Saturday, July 23, 2016

El Santo - Mexican food at fine dining prices

El Santo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato So my bill at El Santo was almost $30 after tax and tip, for one main and one non-alcoholic beverage.
What you can definitely expect from El Santo is Vancouver fine-dining prices. Fortunately, you can also expect pretty interesting flavours in their Mexican fare.

TIP: Larger groups can be put in a private room at the back that can easily seat 14 with OK spacing between diners.

Enchiladas Flor de Jamaica ($18) Hibiscus flowers, jicama, carrot & cabbage, fire roasted tomato chipotle sauce, Oaxaca cheese & green rice
  • I can't really rate this properly because it tasted way too much like my mom's spring rolls. She uses a lot of jicama, and that for me was the predominant flavour here.
  • Lots of cheese but it hardened way too quickly to be fun. Not sure how that can be avoided, however.
  • Green rice (possibly just rice with green herbs, such as cilantro) was al dente and had a firm, coarse texture in the mouth. Interesting for not being your normal tender rice.
  • The three rolls were slightly on the salty side.
  • Overall OK but a lot of the ingredients mentioned you won't really see or taste unless you dissect the rolls and try to isolate them from the stuffing.
  • Looks really delicious, but for me not that interesting. However see caveat above.
  • Combined with the rice this is fairly filling plate.
2016-Jul-22 El Santo - enchiladas flor de jamaica

Chilaquiles ($18) Crispy Fraser Valley pork belly, tamarind chipotle glaze, salsa verde, Cotija cheese, tortilla chips
  • I got to try a bite of this, which was my friend's order. Overall looks pretty boring BUT the tamarind chipotle glaze is the real winner here. The sourness really helps with any heavy fatty feeling from the pork belly.
  • My piece of pork belly wasn't crispy. Hmm.
2016-Jul-22 El Santo - chilaquiles

Queso Fundido ($10) Oaxaca cheese, poblano peppers, caramelized onion, tomato, fresh tortillas
2016-Jul-22 El Santo - Queso Fundido

Pina y Agave ($6) Pineapple, lemon juice, agave and mint leaves
  • Mocktail that tastes like it sounds -- Pineapple, lemon, mint. Pretty good palate cleanser and pretty refreshing.
TIP: That hot sauce they provide at the table? USE IT. It's fruity sweet (mango?) and there's a heat that builds very slowly but can be medium-strong at the end AND it won't flatten other flavours while giving you that buzz in the mouth.
Here I used it on the green rice that came with my enchiladas. The rice was interesting in texture but boringly bland in taste, sadly.

2016-Jul-22 El Santo - tasty hot sauce at the table 2016-Jul-22 El Santo - pina y agave

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