It’s quite easy to sink into a bit of a lull these days with the virus changing life as we know it. That being said, being in a pandemic-induced stupor is hardly appealing to me; so, I decided to dine at a venue that would reignite my passion for life - the exuberant Mexican restaurant, Cantina Kahlo, located at The Ritz Carlton, Bahrain. I made my way there on a cool Monday evening, ready for a meal as vibrant as the restaurant’s artsy interiors.
Seated at a cosy table on the patio, we took in our beautiful surroundings and basked in the upbeat Mexican music as we were introduced to Cantino Kahlo’s team – led by the wonderful Chef Hector Miguel Mendoza Becerra who was ready to serve up a Mexican feast. To start, we were served a big bowl of Guacamole with a side of Tortilla chips. The Guacamole had the perfect balance of avocado, tomatoes, coriander, Serrano chili and sea salt which gave it the right profile of freshness balanced with a pleasant tanginess.
This was followed by two fresh ceviches: Hamachi and Pulpo. The Hamachi ceviche gives you all the flavours you expect from a good ceviche; it’s citrusy and tangy while bringing you that pleasant flavour of the coriander. The Aguachile De Pulpo ceviche combined slices of cooked octopus, cucumber slivers and cooling avocado in a spicy sauce made with burned jalapeño chili and garlic oil which was divinely spicy.
Next, we were served Sopes Con Carne which consists of absolutely juicy Wagyu short ribs, masa and black beans layered onto a delicious crunchy corn base that is made in house. This is finished with a dollop of delicious sour cream – a cooling addition. To follow the Sopes, we helped ourselves to a warm skillet of Queso – a cheese lover’s dream. Sliced mushrooms cooked with morita chili are blanketed in a thick layer of melted cheese that can be spread on warm flat bread which is made in-house.
With world-class ingredients and culinary prowess, Chef Miguel expertly prepared a trio of tacos: Barbacoa, Pescado Estilo Baja and Alambre – each staying true to their Mexican heritage. The Barbacoa is loaded with shredded lamb topped with a flavourful morita chili sauce that has a slight sweetness to it. The Alambre has a generous serving of peppery diced flank stank, bell peppers, grated cheese and more. While we thoroughly devoured every last taco, we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that our favourite was the Pescado Estilo Baja. These delicious fish tacos are loaded with batter-fried seas bass, coriander mayo, cabbage and arbol chilli; so, they’re perfectly light with fresh flavours. You’ll just have to taste them yourself!
To top off the Mexican medley of flavours, we were served two desserts: Pastel De Tres Leches and Churros. The Churros have just the right crunch and are generously coated in cinnamon sugar. We quite enjoyed dipping them into the rich chocolate, caramel and guava sauce for that added oomph. Ending with a whole lot of comfort, we savoured the moist Tres Leches cake topped with delectable meringue and a scoop of mango icecream.
Needless to say, Cantina Kahlo’s ambience, food and delightful team are as colourful and fresh as Frida Kahlo herself, and is sure to leave you feeling gastronomically rejuvenated.