Savour Mexican faves with El Mero Mero's new menu
Mexican food makes me happy. I attribute it to its zestiness and the cheerful colours.
When the flavours work for you, the happiness warms your soul.
For me, Mexican cuisine is one of the best mood lifters.
Five years after it made its debut, El Mero Mero has a new menu that combines traditional flavour combinations and current Mexican culinary trends.
The food and presentation are refined. And for someone new to Mexican cuisine, it is a meal of discovery.
New to me is the tortilla soup ($14). Instead of throwing away overnight tortillas, they are added to the soup.
I am all for minimising waste, so this appeals to me tremendously.
I am so happy I found it. And the soup is delicious.
Tomatoes, garlic, onion and guajillo chilli pepper are roasted in a Josper oven, then boiled and blended with corn tortilla.
The flavours are deep and soulful, and - as expected - it fills you up pretty quickly.
Also new to me is the gordita ($28), pastry stuffed with heirloom vegetables and frijoles, or beans.
There is so much to love at El Mero Mero, but the corn sampler ($15) wins my heart.
The set is as simple as its name: char-grilled organic baby corn, smoked huitlacoche donuts and chilli mayo.
Huitlacoche is a Mexican truffle, and this is mixed with eggs, flour and milk to make the flavourful donuts.
The mayo is punchy and sets off the sweetness of the corn, but it is the earthiness of the donuts that rounds up the experience.
Also great is the baja fish ($14).
The piece of tempura tooth fish is surrounded by a symphony of sensations - the bright flavours of the pico de gallo and the crispy coat of the milky fish.
Initially, the avocado taco ($11) appeared pretty but unimpressive.
But after I tasted what El Mero Mero can do with its guacamole (from $12), I knew it was going to be impressive - and it lived up to my expectation.
Served on a burnt corn tortilla, the avocado is sliced, smashed and smoked, sea salt sprinkled over it.
It is simple but the combination just works. It is clean and complicated at the same time.
Although I love pork belly, I could not get into the carnitas ($13), made with caramelised pork neck and belly.
I found it jarringly sweet and one-note.
Considering the menu of great bites, this was a letdown.
But it also means instead of using up your calorie intake on it, you can move on to better fare.
The smooth tostadas de atun ($17, tuna tartar on crispy corn tortilla) and the intensely bright hamachi and coconut ceviche ($21) are some others you need to try.
El Mero Mero
Opens Sunday to Thursday, 5pm to 11pm; Friday and Saturday, 5pm to 11.30pm