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Food review: Peyote packs a punch

Restaurant Review: Peyote

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  • Avg. Cost per Person:

    100 Dhs
  • Location:  

    Gate Village, Building 2, DIFC , Dubai
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Opening hours:
Sun-Wed noon-3.30pm, 7pm-1am; Thu noon-3.30pm, 7pm-2am; Fri-Sat 7pm-2am

Phone number:
04 521 6300

There’s no denying that the spotlight is now on Mexican food being served with a modern twist in a fine dining space. So now, it’s no longer about having pedestrian, gigantic gooey tacos with canned beans, but instead the focus is on playing with those classics with a delicate twist.

Peyote restaurant at the DIFC’s Gate Village, the latest entrant into the fine dining Mexican food landscape, does it all so effortlessly.

Tres Leches

As soon as we sat down, a bowl of guacamole, gluten-free tostadas, a tray of dips made from ground peanuts, and dried red and green chillies materialised in front of us. The sauces, which were varying in its textures and spice levels, were a good way to heat things up at this tastefully decorated restaurant.

My partner and I began our meal with a cactus salad, a poetic beginning because this restaurant is named after a small cactus from the Chihuahuan desert.

It was a good choice as we got to try something new. Chunks of grilled cactus tossed with roasted tomatoes, cheese and cilantro had a flavour that felt unfamiliar, but the dish’s bite and the taste grew on us.

It was the ceviche, however, that knocked it out of the park.

Ceviche blanco (diver scallop, young coconut aguachile with cilantro oil) and laminado de hamachi (yellowtail, truffled huitlacoche, ginger vinaigrette and avocado puree) were examples of treating ingredients with a deft hand. Apart from the explosion of flavours, the presentation was spot on. The dollops of avocado puree and the neat slices of yellow tail on a bed of ginger vinaigrette served a peaceful union of salt, spice and sour. There was not one note out of tone.

The ceviche blanco was served in an oyster shell, on a bed of ice. The hint of coconut and lime gave the meaty scallops a lift.

Tempura De Gambas

Next up was our turn at the tacos. The pint-sized tacos had comfort food written all over it.

While I chose the braised beef short ribs with salsa verde and cilantro cress, my partner opted for the tiger prawn tempura with chipotle mayonnaise and lime.

The tacos were palm-sized and were easy to manage; and the speed with which we polished off our portions should say something about how great they tasted. My braised beef short ribs melted in my mouth, although I would loved it if the ribs were spicier. The prawns tempura was crispy and the mayo made it rich. Wash all this down with a berry mocktail, and you have just found the perfect recipe to kickstart your weekend. We went on a Thurday evening and the vibe was laid back and the tempo was beginning to pick up.

Ceviche Blanco

We skipped the main course, because we wanted to relish the desserts. And what a great decision that turned out to be.

Their tres leches, soaked vanilla sponge cake with red berry jam and milk ice cream, was outstanding. There’s no denying that his swanky restaurant is pricey, but they made every dirham that you spent on it seem like pocket change.

Head to Peyote if you are in the mood for some fine Mexican food and be sure to round it off with their milk-soaked cake.

Five other Mexican places to try:

Maria Bonita
Where: Jumeirah
If you are looking for a cosy, home-like atmosphere then head to Maria Bonita’s in Jumeirah. Their tres leches cake and tacos are always winners.

Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen + Lounge
Where: Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa
This place is perfect for outdoor dining. Their brunch is legendary and it’s a great place to catch up over some good old Mexican classics.

Where: Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah
Nobody does chimichangas, deep-fried burritos, like Tortuga. We reckon, even Deadpool would agree.

La Tablita
Where: Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights
This lively Mexican restaurant is a perfect place to celebrate in groups. Try their chipotle pulled chicken and you won’t regret it.

Where: The Atrium, Al Habtoor City
Think soul food reimagined to create a fiesta of modern Mexico and Latin America in an urban chic setting.

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