Margarita's Singapore

February 12, 2017 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Margarita's Singapore
11 Dempsey Road

404 East Coast Road


http://www.margaritasrestaurante.com/

https://www.facebook.com/margaritasdempsey/


Brownies A La Mexicana Con Helado Y Dulce De Leche
Brownies A La Mexicana Con Helado Y Dulce De Leche (SGD $14)



Bold Mexican Flavours, Hispanic Decor

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 8
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $43 per person.


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Almost an institution, Margarita's Singapore is a grand dame of Mexican cuisine in Singapore, having been established since 1988. Founder Andy Yap, while on a holiday in Mexico, was inspired by the bold flavour of its cuisine, and ended up spending about 9 years working there as a chef. His experience is evident in Margarita's Singapore, which offers traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex flavours. No surprise this is a popular place with many, including the Mexican ambassador, and advance reservations are advised.

Ambience at Margarita's Singapore is packed with Mexican Hispanic decor. The warm, dimly lit area is spacious, and lined with sturdy wooden furniture in a multitude of colours, all imported from Mexico. Striking splashes of vibrant colour, beautiful artwork, and whimsical kitsch adorn the place, all calling out for attention. The entrance is shrined, almost like you've wandered into a little shop of curios. There is an air of bustle during peak periods. Cool and comfortable, well suited to long, lingering meals with friends.

Service at Margarita's Singapore is professional, befitting a restaurant. Staff are polite, greeting guests upon entry, and ushering them to the waiting area to sit. They turnover tables quickly when diners leave, clearing away empty / dirty tables efficiently. This means that despite having to wait for a table, you're usually able to get one in about 10 minutes or so. Staff display decent product knowledge, able to briefly describe dishes from the menu, as well as accede to off-menu requests. I like that they offer personalised attention, and will occasionally check for feedback on your meal.

Food at Margarita's Singapore is largely Mexican cuisine, with some popular Tex-Mex favourites as well. Dishes are made with ingredients imported from Mexico, using recipes the owner gleaned from his time there. Being Mexican, there is a heavy emphasis on bold and fresh flavours, as well as sauces that are refreshing, zesty, or spicy. Portions are medium-large for a single person, being rather filling. Prices are befitting of a restaurant, and while the food is affordable and wallet-friendly, the drinks are expensive. Budget about SGD $43 per person for a full meal with drinks here.


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Margarita's Singapore Exterior


Margarita's Singapore Interior


Entrance


Bar


Art


Seating


Decor


Cutlery


Lamp & Fabric


Sombrero & Poncho
Sombrero & Poncho


Menu Drinks


Menu Appetizers & Wraps


Menu Mains, Sides, Desserts


Skull Bottle



The Cocktail Margarita (SGD $19) is naturally the signature drink here, with the beverage lending its name to the restaurant. A classic cocktail which originated in Mexico, the Margarita here features a blend of Patrón Citrónge lime liqueur, tequila, fresh lime juice, and a rim of salt crystals. The version here is refreshing and potent, which I love. I got mine on the rocks. Highly recommended!

Cocktail Margarita (SGD $19)


Cocktail Margarita
Cocktail Margarita



The Cocktail Margarita Silver Patron Premium (SGD $24) is a premium version, featuring the crystal clear, pure, fine Patron Silver tequila, and the refreshing Patron Citronge. The use of this hand-farmed, small batch produced liqueurs natually commands a higher price. Befitting one of the most expensive liqueurs in the market, this blend is best consumed on the rocks, allowing the connoisseur in you to taste the natural flavours within.

Cocktail Margarita Silver Patron Premium (SGD $24)



The Michelada (SGD $13) is a Mexican cerveza preparada, or beverage made with beer and hot sauce. Here, a salt-rimmed glass contains a blend of Beer Corona pale lager, lime juice, and Tabasco hot sauce. Taste is strongly sour salty zesty, with a hint of spicy. Personally, I didn't quite like it, not used to this mixture of tastes.

