Personal blog by Ashleigh Dougherty. Read with a pinch of salt and a cuppa' rosy lee.

22/04/2017

MEXIco RESTAURANT, MAIDSTONE


A couple of weeks ago, I was invited along to review a recently opened restaurant called MEXIco, in Maidstone, Kent. Despite not living in Kent, it only took around 45 minutes to drive there. I had never actually been to Maidstone before and was surprised to see what a quaint little town it is. There seems to be quite a lot to do there and it has a lot of restaurants to dine in. Definitely an option when I fancy driving out somewhere to eat and drink!

MEXIco was previously a Chimichangas, and re-opened as MEXIco at the end of 2016. I have eaten in Chimichangas and I wasn't very keen on the food. For me, Mexican food has to be fresh, authentic and true to that of Mexico. Nobody likes stale tortillas, 3 day old salsa and limp looking fajitas, do they?


Mark the restaurant manager invited myself and a +1 along on a Thursday night with some other journalists. We was all seated together which I have never done on a restaurant review before, but it was nice to mingle with new people and talk about the food and drinks during the evening. 


The evening was planned really well and I liked how it was different from how most restaurants host journalists and bloggers. Mark guided us through the menu and told us to brace ourselves, as we would be sampling the menu's favourite dishes.

Firstly, I'll talk about drinks because they literally took over the evening. My plus 1 was driving, so it was down to me to try out the drinks. Mark is incredibly proud of his drink menu and I can completely understand why. The alcohol used in the cocktails is specially imported from Mexico, so you're getting authentic cocktails like you would if you was over there. 


The cocktails ranged from fruity to smoky, with a LOT of added tequila... fresh off the boat from Mexico of course. In fact, the majority of the things that MEXIco use are Mexico imports. This even includes their wide range of different hot sauces. If that isn't an authentic touch, I don't know what is.

We kick started the food sampling with a bowl of puffy tortilla chips and all of the trimmings. Mark had been telling us how all of the ingredients that the chefs use are fresh and that we would hopefully be able to tell. Well, as an absolute guacamole enthusiast over here, I had high hopes but of course, would always be honest with my first impressions. 

Well, I can confirm that these were the best restaurant based tortilla chips and dips to accompany that I have ever tried. The guacamole was mixd with coriander, tomato, onion, jalapeño and lime juice and really hit the spot. In fact, each dipping pot was truly spectacular and makes you appreciate freshly cooked food ten times more. 


It was then back to the drawing board for cocktails and before I knew it, I had a whole bunch of them to try out. There was a tomato based bloody martini, which I knew I wouldn't like as I had tried it at the Royal Albert Hall brunch a few weeks before. I definitely loved the fruiter cocktails, but didn't like a smokey one as it was a bit too masculine for my tastebuds!

Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre
58 Earl St 
Maidstone 
ME14 1PS
-
01622 620382


The next food choice that was presented to us was the Pork Mexico City Pastor. It's essentially fresh tacos with grilled pork, chillies, spices, a salsa mix, red onion, pineapple and coriander. These were really yummy and again, you could tell the ingredients were freshly made for the dish.


To accompany the above, we also had the Beef Fajita Asadas. These are authentic rolled fajitas, stuffed with grilled beef steak, red onions and avocado; topped with sour cream and tomato salsa. Very nice indeed.


We then enjoyed their signature dish; the puffy tacos. These were really scrumptious and one of my highlights from the night. We was given a selection of different ones; including chicken tinga and prawns, picadillo beef and pulled pork. The tacos were extra puffy, so complemented the fresh toppings perfectly. 


Whilst waiting (and starting to feel a tad full up!) for our next lot of food, Mark brought over some traditional and authentic Mexican tequilas. At this point, I had definitely had enough alcohol, so I didn't try them. It took me a good five minutes before I realised there was a dead worm in the first glass. Nothing but an added bit of traditional protein to say the least, but definitely something I wasn't willing to try!


Next up, it was time to try a burrito. Mark wasn't kidding when he said these portions are big and as soon as they arrived, I wasn't sure if I had enough room to try anything else. However, it's Mexican food, so of course I did!

