Saturday, December 05, 2015

El Mero Mero, Chijmes


This place (#01-20 Chijmes, 30 Victoria Steet, tel : +65 6337 1377) was delicious. Progressive and undeniably delicious. Whether it is Mexican or Mexican’t or if the contemporary and internationalised take of the dishes was close enough to truly represent the humble street food which inspired its menu or not, there wasn’t any doubt that the ingredients that they had used were of high quality.


We started off with a couple of their small plates. Here's the smoked huitlacoche quesadillas with Mozzarella and truffle oil. These didn't look like quesadillas as most of us are familiar with but the corn fungus was delicious. We didn't even mind that none of the truffle oil could be tasted.


Then came the street corn sampler which might have been a deconstruction of elotes or an analogous play between the host and the parasite. Just like a face hugger victim with a chest burster. Grilled baby corn, huitlacoche donuts and in the tube, some Cotija chilli mayo.  Oddly, the freshly made donuts tasted like it had a crustacean aroma; but it was crisp on the surface, tender on the inside and very addictive.


Those grilled baby corn are organic and sourced from Thailand. Sweet and lightly crunchy; it was good on its own or with the Cotija chilli mayo.


Their tacos featured meats finished in a Josper Grill. The first of what we had was roasted Dorper lamb with eggplant tahini, burnt onions and little thin discs of beets. Actually the burnt onions were present in all the tacos we had today. The lamb was in your face kickass with its melting fats. Which meant that it was gamey as lamb should be. The roasted chilli sauce they had on the side was aromatically smoky and packed some heat.

I'd eat these again in a heartbeat.


Next came the ones with New Zealand Angus tenderloin and bone marrow. The salsa on the side and the bone marrow were the ones carrying this taco through here since the meat didn't have so much flavour. But it was tender and in a nice shade of medium rare on the insides.


The third taco we tried was the one with veal tongue. Veal tongue that would almost disintegrate in the mouth like how Wagyu does. Served with the same smoky roasted chilli sauce as the lamb.


This was a Blue Foot mushroom skillet. Done with an organic egg, some home made goat cheese and served with corn tortilla on the side. The mushrooms we were told, were imported from France. Woodsy and earthy. The home made goat's cheese was mostly salty and not pungent. This could be eaten on its own or mixed up and wrapped with the tortilla like a sort of mushroom fajita.


Dessert was called Mum's Lime Custard. I watched for a while as the kitchen struggled to create the foam that would eventually be frozen in liquid nitrogen to form this dome. But the lime custard was refreshingly delicious and I wished that the portions were bigger.


Not to be Captain Obvious but, the food in El Mero Mero was elevated and refined beyond their origins. Some interpreted into new forms and also honestly, tagged to a price disproportionate to the petite portions. But this is Chijmes and nobody should be expecting to eat at this locale economically. As much as I appreciated the quality of the ingredients used in the tacos that they had served and the delicious corn tortillas that were used, I'll also say they were expensive tacos. Not something I could drop by for one or four on any regular basis.

But I'll be back. 

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