Mexe Chennai in Alwarpet is the new taco of the town!
Expect an impressive taco selection from pork birria to fried avocado
Pork belly in your taco and condensed milk in your lemonade? The new Mexe Chennai located at Cooperative Colony in Alwarpet delivers on ingredient pairings that stray from the usual suspects. And we couldn’t be more pleased as we survey the menu. At nearly 1 pm on a Saturday, word of mouth about this new spot seems to have done the rounds — as we spot an increasing number of people waiting outside for a table. A waiter comes around politely informing everyone that the kitchen is backed up — there might be a slight delay. We don’t mind and pose a possible solution, “Could we start with dessert?”
Un, Dos, Tres leches. We’re diving into sweet goodness in no time, slurping on that pool of delicate condensed milk at the bottom of the cake. It’s light and not too sweet even with the addition of the piped cream on top. But we are considering putting in a request for a jug of that condensed milk to envelop our cake in, instead of just a brief flirtation. The Carlota de Limon (also known as a Mexican icebox cake) ups the ante on indulgence with more condensed milk and pronounced citrus notes that beautifully lace through.
Ticket to Mexico
“We make everything in-house — breads, dips, desserts... ” says owner Anush Rajasekaran. Partnering with restaurateur Sandesh Reddy, this is Anush and his wife Swetha Rengasamy’s (also head chef) second food venture. This time, the couple has also joined hands with VM Rajasekaran (Anush’s father, business consultant) and Amit Reddy (hospitality). Mezze, a few streets away, opened back in 2017. Both have vibrant building façades that insist you stop in your tracks and stare, even if you aren’t travelling with an appetite. Inside Mexe, look out for eye-catching murals on the walls. A cheerful calaca (skeleton typically found as decoration during the Day of the Dead) demands your attention when seated, while picturesque cacti offer a postcard photo op at the entrance.
Also notable is the communal dining setup that works well with sharing tapas plates. “We really like the idea of building a community and even if someone meets one new person while dining-in and sitting at that table, it’s such a nice thing,” says Anush. We find ourselves sharing platters of cheesy Chicken enchiladas and a spicy pulled Pork Birria (grilled tacos) that arrive with sides of pork broth spiced with chipotle chilli and onion chunks. The end result is tasty, albeit a touch desi. Wash it down with a refreshing Horchata made with a combination of rice, condensed milk and cinnamon. Vegetarians will be pleased to find an even footing in the taco section with choices like Fried Avocado, Roasted Cauliflower and Chipotle Mushroom. We opt for the Jackfruit Corncake instead, which serves a spectrum of flavour and texture between tiers of guacamole, sour cream and a pop of microgreens on top.
Request the pineapple salsa if you’re in the mood for a side of spicy and sweet. And swap out your taco with its deep-fried cousin, the tostada — for a dose of extra crunch and glee.
Meal for two at INR 1,200.