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Sunday, 14 June 2015

[Media Invite] Dinner at Cafe Iguana @ RIverside Point

30 Merchant Road #01-03 Riverside Point, Singapore 058282
Tel: 6236 1275

Been passing by Cafe Iguana and wondering about its food, especially when I visit Brewerkz (review here) on several occasions, since they are sister companies, and I do enjoy having Mexican food.

More than 100 labels of 100% Agave Tequila and Mezcal, Cafe Iguana has one of the best
selection of these amazing spirits in Asia)

Finally stepping foot into Cafe Iguana through a media invite, attended by both representatives from Hungrygowhere and familiar faces such as Chubbybotakkoala, Fundamentally_flawed and Dairyandcream, and hosted by Clare of Cafe Iguana.

Cafe Iguana was founded in year 2000 by Devin Otto Kimble and Daniel Flores who felt that Singaporeans need some authentically good Mexican food as well as marvellous Margaritas at fantastic happy-hour prices. What is amazing here is the quality - everything is made by them with the freshest ingredients possible, from the ingredients to food to beer as well.

Some drinks accompanied us before the tasting session began - Margaritas. They have such exotic and interesting flavours it makes one wish they could try everything and stay perfectly sober - kiwi, lime, strawberry, banana, mango, etc. I started with a Lime Margarita, their signature drink with a refreshing citrusy kick; and ended with a Kiwi Margarita, straddling the fine lines between sweet and sour but definitely a fabulous selection.

The Nachos looked so inviting in their corn-yellow hue, crackling beautifully under the pressure of our teeth, even without dipping into the equally fresh homemade salsa served on the side. Well, what can I say - I love nachos.

Appetisers graced the table one by one - beginning with this Puerco En Chile Verde - simply spicy pork stew served over rice, with flour tortillas and dollop of sour cream. Deliciously spicy, with a distinctively-familar flavour (akin to that of the Chinese braised red braised pork ribs, IMO) and utterly succulent, this pork stew vertebrates in the mouth, leaving it tingly till one tucks in with the tasty rice or flour tortillas for balance. For that, it became my favorite dish of the night.

Next, I tried the Fuego Wings (SGD$18.00) - crisp chicken wings served with choice of medium-hot habanero sauce or hot-hot roasted chile sauce. While it was not exactly crispy as the name implied, the flesh was tender and flavour was bold. Chicken wings lovers should find this very satisfying.

Camarones al Diablo (SGD$23.00) - prawns sauteed with fiery habanero chile, capsicum, ginger, cumin and lime, served with mushrooms, cheese and poblano quesadillas. This dish was a combination of two of my favorite items, juicy prawns bursting with tangy flavour upon contact with teeth. Pairing this with soft, chewy quesadilla sheets filled with cheesy mushrooms and poblano pepper, was unspeakably blissful as the textures and flavours frolicked in the mouth, becoming a tasteful sensation.

Then the mains came onboard, first in the form of Tequila Grilled Half-chicken (SGD$28.00) - lime marinated and finished with a smoky and spicy tequila glaze, served with grilled vegetables and poblano-scalloped potatoes. The well-slicked outer appearance of this chicken belied the surprisingly tender flesh within, revelling in its tasty lime-marinated state fluttering gently amidst the spicier overtures.

Following that, there was the Prawn Broquette (SGD$35.00) - succulent lime marinated prawns finished with a smokey and spicy Tequila glaze, served with grilled vegetables and poblano-scalloped potatoes. Prawns always taste good in my opinion, especially those that are sweetly fresh - now, enhanced by hints of smokiness, spiciness and sourness, it was another scrumptious burst for the palate.

Afterwards, we got to enjoy the Shredded Steak Chimichangas (SGD$25.00) - deep fried flour tortilla with vegetables, onion, cheese, sour cream and guacamole, and served with Mexican rice. Loved the crispy skin and flavourful beef with lots of greens.

The final mains was the Red Snapper Burrito (SGD$27.00) - flour tortilla-wrapped with savoury Mexican rice, borracho beans, cheddar and mozarella. Each morsel was filled with goodness of the ingredients and smoothness of the red snapper.

Desserts commenced shortly, starting with Banana Chimichangas (SGD$14.00) - deep-fried flour tortilla filled with bananas and served with caramel and strawberry sauce and avocado ice-cream. The pastry was oozing with soft, sweet banana slices, but the icing on the cake literally, was the avocado ice-cream - luscious, rich and creamy. Being an avocado lover who could even eat the fruit on its own, this ice-cream was simply heavenly.

The next dessert was the Ancho Chile Chocolate Cake (SGD$14.00), also known as the flourless cake, made completely of cocoa powder and served with margarita sauce and vanilla ice-cream. Not hard to see why this was my favorite dessert of the night - the chocolate cake held a firm, solid texture in lieu of the fluffiness of flour-baked cakes. It was resplendent of a beautiful chocolatey flavour, not too sweet, and melting easily in the mouths like a dream.

What's a Mexican meal without Churros? Well, here we have it - Churros (SGD$12.00), served with sweet cinnamon powder, chocolate sauce and vanilla bean ice-cream. The golden crisps of the churros break apart beautifully with each bite, dissolving slowly in the mouth in a saccharine flow of flavours; heightened further when eaten with the vanilla-bean ice-cream.

Finally, Sauteed Bananas (SGD$14.00) - kahlua glazed baby bananas with banana ice-cream. Soft, sweet and subtle, reminds me of eating the familar banana split, except infused with alcohol.

All in all, the food and desserts here indeed hold a class of their own, pampering the palate with their freshly exotic ingredients and flavours. It is not hard to see why the cafe is packed with happy diners everyday - I'd soon be back for more.

Thank you, Cafe Iguana, for the wonderful recommendations and Hungrygowhere for the invite.

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