Travel Blogger Meet-up Part 12
A big fan of Mexican food, Michael Taylor checks out three popular Mexican restaurants in Bangkok during his brief stay in the city. He’s from California, and he has high standards. Will they live up to his expectations?
When asked what my favourite cooking style is, I answer “Mexican” without giving it a moment’s consideration. Mexican food is my absolute favourite type of food in the world. No other national cuisine even comes close as far as I am concerned.
Not only do I love Mexican food, I’m also from California, so I have very high standards when it comes to this type of cuisine. But whenever I order Mexican food in Hong Kong – where I live – it doesn’t usually meet my expectations.
Mexican Food in Bangkok
From past experience, however, I know that you CAN get good Mexican food in Bangkok – at least it’s better than what you get in Hong Kong.
On this trip to Thailand I eat at three Mexican restaurants: my old favouite, Sunrise Tacos Mexican Grill, as well as La Monita Taqueria and Mexicano, which I have never eaten at before.
All three of these Mexican restaurants have been recommended by an old friend that has lived in Bangkok for more than 30 years. “There might be other good Mexican restaurants in Bangkok, but I haven’t found them yet,” my friend says.
Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok
It is a complete coincidence that one of these Mexican restaurants – Mexicano – is located in the Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok, which is hosting me during the Bloggers Match-up organized by Digital Innovation Asia that I am in town to attend.
I can’t wait to try Señor Pico, but the Travel Bloggers Match-up has such a tightly packed schedule that the opportunity never arises.
I am about to check out from the hotel. Before I leave, however, I interview Eric Hallin, the hotel’s affable General Manager.
During the interview, I mention that I love Mexican food. He invites me to have dinner at the restaurant the following week, after I have checked out of the hotel and moved in with my friend that lives in Bangkok.
Before trying Mexicano, I first have lunch at Sunrise Tacos Mexican Grill, which I have eaten at many times on previous trips to Bangkok. It is every bit as good as I remember, and the servings are massive.
My chicken fajitas are served on a sizzling platter, and there is enough to serve two to three people. They are accompanied by a dinner plate with beans, rice, guacamole, and salad.
There are also four flour tortillas, which I use to roll up the other ingredients in.
A couple of days later my friend takes me to La Monita Taqueria. We start with barbecued chicken wings and the yummiest mango salsa I have ever sunken my teeth into.
For our main course, my friend orders beef enchiladas and I order chicken enchiladas. We both agree that the beef enchiladas are better than the chicken enchiladas.
Yummy food and friendly service.
Tex Mex vs Mexican Food
My friend tells me that Mexicano was renovated recently and she hasn’t tried it since it reopened. Eric, meanwhile, tells me that there is a new head chef in the kitchen.
When I learn that the new chef is from Mexico City, my expectations are raised.
He scores even more points when I learn that after getting his start in Mexico, he moved to California, where he worked in Mexican restaurants in both the Northern and Southern parts of the state.
The Chef drops the names of a few restaurants that I’m familiar with. He seems to have the right credentials. I’m getting excited.
“I love Mexican food, but I’ve never been to Mexico,” I admit, when I finally meet Fernando Reyes Barba, the new Head Chef at Señor Pico.
“I’ve always wondered if it is authentic.”
“The Mexican food in California is very similar to the Mexican food in Mexico,” Fernando reassures me.
“It is not like Tex Mex, which is much heavier. The Mexican food in Mexico and California is lighter than Tex Mex.”
Check Out Those Nachos!
About this time the margaritas arrive – and they are the best margaritas I have had on the side of the Pacific Ocean.
Then the home-made tortilla chips arrive, followed by the guacamole, which is prepared in front of us on a cart.
“This is my style,” I think, regretting that I didn’t have the foresight to film the procedure.
I order beef enchiladas with rice and beans. My dining companion, whom I met at the travel bloggers match-up orders nachos. We decide to share.
All I can say is this. Even by California standards, this is very good Mexican food. Not only that, there is live music most nights.
I know where I’m having dinner on my next trip to Bangkok!
Our dinner at Mexicano was hosted by the Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok. The two lunches were self-hosted. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.