Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mexico City: Biko

Reg, Arturo and Cleofas offer a toast.

For our final meal together in Mexico City, Antonio, Arturo and Cleofas treated us to the cucina vangardia of Restaurant Biko in Polanco where we had the seven course menu de degustacion. By now, I'm starting to feel like an old hat with multi-course tasting menus, but it's always interesting, educational and delicious to sample the cuisines of different chefs.

Offering a Basque-inspired menu, chefs Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso have created an intimate world to present their take on cuisine. Wedged between the fanciness that is Presidente Masaryk Avenue in the fashionable and ever-so-expensive neighborhood of Polanco, Biko announces that it's set apart with it's private portico in flat black offering recipes written on the walls in chalk. A private elevator whisks you above the riff raff satisfied with Abercrombie and to the upper levels where only Chanel will suffice.

Antonio, Sonja and Sarah.

Step out of the elevator and the receptionist is waiting to whisk us into their private wine cellar dining room.

The wine cellar is a dark and gorgeous place. Black walls with illuminated wood and glass wine bottle storage makes for a lush cocoon to insulate you and your guests from the vagaries of the Chanel laden crowd. It's dark, moody and feels just like Admiral Cain's quarters on Pegasus in the television series Battlestar Galactica. If you've seen that show then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

A large wooden table dominates the room with inlaid black place settings and stainless hose clamps performing as napkin holders. It's unique and fun, and instantly reminds me of Wylie Dufresne's WD-50 in New York City.

On the other side of the restaurant is the main dining room clad in slatted walls and bathed in white. It's a room for seeing and to be seen. It's a place for the hip and upcoming while the private dining room is for those who do not wish to announce their desire to be seen. In other words, it's my kind of place.

I've decided not to go into too much detail about the food and let the images speak for themselves. The food was good. For my money, I thought the wrapped scallops was just rockin'. Their sweetness was stunning and their texture was perfect.

The stuffed chile was also another hit, though I didn't think the foie gras was very pronounced. The escolar was absolutely delicious and appeared a couple of times during the evening. The americano was to be expected: terrible - but at least there was a lot of sugar around.

The medallions of Manila mangos were beautiful and the accompanying tonic foam rocked my world - I'm working on recreating it. And finally, of the Alegrias, the chocolate covered cereals and sheet of white chocolate were my favorites.

Have a look and I'll let you decide for yourself.

Picas de Aperetivo - Beet Root Soup

Picas de Aperetivo - Spoon of ceviche and mushrooms with fried plantain.

Callo de Hacha y Camaron con Recaudo y Ensalada

The Ensalada

Pimientos Rellenos de Pato y Queso de Foie.

Escolar con Gelatina de Pisto y Amaranto

Cordoniz Empalomada

A "side" of "lasagna" for Cordoniz Empalomada


An as expected Americano.

Tocinillos de Mango con Crema Limon y Mango


Alegrias - dark chocolate truffle, white chocolate sheet, cereals in chocolate and sweet toasts.

407 Presidente Masaryk
Mexico City
+52 55 5285 2064

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