Address: 24 Tai Wong Street East, Wanchai
When: 24th Nov. 2015
Mexican food is plentiful in Hong Kong, with the arrival of several bars and restaurants featuring tacos and ‘Tex-Mex’ in recent years. Good and authentic Mexican, is however, rare.
Verde Mar, without a doubt is some of the best Mexican I’ve tasted in Hong Kong. Both decoration and menu follows traditional Mexican roots, with a ‘no frills’ attitude, showcasing the ingredients and brilliant cooking.
As usual, our meal began with a few drinks, though non-alcoholic this time. The Horchata (HK$38, top right), a traditional Mexican drink, was full of cinnamon flavour without being overpowering. A great start and tool to counteract the spicy Mexican food that is to come. We went on to order mains when we got distracted by the cheesy goodness Oaxaca Cheese Fundido. Yes, the name sounds funny, but the dish is no joke. Melted cheese topped with homemade chorizo and served with a side of nachos; simply ‘bomb’! The Chorizo was not too salty and went well with the cheese. The nachos, crunchy and crispy, you can tell was made fresh. Also a fun dish for sharing and first dates, pulling the sticky cheese with nachos.
Then came our second starter Snapper Ceviche with Avocado (HK$ 138). Bright and fresh, with a small drizzle of citrus and not too much salt, perfect for the summer. Small cubes of bell pepper, cucumber and onion add crunch and a kick. The tomato, dill and cilantro add sweetness and colour.
We got greedy and ordered not 2 but 3 mains and a veg dish. Glad we did too, because it was worth all the extra calories! First came the Chorizo Quesadillas, not over filled and stuffed with fresh ingredients, it was not too cheesy or meaty. The Quesadilla tasted fresh not greasy, and chorizo again not too spicy and well-seasoned.
Steak Arrachera Carne Asada (8oz) (HK$ 298), cooked medium-rare and wonderfully tender. The three dips, guacamole, salsa and tomato chilli, added a creamy and fresh element to the dish. The steak, a leaner cut is also a healthy option for keen fitness folk. The char grilled cactus (HK$ 98) was tangy and had a slight char flavour, a welcomed new experience. It also went well with the steak.
Then came the main event, Molcajete (HK$388). Sounds like Machete, but is actually a mix of steak, chicken, fish, shrimp and a chorizo tamale in a volcanic rock bowl! Uniquely presented and each element well seasoned and cooked. A great party and sharing dish.
This was by far some of the most authentic and delicious Mexican restaurants I’ve tried in Hong Kong. Verde Mar is a bit more up-market and sophisticated, and focuses on delivering good food to customers. Service was also very good.