Happy Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for 5th of May), a day to celebrate Latino culture and heritage. I love Mexican food but it’s quite difficult to get a fix as not many friends enjoy it as much as I do. When I received an invitation to try new items from Señor Taco’s menu at CHIJMES, I was thrilled to finally get a Mexican fix. I hope this post will also inspire some of my friends to try the cuisine.*Image courtesy of Señor Taco
Following the success of their first Taqueria (taco shop) at Clarke Quay, which opened in 2009, Señor Taco opened its flagship Taqueira and Cantina in CHIJMES in January 2012 followed by an outlet at Orchard Towers with a fourth outlet to be opened at The Star Vista at the end of the year. The expanded menu offers a wider selection of antojitos (Mexican street food) and specialties from different Mexican regions in addition to the widest range of premium tequila in Singapore. To ensure freshness, Señor Taco makes their own tortillas, tortilla chips and salsas in their Singapore factory.
We sampled some of the highlights from the menu.
Tasting Menu1) Salsa Molcajeteada @ S$ 10.90 Freshly made salsa with fire roasted tomatoes, serrano chilis, cilantro and slices of avocado; grilled baked corn tortillas on the side 2) Frijoles con Veneno @ S$ 9.90 Refried beans with pork carnitas in chile ancho marinade. Served with corn tortillas. 3) Ceviche Costeño @ S$ 18.90 / 19.90 Fish or shrimp cooked in lime prepared with tomato, coriander, onion, serrano chili and avocado (fish/shrimp or mix) 4) Volcan de Queso @ S$18.90 Lava-like melted cheese with green tomatillo sauce topped with coriander. 5) Flautas @ S$16.90 Deep fried corn tortillas filled with chicken/shredded beef and veggies. Served with lettuce, cream, fresh cheese and guacamole. 6) Carnitas Michoacan @ S$23.90 Famous Michoacan style confit pork carnitas with pico de gallo. Served with corn tortillas. Great for sharing. 7) Pescado Al Ajillo @ S$23.90 Red Snapper fish fillet with dry chilis and garlic. Served with salad and Mexican rice. 8) Flan Doña Victoria @ $7.90 Ceviche Costeño @S$18.90 (fish/shrimp) / $19.90 (mixture) Fish or Shrimp cooked in lime juice and seasoned with tomato, coriander, onion, serrano chili and avocado
One of my favourite dishes of the evening was the Ceviche Costeño. The firm chunks of fresh raw Red Snapper had been well-marinated with copious amounts of lime juice, diced tomato, serrano chili and a generous slab of sliced avocado. It’s best eaten with tortilla chips but I loved it on its own. This was a very refreshing and appetizing start to the meal. This is a Must-Try!Volcan de Queso @ S$18.90 Lava-like melted cheese with green tomatillo sauce topped with coriander
I love cheese so just about any cheese dish is going to find a place in my heart. Volcan de Queso (also known as Queso Fundido) is essentially molten Oaxaca cheese served in a hot stone bowl and topped with green tomatillo sauce and chopped coriander. The texture of the cheese was stringy and gooey like melted mozzarella, it’s flavour was mild and slightly buttery which was enhanced by the tanginess of the green tomatillo salsa.Carnitas Michoacan @ S$23.90 Famous Michoacan style confit pork carnitas with pico de gallo. Served with corn tortillas. Great for sharing. *Image courtesy of Señor Taco
My other favourites are the Frijoles con Veneno and Carnitas Michoacan, even though I generally do not like to eat pork. I like the Frijoles con Veneno dish because of the refried beans in this mildly flavoured dish. I will probably add slices of pickled jalapeno chilis the next time I eat this dish to add some oomph. The Carnitas Michoacan was smoky and tender without a strong piggy flavour. It was well complemented by the crunchy pico de gallo drizzled with some lime juice in a tortilla wrap. Definitely a Must-Try!
Served in a molcajete (Mexican-style three-legged mortar and pestle), the Salsa Molcajeteada is also worth a try as the smokiness of the chargrilled tomatoes and chili made it a delicious variant to the regular salsas that are served in most restaurants. The flavour of this salsa was somewhat similar to the Middle Eastern Babaghanoush albeit without any roasted eggplants. Sorry, I couldn’t snap pictures of every dish as we shared them so it was hard to get images except for the ones right in front of me. As the only blogger in the group, I didn’t want to impose my trigger-happiness on the others.
