Review: El Chapo's Tacos
A fun-loving Mexican bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously… and you shouldn’t either…
Dubai is full of great bars – plenty of which qualify as a ‘good times’ bar. You know a good times bar the second you step inside – whether it’s the tunes, the vibe or the crowd, when you find a fun bar, you know you’re going to have a great evening.
El Chapo’s Tacos is case in point. Even before its saloon-style doors opened to the public, we admired its colourful campaigns accompanied by playful puns and Mexican innuendos.
Part of the 4-Front family (who brought us Mr Miyagi’s), El Chapo’s Tacos sits poolside next to its Pan-Asian cousin in the increasingly-popular Studio One Hotel.
We visit the bar mid-week and are pleasantly surprised to see the place almost full. A member of staff, donned in a bright orange jumpsuit, leads us behind a steel bar prison gate to our table. The walls are lined with shelves of unique Mexican memorabilia.
The menu is every bit as brash as the venue, with homemade tequilas at the top of the list, offering flavours such as blueberry and mint or jalapeño and strawberry.
Before the drinks even arrive we’ve already started dipping tortilla chips into our guacamole, which was prepared fresh at the table. Managing self-control is difficult as the huge bowl calls for a second serving of chips.
The atmosphere is buzzing, with the Studio/Motor City after-work crowd keen to make the most of the newly launched ladies’ night offer.
For food, stick to the quesadillas and tacos. The taco gobernador (Dhs59) was a stand-out favourite with garlic prawns, gooey molten cheese and crunchy sautéed onions. We also enjoyed the gringa quesadilla (Dhs45) which was given a sweet kick thanks to the roast pineapple relish.
For those that live and work nearby, El Chapo’s is a very welcome addition to Studio City’s up-and-coming nightlife scene, perfect for grabbing a margarita and tacos with friends after work.
El Chapo’s Tacos, Studio One Hotel, Dubai Studio City, daily noon to 2am. Tel: (04) 514 5411. Facebook.com/ElChaposTacosstudiocity