Michelada
Michelada (SGD $13)


Michelada



The Beer Corona Extra (SGD $12) is a pale lager, brewed by Grupo Modelo S.A.B. De C.V. in Mexico City, in the region of South-Central Mexico in Mexico. It has a clear, straw yellow colour, with very faint aromas of grass, corn, barley, and cereal. Body is light and thin with strong carbonation, and tastes of skunk, bread, metal, and hops. Served with a wedge of lime to give it a zesty tart sour flavour, else, this beer has little going for it. Finish is short, dry, and quickly falls flat. Easy to drink, beginner's beer.

Beer Corona Extra (SGD $12)



The Pico De Gallo (SGD $5), also known as Salsa Fresca, is a classic sauce that originated in Mexico. Made with diced tomatoes, onions, salt, coriander, and lime juice, this bright, refreshing, juicy sweet sour sharp sauce is also commonly used an ingredient in many dishes. Here, I find the taste to be good, but the balance slightly off, with more onions than tomatoes, resulting in this side dish being more sharp than sweet sour.

Pico De Gallo
Pico De Gallo (SGD $5)


Pico De Gallo



The Refried Black Beans (SGD $6) is a classic Mexican staple, served either as a side dish, or used as a base ingredient for dishes. Made with a mix of mashed and whole black beans, fried with onions, salt, garlic, and cumin, then garnished with cheese, it has a mild, earthy nutty savoury salty flavour. While it can be rather one-note when eaten on its own, it lends good depth of flavour to main courses. Decent.

Refried Black Beans
Refried Black Beans (SGD $6)


Refried Black Beans


Refried Black Beans



Loved the Guacamole (SGD $7) here, with its bright, zesty sweet vegetal flavours that are so refreshing. Made with mashed avocados mixed with salt, onions, tomatoes, lime juice, and garlic, this creamy treat is great on its own as a side dish, or paired with other dishes as a garnish. The version here is more zesty than elsewhere. Good!

Guacamole
Guacamole (SGD $7)


Guacamole



The Mexican Rice (SGD $6), also known as Mexican Green Rice / Arroz Verde, features white rice cooked with a medley of vegetables and herbs, which impart a vibrant colour to the rice. Sticky in texture, with a fragrant earthy grassy aroma, this has a refreshing herbal taste. Good!

Mexican Rice (SGD $6)


Mexican Rice
Mexican Rice



The Mexican Corn Bread (SGD $10) is a classic side dish / appetizer, having a moist, soft, crumbly, warm texture. Made with cornmeal, creamed corn, onions, eggs, buttermilk, cheddar cheese, all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, butter, and sliced jalapeno peppers. Flavors of sweet earthy vegetal, with a hint of savoury and spicy. Served with a dollop of sour cream over each, along with a slice of jalapeno pepper. Pretty good, though I would have liked it to be more fragrant, with a stronger sweet corn taste. Worth ordering!

Mexican Corn Bread (SGD $10)


Mexican Corn Bread
Mexican Corn Bread


Mexican Corn Bread



The Enchiladas Chicken With Green Tomatillo Sauce (SGD $19), also commonly called Enchiladas Verdes, has its origins in Mexico, dating back to ancient Mayan times. A rolled corn / maize tortilla is stuffed with shredded chicken that has been boiled with salt, onions, and garlic, then tossed in a salsa verde sauce, which consists of tomatillos / husk tomatoes, salt, onions, sour cream, cilantro, and serrano chile peppers. A garnish of chopped tomatoes, onions, cheese, guacamole, and more salsa verde, along with a fresh garden salad, is served together with this dish. Bursting with layered flavours of vegetal sweet savoury zesty sharp, and textures of soft, chewy, juicy, chunky. I like that the mouthfeel is refreshing and light. Despite the slightly dry chicken, the ample sauce and juice of the vegetables covered up. Good!

Enchiladas Chicken With Green Tomatillo Sauce (SGD $19)


Enchiladas Chicken With Green Tomatillo Sauce
Enchiladas Chicken With Green Tomatillo Sauce


Enchiladas Chicken With Green Tomatillo Sauce



The Burrito Kitchen Sink (SGD $24) is served in a giant portion, suitable for 2 - 3 people. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw it; being half an arm's length, and thick as a human fist. This large wheat flour tortilla is rolled and stuffed with a generous portion of tender earthy savoury black beans, juicy shreds of stewed savoury salty pulled beef, and chunks of chewy sweet savoury chicken. The filling is hot and comforting, pure indulgence that is delicious and completely satisfiying. Served with a fresh garden salad, garnish of chopped jalapenos, gucamole, fresh tomato sauce, and sour cream on the side. I love the bold, robust flavours here, and it's really good value for money too. Highly recommended!

