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Margarita's
Photograph: Margarita's

How to celebrate Mexico's Independence Day in Singapore

Viva Mexico – commemorate the Mexican National Day with good food, music, films, and special live streams

Cam Khalid
Written by
Cam Khalid
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Whether it's the arts, food, or momentous events, celebrating diversity in a multicultural city like Singapore is inevitable. And Mexico's Independence Day is no different. Also known as the Cry of Dolores (or Grito de Dolores in Spanish), the yearly event is observed on September 16 since 1810 when Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang his church bell, giving the call to arms which set off the Mexican War of Independence. Since then, the President of Mexico re-enacts the cry and rings the same bell from the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City on the eve of Independence Day every year.

While physical fiestas remain postponed or cancelled, you can still witness the traditional 'cry', savour the flavour of Mexican food, delight in Mexican music and film without jetting off to Latin America. Here's how to observe the Mexican National Day from the comfort of your living room.

RECOMMENDED: The best Mexican restaurants in Singapore and the best places for live world music in Singapore

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Tanglin
  • price 2 of 4

From September 15 to 30, one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in Singapore – aka Margarita's – is celebrating Mexico's National Day with an exclusive menu that highlights the traditional and unique taste of Mexico. Excite your tastebuds with shrimp-stuffed empanadas with annatto ($28), and the almendrado ($28), served with chicken and almond mole, as well as black beans and corn tortillas. Complete it with its signature de la casa lime margarita (one-for-one on September 15 only), or a couple of shots and lime wedges if you're going all out. 

  • Restaurants
  • City Hall
  • price 2 of 4

Give Taco Tuesday a Korean twist with this Seoul Ko-Mex restaurant. The brainchild of Korean-Americans Sid Kim, Jonathan Juweon Kim and Kenny Park brings together tasty ganjang and ssamjang-marinated meats with messy Mexican fare. From September 15, tuck into the exclusive pork tamales oaxaqueños served with red mole sauce, Mexican-style rice, black beans, and pico de gallo (from $28). Add the classic MarGOrita ($28) to your order which includes three upsized margaritas complete with lime wedges, pre-mixed, vacuum-packed, and ready to go.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • City Hall

When El Mero Mero first opened, it quickly became the go-to place in the city for hearty Mexican food. But this isn't your dingy back alley tacqueria – the airy space is thoughtfully decorated and you can choose between marble tables, a seat by the open kitchen, or go alfresco. Once you've settled down, try the manchamanteles de secreto ibérico with almonds, plantain, and fruits in a mole sauce with mustard potato puree from Oaxaca ($28). Otherwise, opt for the tlayuda de chorizo ($28), which comes with handmade crunchy thin corn masa tortilla, chorizo, black beans, cotija cheese, cherry tomato, green salsa, and red and white cabbage, or the chile en nogada ($28), served with poblano chile stuffed with minced beef and pork, spices, pomegranate, compressed pineapple, and watermelon.

Tamales Mexicanos and Mexico Único

For a halal reunion at home, order up from Tamales Mexicanos' Facebook or Instagram pages, as well as Mexico Único's website. Both restos are whipping up tantalising dishes for the special occasion, which are available for home delivery and self-collection. From Tamales Mexicanos, select Combo A ($28 for up to three people) for tamal de childe en nogada, classic chicken tamal, and rajas tamal, all served with Mexican-style rice, pico de gallo, and refried beans. Combo B (also $28), on the other hand, features pibil tamal, and sweet corn tamal, accompanied by cinnamon and chocolate-flavoured organic Magico coffee. Over at Mexico Único, Combo C (also $28) is a sweet mix of 125-grams of freshly ground organic Mexican coffee, 100-grams of Mexican cranberries covered in dark chocolate, and 100-grams of Mexican almonds covered in milk chocolate.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chicken
  • Tanjong Pagar

There's something sensually satisfying about eating with your hands. Maybe it's the return to our primal nature or the extra flavour our fingers magically impart – either way, being dirty never felt so good. Over on Amoy Street, Chico Loco is leading the mess-is-best revolution, and you can start with its Independence Day specials. For two ($40) or four ($65), you'll be treated to totopos y guacamole crispy fried corn tortilla chips and guacamole, elotes sweet corn of the cob, pollo de puerto vallarta adobo rotisserie chicken, and Mexican-style rice.

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