Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Fresca Mexican Kitchen & Bar @ The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur
KL-lites have always had a fondness of Tex-Mex items that we are no longer strangers to tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and burritos (or what is described in this place's menu, a bit like our local popiah).
Recently joining the fold is Fresca Mexican Kitchen & Bar. It has the advantage of prime location, up front at the entrance to Gardens mall.
However, this is the run up to the most anticipated Mexican eatery will be La Mexicana that is slated to open early next month at The Terrace at Hock Choon. According to a little birdie, that particular place is own by a Mexican lady so hopefully she keeps things as genuine as possible.
The place is gorgeous and during the daytime, the clear glass windows allow the sunlight to pour through to play shadows on the rustic tiles.
Splashes of colour such as a bright blue tiled wall at one corner of the kitchen and a colourful patterned tiled floor jazz up the otherwise dark bronze palette.
Seating choices are aplenty: small cafe tables at the front for you to watch passer-bys enter into the mall, banquet seats in the front, square tables on the side and teeny weeny tables for cosy dining for two.
The set up here reminds me a little of a Spanish tapas bar as they serve botanas, Mexican for small plates that are great for sharing. This is best shared with tequila and a tall jug of icy cool margaritas.
For something more substantial, there is platos principales, the main plates that is divided into tortilla based dishes such as enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas and burritos. Also included in this repertoire is traditional Mexican delicastessen choices.
Last but not least is postres or desserts to keep any sweet tooth lover happy.
The kitchen is still slowly finding its own pulse as some items seem to have fared better in an earlier visit while others now boast a marked improvement such as the Albondigas en chile chipotle (RM16) that is filled with less stringy minced meat to give it a softer and more tender bite. Incidentally, those meatballs are simply gorgeous with the aromatic tomato based sauce you eat with the soft tortillas.
However, the Churros con chocolat (RM13) was a tad too crispy this time round. Would have been slightly better if the churros had a softer center.
While we wait for the food to arrive, it is Guacamole with chips (RM20). The mashed up avocado is a lovely creamy consistency and there is plenty to go around for generous amounts to top your crispy nachos.
Small bites as we found out makes tummies quite full after a while. The sopes, a roadside snack is essentially like a small pizza with different toppings. Instead of a crispy base, it uses a soft dough that has higher pinched sides. Our Sopes de Salpicon (RM13) is generously topped with lettuce, roast beef shreds and avocado. You drizzle the pico de gallo sauce on the side. It gives it a very mild kick to the Mexican street food.
The Enchilads Verdes (RM15) is stuffed with chicken shreds, baked with cheese and served with a bit of the piquant pico de gallo sauce. It is a comforting dish. I love the Tacos Alambre (RM18) as they use the softer corn tortillas to serve roast beef, poblano chiles and crispy bacon.
For the main meal, I really enjoyed the Pescado a la Veracruzana (RM39), the fish fillet served with an aromatic sauce of onions, olives and Jalapeno chiles. The accompanying Mexican rice is aromatic with long fluffy grains and is served with a mixed salad. This is said to be a specialty from Veracruz, a Mexican coastal town.
Desserts is the Tequi-lime pie (RM15), a dense cheesecake based tart flavoured with a slight sourish tinge from just a hint of tequila and lime. This is followed by the crispy churros we dip in chocolate sauce.
The place is more ideal for eating with a big group of people since ordering more varieties means you end up hitting up a large hole in the pocket. For those who prefer to keep it safe, just order the main meals that start from RM26 onwards. In terms of flavours, the Mexican spices seem a little more subdued but it still makes pleasant dining especially if you are looking for a nice place to chill.
And if you are wondering, fresca means fresh in Mexican.
Fresca Mexican Kitchen & Bar
Lot G-242A, Ground Floor
Tel: 03-2201 2893
(Pork Free. For more pictures, see the Flickr set.)
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.