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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Dine and Whine-2 : Once upon a time in Mexicana

 Restaurant: Aqua Java, Russel Street, Kolkata (http://www.zomato.com/kolkata/aqua-java-fiesta-mexicana-russel-street)

Today evening, this restaurant enthused me and my companion with its warm hospitality and  strange sense of humor. For a place which calls itself "Fiesta Mexicana", there was no burrito or carnitas on the menu which, as we later found, is dominated by coffee. So much for the "Java" suffix. Not sufficiently open minded to walk into a Mexican restaurant and order Cappuccino, we reluctantly glanced over the menu, or whatever little of it was present. In a Mexico without Burritos, one has to live with the Quesadillas -so we thought. Of course, Guacamole and Jalapenos were out of stock, as the crew informed us.

Served with a rather depleted menu, we ordered Tortilla soup first, only to discover that it was devoid of red beans, as against what was advertised on the menu. Beans or No Beans, the soup tasted fantastic, and had the right spice to tickle my tongue and yet not burn my insides. We ended up ordering CHICKEN Chimichanga, Veg Quasedilla and Soft Flour Tortilla with Mexican rice, Tomato salsa and Sour Cream on Lettuce as sideys.

All three tasted good, with the Quesadilla having authenticity stamped all over it. Authenticity, in this regard, is purely a function of my experience at Chipotle, New York. I proceeded to lecture my friend on the richness of Mexican cuisine, and on how they prepare meat separately and then add it to the veggies to make the final dish. This reality came to bite me in a space of 5 minutes. After munching on my cheese rich Chicken Chimichanga, I discovered, to my shock that it contained no chicken. It was Onam day, a No Non Veg occasion for good God-fearing Mallus. Were the Mexicans conspiring with my mom? No wait, it can't be! The crew was informed with absolutely no delay, and we were told that the Chef missed adding the chicken. He missed the point as well, I was tempted to say. Our waiter apologized profusely, and to our amusement, served us a dessert free of charge. The chocolate sauce covered Cookies and Vanilla ice cream was a pleasant indulgence, and, in this man's experience, stands second only to the Chocolate Sizzler at Marco Polo. Sadly, I was too lost in the hot chocolate to ask for its name. A word of praise again for the Waiter.

Aqua Java had its last laugh, when we, on our way back, noticed the carefully hidden writing on the wall (literally) - "Today's Special: Mexican Burrito"

A little more attention to the menu, and this place could rock. One can't stop wondering. Add a more liquid and sourer sour cream to the wish list.

(This review won a weekly contest on Zomato.com)