can expect the classic ingredients like smashed avocados with diced tomatoes, onions, serrano and coriander & lime.
Before I proceed with the rest of the dishes, the drinks menu here are quite extensive too, where you can get some fancy cocktail to start.
This is one of my favourite dishes here, the Corn Sampler (S$15). Char-grilled organic baby corns are served by the side, though the real highlight is the Smoked Huitlacoche Donuts along with the chilli mayo dip. I have not heard of Huitlacoche previously, and I learnt that it is a type of corn fungus which is also known loosely as Mexican truffle. This is created into a donut in this dish, hence the dark circular shape, and is absolutely delicious. The yummy factor doesn’t stop there, as the taste is further elevated with the addictive chilli mayo sauce, which I swear I can happily live with it as my staple dip.
For ceviches, the Hamachi and Coconut Ceviche (S$21) is beautifully presented in a coconut shell. It is a fresh combination of hamachi aguachile, hibiscus flower milk and trout roe with avocado puree. There is also some lime juice element, so the taste is a little citrusy and refreshing.
Inspired by Japanese food in Mexico, the Tostadas De Atun, Tuna Tartar (S$17) is a quite a different take on ceviche as compared to the Hamachi and Coconut Ceviche. The fresh tuna tartar is served atop crispy corn tortilla, with a mix of avocado puree, chipotle mayo and matchstick tempura banana shallots.
Another classic dish in Mexico, the Tortilla Soup (S$14) is slow-cooked in thick roasted tomatoes and cream, with elements like flamed corn tortilla, avocado and guajillo. The soup texture is thick, while the flavour is rich and hearty. Go easy with the soup, as it fills the stomach easily.
If you are an avo lover, go for the Avocado (S$11) taco. The freshly sliced avocado is served atop the burnt corn tortilla along with some smoked sea salt.
The Baja Fish (S$14) taco is equally a delight to have. The tempura toothfish is served along with pico de gallo and pickled shallots, chipotle mayo sauce and flour tortilla. The flour tortillas are freshly made daily, and the Patagonian toothfish fillet is coated with tempura batter and deep-fried, hence the crispy texture.
For mains, I recommend the El Mero Mero Fajita (S$38), where the oyster blade beef is served in poblano shishito crema along with flour tortillas. The overall flavour is rich, and I particularly enjoy the creamy sauce which acts as a good dip for the tortilla. One thing I noticed about the dishes at El Mero Mero so far is that the sauce plays an important part in the dishes.
Alternatively, a greener option is the Gordita (S$28), consisting of Mexican corn gordita, frijoles, salsa roja and heirloom vegetables. I am not so much of a greens person, so this dish does not resonate as much with me.
For desserts, I tried a mix of the Braised Pineapple (S$14) served with Vanilla Ice Cream, Red Velvet Churros (S$14) with Light Cream Cheese, Cocoa Mousse; and Tequila Pecan Pie (S$14) with Cinnamon Ice Cream.
Rants Local diners may not be the most familiar with Mexican food. Perhaps some pictures or drawings to give diners some insights?
Will I Return Again? Mexican cuisine is typically not something I have frequently and having not been to Mexico myself, my knowledge of the cuisine is fairly limited too. That said, my meal at El Mero Mero is surprisingly pleasant, and I do enjoy most of the dishes I had. If you are looking for something more exotic for your next date or group meal, this is worthy of a try.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Make your reservations instantly at El Mero Mero here. Discount dining vouchers available here.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
El Mero Mero
30 Victoria Street
Tel: +65 9722 8171
Sunday to Thursday: 5pm to 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 5pm to 11:30pm
Ranted by The Ranter