Latino flair at Mamasita’s cantina

Time and again I have really struggled to find good latino food in Hong Kong (not even limiting this to Mexican). With great anticipation, a colleague and I decided to try Mamasita’s cantina for lunch as they have just introduced their set menu.

Upon entering, you will see the red lit bar with a wide array of drinks. Being a Cuban and Mexican bar, Mamasita’s specialises in cocktails such as the Mojito and has a range of Mezcal and tequila.  This area is predominantly used for their bar space, with the previous BLCKBRD terrace for al fresco nibbles and drinks.

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Downstairs holds the vibrant coloured restaurant with floral murals on the wall, colourful tiling and place settings. There is a semi-open kitchen and when the Mexican Chef Edgar Navarro is not gleefully observing customers from there, he is merrily conversing with them about the food.

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For starters, we had the guacamole with nacho chips and the starter salad. We were very pleasantly surprised with the salad, which in most restaurants is a bit of tossed arugala with vinegar. Mamasita’s offered a sweet salad with sunflower seeds and grapes, not boring at all and very appetizing!

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My guacamole was one of the best I have ever had! Dressed with some radish and tomatoes to make it a bit more interesting, the guacamole itself tasted fresh, with just the right amount of tang and very creamy. The secret to this dip is that the avocados are from Mexico. The nachos drizzled with a bit of truffle oil were also perfect. Not at all like the cheap packet corn chips you get in some joints, these were the real deal and not greasy. I was impressed so far.

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My colleague ordered the 6 inch fish taco which she said was cooked to perfection. The chipotle sauce gave the fish a much needed tangy and slightly spicy kick and the Sol beer battered fish itself was nicely crispy on the outside.

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My main which was recommended by the waiter was the Cuban sandwich with pulled AND smoked pork with a fried egg. When the dish was approaching, my mouth dropped. This is certainly a generous portion, so do order if you have an appetite. The pork was slightly sweet and the bread beautifully soaked up the juices from the meat and with the melted Swiss cheese was in perfect harmony. The sweet potato fries were so delicious and not too dry although I still feel they needed a dip like salsa or mayo. This was a fantastic dish but with the fried egg, lots of bread and chips on the side, I was nervous to move on to dessert.

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Like many things, I have been searching for good not even great churros in Hong Kong for a while. I finally found them! The churros were beautifully crisp but not like chewing an old boot and gorgeously soft inside. Decorated with some cinnamon and paired very well with dark chocolate and salted caramel ice cream. This dish is definitely a fav dessert contender!  I had no problem eating this even after my HUGE main.

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Verdict: Mamasita’s definitely has some potential to be a great restaurant, the only thing that is lacking is the ambiance which may come from a bit of Manu Chau playing in the background and the staff loosening up a bit. The service however, was excellent as they were very attentive to my colleague’s food intolerance. The set lunch was reasonable for a Central lunch given the quality and quantity of the dishes. I would definitely come back for another visit to Mamasita’s.

Nisha

5/F – 6/F 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central Ph: 852 2896 6118

 

 

 

 

 

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