insideKENT Magazine Issue 60 - March 2017 - Page 56

FOOD+DRINK A TASTE OF MEXIco by Lisamarie Lamb WALKING INTO NEW MAIDSTONE RESTAURANT MEXIco IS LIKE WALKING INTO YOUR OWN SURPRISE PARTY; FROM THE OUTSIDE THE RESTAURANT APPEARS CALM AND QUIET, BUT AS SOON AS YOU STEP THROUGH THE DOOR THE FUN, BUZZING, FIESTA- LIKE ATMOSPHERE COMES AT YOU IN A WAVE OF SOUND AND MOVEMENT. AND IT IS ON THAT WAVE THAT YOU ARE CARRIED, BOPPING ALONG TO CATCHY MEXICAN POP MUSIC AND GENERALLY GETTING EXCITED ABOUT THE MEAL THAT IS TO COME. Seated at our table a stone’s throw from the very well stocked bar with its impressive range of tequila (you can order a tequila flight tasting experience where you get to try a variety of tequilas from different areas and different ages), my partner and I opted for something a little softer. We went for the apple and mint agua fresca, an incredibly delicious – and refreshing – drink that is the perfect match for the Mexican flavours to come. Speaking of Mexican flavours, the menu is jam-packed full of them. The food ranges from the mild to the hot, hot, hot, but no matter whether the heat is your friend or not, everything is freshly prepared using quality ingredients, and it shows. Just the look of the food, vibrant and colourful, is enough to tell you that this is good stuff. For our starters we chose the spicy prawn Vallarta (lightly battered prawns with avocado crema, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and coriander) and the fish Baja Mexico (grilled fish with classic chipotle crema, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, coriander and avocado). Both dishes arrived looking very attractive on a plate designed to hold the tacos perfectly. We were offered a wide range of hot sauces to add to our tacos, and between us we tried pretty much all of them. Beware – when the label says it’s the hottest sauce around, believe that bottle! And yet, despite the heat, the flavour still came through which is a testament to the chef’s skills. Next came the chicken enchiladas verde (soft corn tortillas filled with pulled chicken tinga, baked in a tomatillo and coriander sauce, melted Monterey Jack cheese and crema) and the chargrilled chicken (double breasted chicken marinated in Mexican spices and citrus served over a tomatillo and coriander sauce, grilled courgettes, peppers and queso fresco cheese). The dishes created at MEXIco seem so perfect for sharing that that’s exactly what we did, taking a little of each other’s food, commenting on it, trying something else mixed with another element. It’s a fun, interactive way to enjoy the food (which was all mouth-wateringly delicious), and it’s a great way to enjoy the company you’re with too. Although I have to admit, I did not share my dessert. Would you share a churros ice cream sundae? No. But then, my partner didn’t share his Mexican caramel brûlée even though I asked nicely, so I suppose in the end we were even. The food, the atmosphere, and the friendliest waiting staff you’re likely to meet all go towards making MEXIco the place to go. MEXIco Fremlin Walk 62 Earl Street Maidstone ME14 1PS 01622 620382 56