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Zicatela’s fantastic traditional Mexican cooking takes in everything from an ambassador’s favourite enchilada to crunchy grasshoppers.
Named after a beach in the Mexican port town of Puerto Escondido (renowned for its surf-friendly waves, glorious sunshine and fine traditional Mexican cooking), Zicatela is a small restaurant serving big, generously piquant dishes, just around the corner from the Folies Bergère in the 9th arrondissement.
For an immediate hit of spice, kick things off with a brilliant traditional pozole soup with pork or chicken, chilli, lime and white cacahuazintle sweetcorn (€6). The nopal cactus quesadilla, which comes with a fantastic homemade guacamole and three different grades of hot sauce, is the more filling and also more fiery option. If you need cooling down, it’s time for a glass of the house sangria.
Mains include the bold mole negro enchilada, with chicken, cocoa and chilli sauce and melted cheese (apparently a favourite of the Mexican ambassador to Paris), and the chilaquiles (a tortilla with sweetcorn, chipotle sauce, chicken, melted cheese and crème fraîche, €10). By this point, the deadly combo of spice and sheer amount of food may make you feel like you’re about to explode, but don’t leave Zicatela without sampling a dish of crunchy, lemony grasshoppers.
TRANSLATION: HUW OLIVER