Burrito Kitchen Sink (SGD $24)


Burrito Kitchen Sink
Burrito Kitchen Sink


Burrito Kitchen Sink



The Taco Mexicana De Adobada (SGD $26) differs here, because instead of marinated pulled pork, they offer a choice of chicken, beef, vegetables, or prawn / shrimp. I got the prawn / shrimp version, which features small but meaty prawns / shrimp, along with crunchy sauteed onions and juicy diced tomatoes, all rolled in a warm, soft, wheat flour tortilla warp, then coated in a rich chipotle cream sauce. Served with a fresh garden salad on the side, the combination of savoury sweet earthy spicy flavours is so appetizing and enticing. The whole grilled jalapeno pepper also lends a nice crunch, with a sharp sour and mildly spicy flavour. Highly recommended!

Taco Mexicana De Adobada (SGD $26)


Taco Mexicana De Adobada
Taco Mexicana De Adobada


Taco Mexicana De Adobada



The Cochinita Pibil (SGD $36) is a traditional Mexican slow-roasted, pulled pork dish, which originated from the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Served with warm flour Tortillas, the dish features pork shoulder, marinated in a robust savoury sweet marinade of garlic, annatto seeds, cloves, cinnamon, oregano, cumin seeds, allspice / myrtle pepper, seville orange / bitter orange, vinegar, salt, light soy sauce, and pepper. The pork meat is slow-roasted till it becomes incredibly tender and juicy, then it's pulled off the bone, and plated with braised purple cabbage, onions, and jalapeno peppers. This hearty dish has bold flavours that are completely delicious. Highly recommended!

Cochinita Pibil (SGD $36)


Cochinita Pibil
Cochinita Pibil


Cochinita Pibil


Cochinita Pibil


Tortilla
Tortilla


Salsa Roja
Salsa Roja


Salsa Verde
Salsa Verde



The Huachinango A La Veracruzana (SGD $34), served with sides of fresh garden salad, Mexican Rice, and Refried Black Beans, is a classic, traditional dish which originated from the Veracruz state of Mexico. A medium sized fillet of red snapper fish is marinated in lime juice, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic, then baked in a sauce of onions, garlic, tomatoes, green olives, finished with a garnish of jalapenos, sour cream, and herbs. The result is a light dish with sweet savoury earthy zesty sour notes, with the fish picking up all the lovely flavours of the aromatic sauce. Bold, robust depth of flavour. Good!

Huachinango A La Veracruzana
Huachinango A La Veracruzana (SGD $34)


Sides


Huachinango A La Veracruzana


Huachinango A La Veracruzana


Huachinango A La Veracruzana



Loved the Churros With Chocolate Sauce (SGD $14) here. Their version of the classic Spanish doughnut is long and slim, coated in cinnamon sugar, having a crisp, slight crunch outside, and a soft, semi-fluffy inside. Warm, sweet, and doughy in taste, these are good enough to stand on their own. However, the weak and thin chocolate sauce on the side clashes with this otherwise excellent dessert. Would eat it again, but without dipping it in the chocolate sauce. Good!

Churros With Chocolate Sauce (SGD $14)


Churros With Chocolate Sauce
Churros With Chocolate Sauce


Churros With Chocolate Sauce



What I love about the Brownies A La Mexicana Con Helado Y Dulce De Leche (SGD $14) is the moist chocolate brownie, layered with a rich, thick layer of chocolate ganache over a soft, warm cake, studded with walnuts and cranberries. Lovely sweet fruity flavours, enhanced with the pairing of earthy floral coconut ice cream. However, I felt the dulce de leche, or sweetened milk sauce, lacks punch, being rather thin in texture and weak in taste. Still, the brownie is great enough on its own. Worth ordering!

Brownies A La Mexicana Con Helado Y Dulce De Leche (SGD $14)


Brownies A La Mexicana Con Helado Y Dulce De Leche



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