Located in the vibrant heart of Adliya’s Block 338, the Mexican-themed El Chapo restaurant is home to some of the finest food, drinks and entertainment in the area. This month, Kristian Harrison checked it out and sampled some of their delicious fare.
Since opening in October 2021, El Chapo has established itself as one of the most popular spots in Bahrain. It’s not difficult to see why; its entranceway is emblazoned with colourful skulls commemorating the Mexican tradition of Día de Muertos – Day of the Dead – and its reception area truly encapsulates the feeling of fun.
Want to frolic around before you head up to the lounge? Take a dive into the massive ball pit! Want to capture those special Instagram-worthy moments to look back on in the future? Check out the decorated booths or the LED angel wings!
The only thing on my mind, however, was some good ol’ food and drink after a long, hectic week. Luckily, the friendly staff showed me up to the second floor and gave me a tour whilst the chefs got busy preparing the tasty treats.
The eclectic décor definitely sets El Chapo apart from other outlets in the area. More painted skulls adorn the walls, which are also daubed in cool neon lighting, traditional artwork and other accessories, whilst a giant screen takes up one wall to show live sporting action. There is also the famous rooftop lounge offering unique views of the city, which is sure to be a smash hit now that the weather has cooled down considerably.
To start with, the chefs brought out the excellent Chicken Tacos, which had a concoction of chicken, lettuce, red cabbage, sour cream, guacamole, cheese and chipotle sauce wrapped up in the softest, lightest tortilla you can imagine. The combination of flavours was truly excellent and set the stage for the rest of the evening. Hard shell tacos are also available, as are shrimp, beef, salmon and avocado versions.
Of course, Mexican food needs to be washed down with a drink, and there is a vast selection of mocktails and other selected beverages to suit your needs. I tried a Primavera, featuring soda, elderflower, kiwi, lime and mint, although I will definitely be back to try some of the specially-curated creations from the experienced staff.
Next up was the Supreme Nachos, which truly lived up to the name. Perfect for vegetarians, the crispy and fresh tortilla chips packed with mixed cheese, red bean puree, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream are great for enjoying casually whilst chatting with friends or sipping on drinks.
Of course, fans of other Mexican staples such as Fajitas and Quesadillas are catered for, but it was the Barbecue section I had eyes for and it did not disappoint.
The Short Ribs with Mashed Potato was simply divine. The meat was so tender and melt-in your mouth that you could eat it without teeth. It fell off the bone at the merest touch and the tangy barbecue sauce complemented it perfectly. Even the mash was at the best consistency of being smooth but not too creamy.
There were so many other items on the menu I’d have loved to have tried, but I was completely stuffed. What’s for definite is that El Chapo isn’t just the place to come for the heart of the party, but for amazing food too.