The Atrium at Al Habtoor City is vying to become the go-to spot for nights out. And now that water taxis are on the Canal, there’s even more reason to head over.
One venue already making a name for itself is ZOCO, the Mexican-Latin American restaurant. The second we walk into this effortlessly cool venue, we’re struck by how massively unpretentious it is.
We’re taken to our table by the window (with views of said Canal, and the waterfall) and our jovial waiter (a trained chef himself) runs us through the impressive menu – featuring guacamole, tacos, scallops with passion fruit, and banana leaf roasted chicken – which draws from traditional Mexican and Latin cuisine, but teasing it out of grandma’s kitchen and into a contemporary cocina.
We start by ordering a bowl of guacamole, plumping for the picante version – the spiciest on the menu. As soon as we tuck in, the heat from the habanero hits, giving us a wonderfully warm feeling we hope will be replicated by our mains. And they certainly don’t disappoint.
We wait what only seems a matter of seconds before our two mains arrive. ZOCO has several tacos in its armoury and we opt for the lobster offering. Somehow the soft shells manage to withstand both the packed-in filling and its intense flavours. The salsa and “mojo de ajo” (garlic sauce) works perfectly with the lobster, at no point overpowering it. Meanwhile, we devour a second dish of banana leaf-roasted chicken, with gusto, having been suitably tantalised by the aroma as it arrives at the table. The paste of “adobo” spices is a real treat for the palate and unless you’re insanely hungry, there’s no real need for extra sides as the baby potatoes and Argentinian chimichurri are just enough and complete the dish.
You’ll love every morsel of this meal. Savour every bite. The Bill (for two) 1x guaca picante Dhs65 1x lobster tacos Dhs90 1x roasted chicken Dhs110 1x large water Dhs14 Total Dhs279 The Bottom Line Top-drawer dishes in a vibrant venue, with superb service to back it up.