Who loves Mexican food? Good news for you Mexican food lovers, because we are bringing the review of the latest Mexican joint in town, CASA Mexico! Remember AROME Kafe? Farewell to that beauty, CASA Mexico is now replacing it!
This restaurant is not located in the most strategic area, well, it’s strategic by location but not with the people flow, if you know what I mean. Rukan Permata Senayan is basically an office complex so most all the visitors would be workers around there and the area can be dead-quiet during weekends. But if their target is more into expatriates like Plan B does, then it’s another story.
When we visited this place, they have just opened for less than a week (opening since 2 November) and honestly our dining experience was bitter and sweet in the same time.
In term of place, they didn’t renovate the building much, as we can still see some elements from the late AROME Kafe was still used such as the black hanging lamps, wall mirrors and the sofa. However, the walls were drastically changed to warm colored brick walls or wallpaper to build the authentic homey Mexican vibe, complete with Mexican-related decorations. I will let the photos do the talk!
The bar area in the middle end of the first floor is quite eye-catching, and I especially love the hanging lamps shade using used beer bottles! The bar is not big but more than enough for chilling and engaging with other guests over some drinks. The ambience is warm, friendly, and inviting, which I think perfectly suit the Mexican theme.
CASA Mexico offers what they claim to be “authentic” Mexican dishes, ranging from starters to desserts, along with signature Mexican drinks such as Margarita (more on that later), and selection of casual to heavier alcoholic drinks. When I saw the menu for the first time, I immediately thought that their market is probably not targeted to the office workers around the complex, but more for expats or outsiders who are interested in Mexican cuisine in general. Don’t get me wrong, the prices are not considered expensive for “authentic Mexican food” in Jakarta but higher than the restaurants/eating places around the complex such as QQ Kopitiam, Soto Kudus Senayan, Oh La La Cafe, or even Coffee Cup by Chérie.
Without further a do, we’ll move on to the F&B, shall we?
Margarita Classic IDR 85,000
What’s a visit to Mexican restaurant without a glass (or more, LOL) of margarita? XD Interestingly, CASA Mexico has variety of Margarita like Classic, Strawberry, and Mango; but we chose Classic to get to know the real taste first. We can choose how we want our drink to be served: on the rocks, frozen, or straight up. My favorite is always the frozen one, so yeah.
The margarita was good, the taste was slightly lighter than what I usually have in some other Mexican restaurants in town, but I loved it. The salt on the rim of the glass was spread evenly, but I wish they could give it more generously. For the beginning of our dinner, I couldn’t be happier!
Guacamole & Chips IDR 45,000
Holy moly, we were so ecstatic to see the presentation of the guacamole when it was served! Big portion of guacamole in a stone mortar, which I don’t mind eating just like that as salad, LOL! It tasted like explosion in mouth, just what I expected from a real guacamole. With so many ingredients like avocado, tomato, onion, garlic, lemon/lime juice, chili, cilantro, and others, it doesn’t only look colorful but also flavorful.
It looks quite different from typical guacamole that I know, while the usual guacamole looks more like, mashed avocado with various toppings involved, this one is served beautifully with the mashed avocado on bottom and the other ingredients on top. Not that I am complaining, though, since aesthetically this looks 100% more beautiful!
But still, our current favorite guacamole in Jakarta is still the one in Bengawan Restaurant (Keraton The Plaza) made by the awesome Chef Lamberto! If you like Mexican food and have never been there, I urge you to indulge in super authentic guacamole like you can find in Mexico itself, complete with selectively imported Hass avocado (Mexican avocado).
However, this also worked very well for me, but I certainly won’t mind additional cilantro in my guacamole, though! *shamelesshint* XD
Chips & Salsa IDR 16,000
Another option for starter with the chips. The salsa was fiery, not for everyone I guess, but I like it. The texture? Not so much. Honestly I am more into chunkier-texture salsa with the visible diced tomatoes and other ingredients rather than a smooth salsa.
BTW, did I tell you that the chips are fantastic?
Tortilla Soup IDR 40,000
A heart-warming soup consists of chicken, cheese, and tortilla which is commonly found in Mexican homes. We love the broth: tasty and addicting without being too strong, the generous ingredients and the whole combination. The cheese part was fun especially for kids.
Burrito Beef IDR 110,000
Contrary to our previous dishes, the burrito was kinda disappointing for me. The flavor was somehow lacking, like it was not seasoned enough to bring out the flavor. The rice was a little too soft and soggy for my liking, but the beef was alright. Served with some chips and salsa as well.
Tampiquena IDR 190,000
Tampiquena is one of the most popular meat dishes in Mexico, was created in 1939 by the restaurateur José Inés Loredo for his restaurant Tampico Club, in Mexico City. The platter usually consists of grilled steak, enchiladas, white cheese, guacamole, Mexican rice and black beans.
The perfectly grilled medium steak had slightly red part in the center, which kept the consistency and tenderness so well. However, the flavor was very light, and actually I prefer something bolder and stronger for a steak like this.
The beef enchilada wasn’t disappointing, though. I especially like the tasty shredded beef filling and generous melted cheese on top! Despite looking so red and spicy, the enchilada wasn’t spicy at all and can be enjoyed by anyone any age, even my 6 y/o nephew was totally hooked!
For the dessert, they don’t have any fixed menu yet but you can always ask the staffs about their Dessert of The Day. This time we were lucky enough to try their Kahlua Flan, which was amazingly good! Flan is never really my cup of tea, but Mr. K loves it so much so we sometimes make ourselves at home.
The flan here exactly hit the bull eye, means it totally suits our preferences. We really enjoyed the smooth and velvety texture with the perfect softness and creaminess. It had a balance bitter and sweet flavor from the caramel and faint hint of kahlua infused. It was an ideal dessert to end our dinner that day.
From all the food we tried, we are almost sure that this visit is definitely not our last visit. However, I have so many things to say about the service I can write pages about it. I understand that I visited this restaurant on the 5th day after opening so there must be some flaws here and there. But let me share these things, okay?
First of all, the service wasn’t bad, but I just think it was kind of inappropriate in some ways. (Most) all the staffs were very friendly and super polite, but they were lacking of knowledge (about the food, drinks and the place itself) and seemed to be… LOST? The menu is not too many but making orders was like pain in the a$$ because whenever I asked something, the waiter would say “let me ask first”, and by the third time I heard him saying that, I stopped asking. However, at first it didn’t bother me much until later when he kept making mistakes about our orders and kept offering to bring replacements when the orders didn’t satisfy us. Like, seriously?
So many things happened that night and even though I started my time dining happily, at the very last moment I was totally pissed by the immature service. I think they seriously employ so many waiter/waitresses who just gather at one spot doing nothing, instead of shaping their knowledge about the menu whatsoever. No matter how polite the staffs are, if they can’t answer what guests want, the guests won’t be happy and the service doesn’t satisfy them, period. And if you have been reading our blog until now, you must have known that service is really important point for us when dining in a restaurant.
You know, when I had my first sip of my Margarita, I knew I will definitely come back to this place for another Mexican feast, but thinking about the service, it kind of brought me down. I hope they will seriously improve this aspect at the very least because F&B business is deeply related to hospitality and proper service is A MUST!
Anyway, we are wishing CASA Mexico all the best for now and hopefully by the time we visit next time, we can see some improvements, keeping our fingers crossed!
*All prices are subject to 5% service charge & 10% government tax
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
** This review is written based on our visit on 6 November 2015.
Rukan Permata Senayan Blok G No. 11
Jl. Tentara Pelajar
South Jakarta 12210
Ph. +62 21 5794 9449
Mon – Sun 9AM – 2AM