Review: The Mexican pop-up at Al Meylas, Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi
Can Chef Christian Buenrostro’s new Mexican pop-up match the authentic delights of his homeland..?
We look forward to limited-time epicurean pop-ups, but none more so than those within Four Seasons Abu Dhabi. You see, we’re fans of what executive chef Christian Buenrostro cooks up inside the luxurious five-star property on Al Maryah Island. His dishes display a willingness to experiment, and there is no clearer evidence of this than at his new pop-up at Al Meylas Lounge.
The lobby terrace has been transformed into a colourful Mexican fiesta setting complete with Mexican singers, dancers, and a full-blown mariachi band on the weekends, all complemented by a concise menu that celebrates the vastness of Mexican cuisine. Curated by Chef Christian, the Mexican native brings all the big, bold and spicy flavours to bear from tangy prawn cocktails beloved in Acapulco to lush, hours-simmered mole and beyond.
We delighted in the popular staples. Think: tableside guacamole (Dhs100) heavily sprinkled with coriander and chilli-lime juice, and an inventive version of battered Poblano peppers (Dhs120) stuffed with Monterey Jack and served in a tangy tomato sauce.
Of the six taco iterations, the standout for us was the salty and rich confit duck (Dhs100) shredded and layered with avocado puree and pico de gallo, which rolled up into a little black corn parcel of joy.
Onto the mains, and – compared to all the other vibrant dishes – we sampled a rather lackluster sous vide chicken breast (Dhs150) revived by a pleasingly dense chocolate mole sauce. Far more exciting was the auburn sea bream (Dhs220), marinated in achiote and orange, it was delightfully light and flaky with a burst of citrus piquancy.
We finished with the universal favourite churros (deep-fried dough, sugar, chocolate. What’s not to like?), and a plate of citrus-infused tapioca, guanabana sorbet and avocado foam, which is all kinds of encouraging loveliness.
Verdict: A delightful night out bringing the la buena vida spirit to the terrace of Al Meylas. Visit while you can.
Al Meylas Mexican pop-up, until March 18, daily 6pm to midnight. Tel: (0)2 2333 2222. @fsabudhabi