When you think Mexican, you won’t think Bangkok. And when you think Mexican in Bangkok, you probably won’t think Señor Pico. For 17 years, the city’s first Mexican restaurant, an erstwhile L.A. import, has kept a surprisingly low profile. Now, at long last, it has just been given a well-deserved overhaul. In the flavour department, the Mexican chef now running its kitchen promises more authenticity and less compromise for local taste, as well as some attempts at fusion.
The new décor boasts dimmed lighting for the more private booths ringing the stage, where diners take in Latin beats from the friendly Cuban band (all evenings except Mondays), while those wanting a restaurant instead of bar feel can grab the quieter and more casual tables further back.
For appetisers, opt for the excellent pinchos de camarones (B395++). The dish of grilled prawns doused in garlic, cilantro and jalapenos is warm and peppery with a fresh tang. The guacamole, made fresh tableside in a Mexican mortar and pestle, also pleasantly exceeded expectations (B250++).
For mains, the best choice for espetadas is the fragrant, tender, and extremely flavourful Angus Ribeye (B995++) which is rubbed with garlic, salt, and bay leaf, chargrilled, and carved tableside. Though its accompaniments—slightly plain herb marinated rice, refried black beans, and flour tortillas—are not as spectacular.
The more intrepid would note the restaurant’s ventures into fusion, including seared tuna rubbed in Mexican spices (B595++) and foie gras served with corn cake, mango pico de gallo and a raspberry and dried chili sauce (B495++). The even more intrepid should note that what’s written on its drinks menu is not all marketing-speak, so when it tells you to “pop the piñata” or “prepare for Pico’s slap across the face and whip yourself into submission,” take heed.
The customary famous sangria, South American wine, and imaginative margaritas all have a tendency to go to your head. But the place does have “tequila bar” affixed to its name for a reason. The mind-boggling range – reputed as the biggest in town – boasts nuances of all things from peppercorn and wild herbs to cinnamon and caramel. The midrange Herradura Reposado 100% De Agave (B300++) has a rich taste which will have you ditching the otherwise obligatory lime and salt.
Once satisfied, ride that slightly inebriated euphoria into the land of Mexican-inspired – and, yes, often alcohol-infused – desserts (all at B195++). Our favourite: pay de limón y tequila, where key lime, tequila, and coconut are presented in a mousse-like texture. Citrusy, zingy, and extremely smooth. We reckon it’s a fittingly sassy way to end the evening.
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1F Rembrandt Hotel 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18
02-261-7100 | rembrandtbkk.com| 5pm-1am