The Quintonil menu is something I’ve heard a lot about – after all, it’s one of the celebrated restaurants in Mexico City by Chef Jorge Vallejo, who notably completed a one month stint at Noma.
The establishment doesn’t feel posh or snobby and the waiters joke around and are lighthearted.
This atmosphere is now an essential for any modern fine dining restaurant (even though some get it wrong!) however it’s integral that the food presented at these establishments remain at fine dining level.
Chilled chili pepper with sweet corn, moringa oil and tubers
The first offering on the Quintonil menu is a powerful start to set the scene. You’re looking at a dish that is spicy and creamy, yet imparts a squeaky cleanliness as a result of the peas hiding underneath.
Moro crab pipián green sunflower kernel, kaffir lime and Thai basil
Creamy, buttery notes with a thwack of sourness brought about by the lime, before the basil restrains any overt citrus tones.
The peppery heat at the end leaves a marked impression which appeals to the Indian in me. I am gently coerced to experience the dish with a serving of wine, which I give into and am instantly delighted.
The crab on the Quintonil menu is quite possibly the best crustacean dish I’ve tasted in terms of succulence and flavour.
Scallops with salsa macha kidney and mushroom rain
Holy smokes – The smokiness immediately bursts through the door to declare its presence, while the umami from the mushrooms sends me weeping for dear joy.
The texture of the protein is akin to sashimi, yet robust hearty flavors are as hefty as any red meat would impart.
I WANT TO MARRY THIS DISH.
Tatemado avocado tartare, escamoles and quelites chips
I refuse to believe that a dish of such simple ingredients could taste so refined. The avocado flavour is pared down to form a cohesive delicateness that unites all the ingredients.
Like buttered up chlorophyll – it’s gotta be good for you.
Fish barbecue in grasshopper marinade, cauliflower and celeriac dressing
Elated to discover the fish on today’s dish is seabass, I’m not even deterred by the grasshopper marinade – it’s sweet and crunchy and as long as I don’t see it whole, I’m good. I trust these guys w my culinary life.
Refined BBQ flavors even with the dressing, as the celeriac has a stint in the oven too.
Roasted beets, scallops and Italian artichoke
A simple yet alluring dish, the ordinarily effervescent beets have been restrained so that the scallops take centre stage.
The slight fishyness with the tangy charcoal flavours have me singing hallelujah.
Barbecued cutlet with mead and segueza
The pork is sliced right off the t-bone so only the softest part of the protein is served.
The flavours are complex – tomatoey with a tinge of sour lemon.
Charcoal-roasted chicken, macadamia mole, nectarine and pickled pork, onion powder ashes
I saw this being cooked over the coals so have high hopes for what’s to come. I’m not disappointed – there’s major tartness of flavours, with paper thin nectarine that snaps like a twig with a corresponding sound to boot.
The onion powder drives home the acidic tang, but the ash brings a smokiness simultaneously.
Sourness is the theme apparently here on the Quintonil menu and I’m here for it.
Nopal is the translation for cactus, and here it is presented in a sorbet. I’m warned that this will be extremely tart, but this is a girl who is used to margaritas.
First spoonful makes me feel like I’m right at home (and extremely refreshed). Ahhhh.
Snow fresh cream, honey and lemon verbena Tsitsilché
Ooof – this is ice cold, colder than ice cream. Traditionally I’m not a fan of the usual texture of cream, but I manage to shovel in a few spoons before calling it quits.
Sensitive teeth for the win ?
Panna cotta mamey, Pinole crumble and ice cream pixtle
This visually appealing dessert (dare I say the words ‘Instagrammable’?) holds traces of rhubarb flavours with pleasing, crumbly textures.
Don’t forget to check out the YouTube episode here for the full Quintonil menu and behind the scenes kitchen action!