On Thursday evening, I had the chance to go to Derby’s newest spicy restaurant, MEXIco.
Of course I took Kane and my mum this time too!
ABOVE: Located next to Zizzi’s in the Intu food court.
MEXIco is the first restaurant in the whole wide world to open of it’s chain and they chose right here in Derby to be the starting point.
The chain is ran by CEO Dirk Eller who also owns the Prezzo and Chimichanga chains; which was originally meant to open before it was recently changed to MEXIco.
So the launch night was all about showcasing the fabulous food, drinks and atmosphere the place had to offer.
With the menu put together by world renowned chef, Johnny Hernandez, who has cooked for Obama (!!!), the expectations were extremely high.
The doors opened at 6pm and we were there on the dot, I didn’t want to miss anything!
After taking our names and giving us a competition card and booklet about the restaurant, we were offered a Margarita, a Mexican beer or a refreshing fruity Aqua Fresca by the smiley staff.
ABOVE: Classic and strong Margaritas all round!
Me and my mum opted for Margaritas and Kane opted for a beer, obviously.
The Margaritas were refreshing, zingy but very strong so if you’re not a fan of tequila, I’m not sure these will be for you.
We wandered round the interior a little and opted for a high table towards the back so we could look at the chefs in the open plan kitchen space.
ABOVE: Johnny Hernandez working his magic in the kitchen.
After around 15 minutes of socialising and taking all the wonderful interior in, we were served with some nibbles.
There were some homemade, stone ground chips with a salsa roja (the red one) and a salsa verde (the green one).
Both salsas packed a punch but I prefered the roja because of the garlicky-ness and the verde contained avocados which I’m not too keen on.
ABOVE: A table full of treats!
The drink sneaking in the background there is a mango and passionfruit slushy which was non-alcoholic but is to die for!
It tasted like a Solero ice cream and was so fruity and flavourful.
It also came in a cup with a plastic cover on incase it spilt anywhere which i found very efficient and I wanted one to take home!
As the evening progressed, speeches made by Dirk and Johnny himself were made discussing how the restaurant came about and why they chose Derby.
Their statement was simply: why not Derby? Which surprised a lot of people.
After around an hour, the tequila tasting began.
Unfortunately, we were sat at the table where it was meant to take place.
ABOVE: Tequila heaven for spirit lovers.
We chose to move closer to the bar and didn’t take part because we all had work the following day and didn’t want even sorer heads!
As the night went on, a more variety of drinks were made and offered to everyone.
Pacific Margarita: like a classic Margarita with a blend of cucumber, lemongrass and ginger.
Tropical Margarita: Using coconut tequila instead of the house tequila made with pineapple juice and fresh citrus juices. They described this is a Pina Colada and a Margarita baby.
ABOVE: Aqua Fresca, Margarita slushy, Pacific Margarita, Tropical Margarita and Mango and Passionfruit slushy.
Elderflower & Pomegranate Aqua Fresca: Sweet elderflower and tart pomegranate mixed with apple and cranberry juices with a splash of soda. The bartender asked if I wanted a touch of gin adding to this and I thought, why not?!
Margarita slushy: A simple, house margarita made as a slushy instead. Very strong but very fresh.
The waitresses then began bringing around other foods for us to try including their signature dish: the puffy tacos, los super chicken nachos and the Mexican queso and corn chips.
The puffy tacos are hand-pressed tortillas with pulled chicken tinga, shredded lettuce, tomato and guacamole.
The los super chicken nachos were chips layered with refried beans, pulled chicken tinga, melted monterey jack cheese, fresh guacamole and grilled jalapenos. These were absolutely delish!
The Mexican queso and corn chips was basically nachos with a cheesey dip which was made with monterey jack cheese and gouda melted down served with pico de gillo.
As well as all this amazing food, there were a few HUGE cocktail sharers floating around and our table was the first to receive one.
ABOVE: The Pinata is shared between 4 people and the Mexican skull between 6.
They filled our skull sharer with the tropical Margarita which was my favourite but after seeing they poured a WHOLE bottle of tequila in a sharer, I was wondering why I felt rather tipsy after a few sips.
Not only were the food and drinks delicious but the decor was beautiful.
ABOVE: The view from the back corner of the room.
The walls were lined with original Mexican art pieces shipped over from all over the world and costing thousands of pounds.
But it was all worth it, the intricate detailing, the bright colours and unique pieces made the place feel like you were in Mexico itself.
My personal favourites were the skull features.
ABOVE: Skulls, skulls everywhere!
To round up, the night was full of fun and a lot of drinks were drunk!
We left around 8:30 because we had to get home but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I can’t wait to try out their full menu!
Check out their website here!