Location: Holiday Inn Express, Al Safa
185 AED –Non-Alcoholic Package
275 AED – Alcoholic Package
Timings: 12.00pm-4.00pm (last drink order at 3.45)
“Life without Mexican food, is like no life at all” -Anonymous
The minute I heard about the launch of a nuevo Mexicano brunch, I jumped to make a reservacion. I hoped that Muchachas attempt at brunch would satisfy my need for a fun Mexican brunch, which our city currently lacks. Everything about Mexican cuisine screams out fun & fiesta. It’s crunchy, colorful salty, and spicy. You wash it down with margaritas and shots of tequila. You can wear a sombrero while eating it. You can stand up and dance to salsa, bachata, or cumbia. Have I mentioned before my love affair with tequila?? No other spirit gives you that special buzz of señora tequila.
Muchcachas is located inside the Holiday Inn Express, adjacent to Safa Park (or what now remains of Safa Park). Walking into the shabby hotel, and then into the vibrant restaurant is a complete shock of the senses. The interior is playfully decorated and painted in a light blue and light pink. Cactus of varying shapes and sizes are scattered across. Latin tunes are blasting in the background.
Anticipating the launch to be fully packed I am surprised that we are only one of three tables attending that day. The restaurant is relatively small (90 seat capacity) so that saves us from feeling like we are sitting in a ghost town. When I ask our waitress for the menu she points to the printed table mat in front of me, and explains the concept of the brunch, which they brand as ‘Mischeif’. Food is served to the table, sharing style, at the chefs’ discretion. For drinks they serve house Spirits, wines (including prosecco the ladies favorite), margaritas and sangria (served in pitchers). I am delighted for two reasons: 1) finally a brunch has realized that pitchers will make both the patrons and bar tenders happier by not having to make/wait for a drink every 5 minutes 2) not knowing what food will be coming is fun and exciting. Plus you don’t have to waste brain capacity thinking about what food to order
I kick off with a pitcher of passion fruit margarita, while my companions opt for the red wine sangria. Muchas gracias to the men behind the bar, as both are very well made. In fact after also guzzling down a pitcher of the pineapple margarita, and a pitcher of watermelon margarita, I can confidently declare that I have found the best margarita in la cuidad de Dubai.
We are served chips, green and red salsa (please serve them in larger bowls), guacamole, and yucca fries. The guacamole is excellent and served cold and is refreshing. My companions and I all love Yucca ; so it quickly vanishes off the plates (the yucca could be cut thinner to make it crispier). Next to arrive are the chicken sopes and mushroom sopes. A sopes is fried circle of masa, traditionally topped off with refried beans, cheese, and salsa. Next to arrive is the camarones a la diablo (beautifully served in half a pineapple), tuna ceviche, chilled sopa and the five bean salad. The camarones and sopa are the table favorites. The five bean salad is the loser, with the dressing on the bland side. The presentation of all the dishes is pretty and extremely pleasing to the eye. The adage “you eat with your eyes” is religiously practiced at Muchachas. Tacos come next in three varieties: sea bass, veal adobo, and flank steak. Sadly the tacos are a letdown, with both the tortilla and fillings failing to hit the marks (for the cities best Tacos, head down to La Tablita). Last but not least, the churros and campechanas arrive to satisfy the table’s sweet tooth.
Overall this fiesta brunch concept is a definite winner, and at AED 275 is very well priced for all the young muchachos and muchachas to come and rumba. Perhaps the menu can be tweaked a little (overall the meal is too carb heavy and lacking enough protein for all the dancing muscles), and some tequila shots should be served to aid with digestion. Some Questions remain unanswered, such as how will the staff cope when the venue is packed with 90 hungry brunch goers demanding to be fed and served. Until then, Viva Mexico y viva la tequila!
Value for Money: 18/20.