Margarita's Restaurant, Faber Drive
I had heard about this place a while back, as the Singaporean chef had taught Mexican cooking in Mexico. Wow - that's a credential if I'd ever heard one. With the disappointing renditions of Mexican food that I've had in Singapore before (especially compared to the stuff that I'm used to in California), I had to come try this (108 Faber Drive, 6777-1782).
It started off on a very encouraging note. The namesake margaritas were pretty good, and the chips were much fresher than the pathetically stale stuff that I've been served at Cafe Iguana on more than one occasion. The salsa was not quite as fresh as I would like, but still had a good kick to it. There was also one interesting item on the menu, hongos al mojo de ajo, or mushrooms in a garlic sauce. What surprised and impressed me was that these mushrooms were breaded and fried to a crisp, and I loved it (and all this time, I thought I could only get breaded mushrooms at dumpy bars and buffalo wing places in the US).
But then things started sliding a bit. The beef enchiladas had a mildly sweet cinnamon sauce on it (not to mention too much sour cream), which didn't quite agree with me. The chocolate-based sauce in the chicken mole pueblano wasn't anything to wow me. And all of these dishes so far kept featuring a pickled jalapeno and strand of cilantro as a garnish, which seemed like a bit of a cliche. Finally, the capirotada bread pudding dessert was a bit of a yawner.
The chef (who is very personable and energetic, thankfully) said that he does his own little interpretations of Mexican food, which explains things. I guess it just doesn't sit well with what I am accustomed to. Plus they don't take American Express, which is rather surprising for a place like this (and the prices are a lot higher than I'd usually pay for Mexican food). Nonetheless, I will say that this probably is the best Mexican food that I've had in Singapore so far, and at least the first half of the meal was pretty good. But honestly, I'd prefer to wait for my next trip to the West Coast instead of coming back here.