Get ready for a new dining destination this side of the Creek: La Tablita, a vibrant and lively Mexican restaurant brought to life with a quintessential Taco Shop experience. Theatrical live cooking and a passionate team of native Mexicans both in the culinary and service teams enliven the Mexican culture of shared dining, entertaining and celebrations.
La Tablita is the brain-child of award-winning Executive Chef Carlos Hannon who has personally curated a menu of Mexican favourites with dishes which are full of light, fresh tastes; deep, complex flavours and earthy notes. Alongside him is Chef de Cuisine Daniel Hurtado who will be helming the restaurant and has been a protégé of Chef Carlos over the last 10 years. The food at La Tablita takes inspiration from traditional tastes and recipes presented in a contemporary style.
The Taco Shop takes pride of place in the restaurant showcasing 16 different types of tacos and representing the everyday dining culture synonymous with Mexican daily life. It is a spirited, dynamic and almost boisterous experience where diners, service staff and the chef are interacting with each other constantly for their fill of tacos! Apart from the Taco Shop, a Ceviches Bar with influences of regional markets in Mexico serves up the freshest seafood. Other menu highlights include a selection of Botanas (appetisers) such as Guacamole, Empanadas and Camarones Al Chipotle, La Parilla (steaks, grills and main courses) featuring Zarandeado (grilled marinated catch of the day, mesquite smoke) and Chilpachole (Mexican bouillabaisse with sautéed sea food and chili guajillo broth).
Dishes are served for sharing and mingling, made with ingredients true to Chef Carlos and Daniel’s passion for fresh and artisan products and a love of family-style eating – using as many as 16 types of chillies and avocadoes imported from Mexico. The dynamic floor and ceiling design leads into space which adds drama and surprise and is for guests who enjoy active social eating and entertaining.
The drinks list reflects the authenticity of the food and ambience, with an emphasis on crafted beverages such as margaritas, mojitos and Mexican beer. Different varieties of Tequila will be curated by a certified Master Tequilier by the ”Consejo Regulador del Tequila” – a first for any restaurant in Dubai. Specialist bartenders will add drama with their showmanship skills in preparing traditional beverages. A resident DJ will enliven the atmosphere especially on weekends.
Restaurant manager Isaac Adam has hand-picked his service team who are young, enthusiastic and passionate Mexicans and travelled across the world to Dubai with an eagerness to share their love of the cuisine and their heritage with diners. Expect an atmosphere of celebration, excitement and pure fun.
The ambience exudes the energy, liveliness and vibrance of Mexican culture with a mix of private booths, commune tables for groups and an expansive bar. Art consultants have also been brought in to commission established and emerging artists who are locally based in the UAE. The artwork showcases contemporary Mexico and is highly influenced by the culture and vibrant street art scene of the country. Amongst the artworks are original paintings on reclaimed wood, canvas, and murals covering the walls.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
La Tablita in Mexican refers to a small plank of wood or a small table. As shared by Chef Carlos, growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico a tablita was often used to serve many purposes: blocking a hole in the wall, stopping a leak, stuffing a loose floorboard and even by mothers to discipline errant children. A tablita could fix anything and is as much a part of daily life in Mexico as are Tacos! Translating this idea in his kitchen Chef Daniel will be using specially designed serving ‘plates’ or tablitas commissioned from eco-friendly wooden material.
La Tablita is scheduled to open on 1 November 2015.