The burritos are packed full of a choice of beef, pork or veggie, rice, montery Jack cheese and baked in the oven with an enchilada sauce, lettuce and tomatoes as a side garnish; drizzled in sour cream to finish. 



Then there was the El Mariachi Mexico Dinner; which was without a doubt my favourite dish I tried that night. A big plate of cheese enchiladas, a puffy taco with chicken, lots of Monterey Jack cheese, guacamole, sour cream and Mexican rice and lots more. Definitely one you would need to burn off at the gym the next day!


The other food reviewers requested to try out one of the Mexican cooked fish dishes. This was a Snapper fillet, served in a white wine sauce, avocado and Mexican rice. I only stick to fish dishes that I know of (quite bad, I know), so my plus one tried this out and thoroughly enjoyed it. It definitely has that strong fishy taste to it, but can be tamed down with the sauce and side avocado and leaves.


After feeling very defeated, Mark insisted we all tried some of MEXIco's favourite desserts. It's no secret that I do tend to opt for a dessert when dining out, so it was too difficult to politely turn down.

The Mexican Caramel Brûlée came whizzing out shortly after by Mark and I at first, I wasn't sure whether I would like it. I'm not a fan of the traditional brûlée, but I made the quick decision to try half a spoonful anyway.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the caramel made it rather delicious and went brûlée-lently with the strawberry fondant and fresh strawberries on top.


The other option was freshly fried churros, with cinnamon sugar and dulce le leche; a sweetened condensed milk and caramel dipping sauce. Out of the two, I definitely preferred the brûlée, whereas my plus one preferred the churros.


We had a lovely time and I cannot recommend MEXIco enough. Even though it's a little far our for Londoners, if you have access to a car then I guarantee you won't be let down with the quality of the food. My highlights include the fantastic talk throughs from Mark during each meal. It was really nice to be able to learn more about traditional Mexican food by someone who is easily recognisably passionate about his restaurant. 


They have a lunch menu available until 5pm, which gives you two courses for £9.99. An absolute steal in my opinion and one that I hope to re-visit to take full advantage of. With a 2-4-1 cocktail menu too (available 5-7pm), it would be silly to miss out!

Thank you so much to Mark for hosting such a lovely evening. I have no doubt that I will be back soon to try out the banana burrito dessert that he talked so highly about!

Disclaimer: I was invited along with a plus 1 for a complimentary meal in return for an honest review on my blog. All thoughts and photographs are my own. 
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13 comments

  1. Oh wow I love the interior and those cocktails looks amazing as does the food! Looks like a real fantastic restaurant and perfect for a special night out

    Laura x

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  2. This looks incredible! I love the decore and the food looks amazing. I don't live too far from Maidstone so I might just have to pay them a visit!

    Becca

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  3. Oh wow what an amazing looking resturant the decor is wonderful and that food looks absolutely yum!

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  4. The restaurant looks great and the food looks very authentic - take it from a Mexican! I'd love to pop in and test out the authenticity, and will definitely do that when I am next in Kent.

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  5. I totally get where you are coming from about big chains and stale tortillas aha! I've experienced this myself with a "so called" high end mexican chain. Those cocktails look really pleasing right now sat outside in the Sunshine

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  6. The food sounds amazing, as do the cocktails! I'll definitely look it up next time that I'm in the area.

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  7. I was never a fan of Chimchangas either!

    Good god, those tortilla chips look absolutely amazing though! ♥

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  8. Ooh looks like a great restaurant, everything looks so yummy! You can never go wrong with Churros! xo

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  9. Love all things Mexican! In fact my husband I go to our favorite restaurant for lunch every Sunday. This place looks so great. Love the fun atmosphere and the food looks wonderful. ps: Puffy tacos are the best!

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  10. Ouuu I would definitely try this place out! I love mexico as a country so being able to experience a little bit of it back home is the best!

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  11. Looks like a restaurant where I could definitely veganise the menu! I love me some Mexican food! <3

    Jess // Jess With Mind xo

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  12. I love Mexican food and this looks absolutely incredible, so much choice and beautiful looking dishes.

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  13. Oh god, I love Mexican food! That place looks amazing! And I'm really hungry now!

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