The two man Mariachi band entertained us as we awaited our order. It was a quiet rainy evening, and the chef came out in his whites to belt out songs from his home country. It was like a private concert with the three tenors.
Our meal was similarly serendipitous. The lack of authentic Mexican fare in Hong Kong had made us cynical about dining at Izote. But friends who have lived in Mexico had been raving about this place, so we took one of them along with us to test it out. A complimentary basket of three coloured tortilla chips came out with four dipping sauces: mild, medium, hot and very hot (the latter known colloquially as ‘death’).
Our appetizer of ceviche de pescado (seafood ceviche $135) was filled with octopus, monkfish, shrimp and onion served in a tomato-citrus base. Though satisfactory, we were slightly disappointed to learn the fish was parboiled and not ‘cooked’ by the acid of citrus, as it is done traditionally. But our building disappointment was saved by the chile poblano con queso ($85), a cheesy concoction filled with mushrooms and peppers served in made-to-order warm tortillas like the ones served in southern Mexico.
When they arrived, the chicken burritos ($165) caused a lot of food envy from other diners. The burrito was filled with tender meat, coriander, tomato, cheese and black bean frijoles, which all melted into one big pleasurable eating mess. We made a slight detour and ordered the monkfish pico de gallo ($190) which was plated western style on a stack of chips. Not Tex-Mex, but more a modern invention to charge more money for Mexican food. The fish was meaty, full of bounce to the touch, super fresh and had a slight vinegary tingled from the pico de gallo (fresh chopped tomato, onion, and chiles).
The taste of Mexico and the charming band added up to a night to remember. Izote is a bit pricey considering the type of food it serves, but in a town short of proper handmade tortillas, we were willing to pay the premium for an authentic meal.
|Venue name:||Izote (closed)|
8/F, LKF Tower, 55 D'Aguilar St