Can chef Christian Buenrostro’s New Mexico pop-up match the authentic cuisine of his hometown?
We look forward to limited-time food pop-ups, but none more so than those from Four Seasons Abu Dhabi. You see, we’re fans of Executive Chef Christian Buenrostro’s culinary delights at his luxury five-star hotel on Al Maryah Island. His cuisine shows a willingness to experiment, and nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than at his new pop-up at Al Meylas Lounge.
The lobby terrace has been transformed into a colorful Mexican festival scene, featuring Mexican singers, dancers and a full-fledged mariachi band on weekends, all complemented by a concise menu that celebrates Mexican food. Curated by Chef Christian, the Mexican native brings all the tangy, bold and spicy flavors, from Acapulco’s beloved tangy prawn cocktail to lush, hours-simmered mole etc.
We love popular staples. Think: tableside guacamole (Dhs100) sprinkled with generous amounts of cilantro and chilli lime juice, and an innovative version of smashed poblano peppers (Dhs120) stuffed with Monterey jack sauce and served with a tangy ketchup.
Of the six taco iterations, the standout for us was the savory and tangy duck confit (Dhs100), chopped and layered with avocado mash and pico de gallo, rolled into a small black Corn parcels.
For mains, we sampled a rather bland sous-vide chicken breast (Dhs150), rejuvenated by a delightfully thick chocolate mole sauce, compared to all the other vibrant dishes. Even more exciting is the russet sea bream (Dhs220), marinated in achiote and orange, delightfully light and flaky, with a burst of citrus spiciness.
We ended up with the ever-popular fritters (fried dough, sugar, chocolate. What’s not to like?), and a plate of citrus tapioca, guava sorbet and avocado foam, all inspiringly lovely.
Conclusion: A pleasant evening that brought the spirit of la buena vida to the terrace of Al Meylas. Accessible whenever possible.
Al Meylas Mexico pop-up until March 18, every day from 6pm to midnight. Tel: (0)2 2333 2222. @fsabudhabi
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