What an utter disappointment. After their return to form with Brunswick (let’s face it, Common Grounds was a bit of let-down compared to Tom&Serg and the Sum of Us) I felt F&B dynamic duo, Arnel and Lopez, would give us something really…well, a lot more special than Muchachas. And to think I went there blind, a bunch of out-of-town guests in tow, with nothing more than my faith in the ol’ T&S magic.
Let’s start with the location. Hello? The Holiday Inn Express in Al Safa – really? In addition to it being what? a 2-star hotel, it’s also next door to this gigantic construction site. And finding a place to park is near impossible. I had to take my car off road around the side of the hotel to find a place to park.
And then we walk in and I’m like…OMG! I had read all these reviews, raving about the interior and I’m standing there thinking, what an earth have these people been smoking!? To me, it seemed like their interior designer had this massive pastel pink and baby blue brain fart…in the middle of IKEA – job done. Oh well, I guess you can get away with anything when you’re riding the wave. It’s safe to say I didn’t quite click with the interior; it just didn’t make me feel special nor could I figure out in what way it was even remotely related to Mexican cuisine.
Needing to calm my nerves from my initial shock on entry, chose one of the IKEA style high-tables in-front of the bar, the world’s best place to calm nerves. Our table was attended by two friendly, Hispanic waitresses who ended up being the highlight of our Muchachas experience. First the feisty little Argentinian, and later the bubbly Dominican; who looked every bit the part with her hair up in a headscarf, Cuban-style, talked us through the menu in their heavily accented English. Finally, a connection of sorts with the food we were about to eat.
Of the many items we ended up ordering, the Guacamole was…insane! and possibly the best guac I have had in Dubai. The Street Style Corn on the Cob was interesting, messy to eat even with ‘holders’ on the end of the cob, but really good. Both the Quesadillas we had were…um, nice…which is the polite way of saying, they weren’t all that special. The soft-shelled tacos however were a total disappointment. Ignorant me, I had never heard of a soft-shelled taco till that evening. Thankfully I had our Dominican waitress to explain that soft-shelled is how they eat them back in Méjico. I still think they’re rubbish and prefer the hard shelled ones.
The bar, an all boy affair, was painfully slow in getting our drinks out and scrooge-shamingly miserly with their half empty shots of ridiculously expensive house Tequila. And you know, that’s where I started getting a little ticked off (you just don’t mess with a bloke’s drink). So I’m thinking: I’ve followed you to this rubbish little hotel with no parking in the middle of constructionville. I’ve put up with the poofy pastel décor, the melamine plates and the limp tacos which I now have to cough up an eye-popping Dhs29 for – each. But that’s nothing compared to the Dhs36 (that’s $10!!!!!!) you’re charging me for a shot of cheapo El Jimador tequila (there’s a reason it’s #1 in Mexico)…the least you can do is fill the bloody shot glass for me.
And that just about sums ups Muchachas for me; I left feeling short-changed and underwhelmed. Pah!