The Beef Flautas (flute-shaped deep fried tacos) were served with a delicious and generous dollop of freshly-made Guacamole while the Pescado Al Ajillo was topped with a smoky dried chili and garlic sauce, which reminded me somewhat of local barbecued fish. They didn’t particularly stand out for me because they were outshone by the other dishes. That said, the guacamole is a Must-Try as it is rich, creamy and tangy.Flan Doña Victoria @ $7.90 *Image courtesy of Señor Taco
We ended the meal with a traditional Mexican dessert, the flan (also known as crème caramel). The creamy custard was topped with a richly aromatic caramelized-sugar sauce. In spite of how full I felt, I found room for a few spoonfuls of this dessert. This is also a Must-Try!Frozen Strawberry Margarita @ S$15.90
I was quite astonished by how my glass runneth over when the Frozen Strawberry Margarita was served. This was sweet with the flavour of strawberries and has to be finished as quickly as possible to avoid having your melted margarita flood the plate below. In the background is a mug of Cervezo Habanero Beer (S$11.90), which is brewed locally in collaboration with Jungle Beer Brewing Co, and is currently available in limited quantities on draught at all Señor Taco outlets. I tried a little as I am not much of a beer drinker. Though I generally do not like beer, I was quite pleasantly surprised to discover that this wheat beer was sweet without the characteristic bitterness from hops that I have come to associate with beer. It was like drinking German weissbier but with a slow-building heat from the Mexican Habanero chilis.*Image courtesy of Señor Taco
Alejandro Blanco, the man behind Señor Taco, was very proud of his extensive collection of premium tequilas, the largest in Singapore. He wanted to change our impression of tequila, oft regarded as a vile and rough drink that is best imbibed by swinging back a shot with salt and lime juice to kill the bitterness. I declined to try as I still harbour very bad memories of pounding headaches and well, other unglamourous effects of shots of tequila which seemed de rigeur for undergraduates on a night out at Zouk.
However, Alejandro was very adamant that tequila’s reputation be corrected so I tried a little. He served some Maestro Tequilero Atelier (aged for 36 months in oak barrels) in a glass that was shaped like a champagne flute. I was amazed by how it had the rich colour of whiskey with a smoky, caramelized sugary sweet flavour that I think will go perfectly well with the flan. I was also very impressed to note that there was no alcohol burn when sipping this tequila.Maestro Tequilero Atelier @ S$28.90 per shot Tasting Notes: ripe apple, rich oak, vanilla. Only 1,000 artisan bottles.
The Maestro Tequilero Atelier is sold in handpainted bottles. This changed my mind about tequila and is definitely worth a shot!Gran Patron Burdeos Anejo Tequila @ S$38.90 per shot / S$1,350 per bottle Tasting notes: Roasted agave plus vanilla, raisins and dried fruit.
Alejandro then served us some Gran Patron Burdeos, which was distilled twice before being aged for a minimum of 12 months in oak barrels and distilled again before being racked in vintage Bordeaux barrels. This tequila had a stronger flavour of alcohol than the Maestro Tequilero Atelier from start to finish. I preferred the smoother and sweeter flavour of Maestro Tequilero Atelier.Señor Taco @ CHIJMES 30 Victoria Street, #01-19/20 Singapore 187996 Tel: +65 6337-1377 Operating Hours: Sundays to Thursdays: 6 pm to 12 midnight Fridays & Saturdays: 6 pm to 2 am Señor Taco @ Clarke Quay 3D River Valley Road, #01-12 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179023 Tel: +65 9118-4155 Operating Hours: Mondays & Tuesdays: 6 pm to 1 am Wednesdays & Thursdays: 6 pm to 2 am Fridays & Saturdays: 6 pm to 4.30 am Sundays: 6 pm to 11.30pm Señor Taco @ Orchard Towers 1 Claymore Drive, #01-06 Singapore Email: email@example.com