Walking into Luchador, we’re greeted by a flamboyant man wearing a sequinned carnival costume. It’s a bold start, and the party mood at this vibrant venue doesn’t stop there.
We visit on a weeknight and a lively salsa class is in full swing at the newly opened Mexican restaurant on the Palm.
Trays of colourful mixed drinks are whisked past and the unmistakable smell of sizzling chorizo wafts deliciously from a nearby table. It’s a feast for the senses, and the food doesn’t disappoint, either. Forget over-stuffed burritos and flimsy tacos, the menu here is full of authentic Mexican flavours.
There are three types of guacamole, we opt for the traditional. There’s no bland green gloop of avocado here. It’s perfectly seasoned, with just the right amount of bite and manages to be both creamy yet refreshing.
Moving onto the mains, and the miniature huitlacoche tacos go down an absolute treat. The creamy corn is subtly balanced with crispy courgette and topped off with a drizzle of truffle oil and rosemary mayo. It’s rich combination but we long for more.
Chorizo quesadillas, meanwhile, are packed with flavour – and a deliciously gooey, cheesy, meaty filling. With three sizeable portions served up, they’re more than enough to satisfy our appetite.
After such a great start, we can’t wait for dessert, which promises tres leches and churros.
But the kitchen is closed, without warning. The food is almost perfect – the service, not so. Throughout the meal we have to repeat our order three times and we’re left cheeseless despite our pleas. We’re hoping that these niggles will be ironed out soon, as that aside Luchador is a must-try. Salsa on down as soon as you can.
The bill (for two)
1x traditional guacamole Dhs50
1x habanero ceviche Dhs60
1x huitlacoche tacos Dhs55
1x quesadilla chorizo verde Dhs60
Total (incl service) Dhs225
The bottom line
Mexican food cooked as it should be.