Thursday, November 03, 2005

Margarita's Restaurant, Faber Drive

Mole Pueblano

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).

Hongos al mojo de ajoIt 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).

Beef EnchiladasBut 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.

CapirotadaThe 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.


venitha said...

Good to know there's an option besides Cafe Iguana, but this is hardly a ringing endorsement. Bummer! I'm thinking I should just start making salsa myself. It's not like they don't have all the ingredients here, and fresh, too!

Anonymous said...

Margarita's is excessively overpriced and poor quality Mexican food. However, fret not: the best Mexican food in Singapore is the Riverboat at Sentosa. It's almost the same price, and many hundred times better in quality.

I really miss Mexican food myself - it was the best part of living in LA.

Anonymous said...

Haven't been here in a while, but the last time I was at the Faber Drive locatin, I thought it was ok, and I'm from Texas so I love a mix of cuisine and Tex Mex. I live near Holland Village where there are 2 places next door to each other - El Patio and Cha Cha Cha. I like CCC's salsa but not great service. EP has so-so food and good service. Salsa not so great....all about cumin powder. Having said that, better than trekking down to Clarke Quay for Iguana, which is ok in a pinch but not so great. I like the care that Margarita's takes with its dishes and find it more authentic than other places...I mean, Mole, while not for all, is a labor intensive dish and worth the $$ if well done. Same for ceviche.

bma said...

Yeah, I liked Cha Cha Cha better than El Patio.

reviveramesh said...

i am craving for simple Mexican food. from all the reviews here and in other pages in Singapore's web space - it is a pity that there are very few choices. with so many ?amigos from the west - isn't that a great opportunity - not just drinking tequilas and getting "tunn" but serious good quality Mexican fare that families can enjoy.

Anonymous said...

There is supposed to be a very decent tex-mex place in a hawker center, which means much cheaper. I have not had the chance to get there yet but it is called Hungry Manny's, or something like that. Do a search on the expat website for a confirmation.