Thursday, August 07, 2014

Las Carretas Mexican

I betted on Germany, and I got a free dinner. My wife picked Argentina, so it was square one. After the World Cup final, the makan group re-gathered for the 2nd wager dinner. This time around, the winners outnumbered the losers three to one. Germany was a popular choice.

Las Carretas in Subang Jaya is located on Jalan USJ10/1F (Tai Pan). I remembered this restaurant. I was there many years ago. It used to be on Jalan USJ10/1E. It was a small restaurant with limited seating. Several years ago it moved one street away to this more spacious locale. It has 2 floors of dining. Beside this Subang Jaya branch, Las Carretas has outlets in Ampang and Bukit Damansara.

Inside, the restaurant was vibrant and colourful. The owners took pains to furnish the place with multi coloured lights, arts, artefacts and pseudo palm trees to reflect the boisterous Mexican culture.

The well stocked bar at the ground floor which I am sure will not be short on tequila selection.

A staff greeted us at the door, and at the mention of  our reservation, led us to the back and up an interesting flight of stairs to the upper dining floor.

Up there, the scene was no less colourful and flamboyant. It was less crowded and noisy. Definitely a more conducive dining area compared to below.

Our table was next to a colourful wall mural depicting Mexicans dancers and musicians.

Even the cutleries we dined from were no less colourful.

We were the last to arrive and by then, the rest of the dining party had already finished the complimentary tortilla chips. Not to be outdone, I asked for an additional serving. The sweet young waitress willingly obliged. The chips came with a bowl of salsa dip. It was indeed a superb appetiser.

After a short chat, the dishes began to arrive the poppers. These were deep fried battered jalapeño chillis stuffed with cheese. As we bit on the jalapeños, the melted cheese oozed out. The poppers were served with a bowl of capsicum salsa. The dish was interesting but not great. The flowing cheese did not have much of a flavour.

The third appetiser was the nachos. It was a plate of tortilla chips, with minced beef, baked with  cheese, jalapeños chilli, bell pepper relish and enchilada sauce - topped with a scoop of sour cream. It was delicious. I liked the melted cheese on the tortilla chips. The meat added to the flavour.

The first entrée was this charbroiled beef back ribs. It was marinated with jalapeños and chilli, and covered with a rather sweet BBQ sauce which I didn't quite like. The meat was perfectly done. The texture was just right and wasn't too soggy or soft. The meat did not just slip off the rib bone and needed a little effort with the fingers. I like meat this way. The ribs was served with some salad and a jacket potato.

The fajitas is one of the popular Mexican dishes. And we did not miss it. We had a mix of cajun chicken and beef steak, both of which were cut in strips and served in a hot plate. The condiments came in a separate plate - comprising some salads, grated cheese, rice and beans, salsa sauce, sour cream and guacamole (an avocado sauce). All these were wrapped and eaten in tortillas. The fajitas here was not great. I had had much better fajitas. The condiments were not enough. I would had preferred a lot more guacamole. Even the tortilla wraps were limited. At the end of it, there was leftover meats for want of more wraps and condiments.

Our final dish was an added on. It was a tortilla wrap. It basically was a pre-wrapped fajita. The fillings were the same - cajun chicken, rice, beans, topped with guacamole and sour cream and served with some salad and salsa sauce. The cajun chicken in this wrap tasted better than that that came with the fajita.

The meal was great. Again, like the first one in My Elephant, I enjoyed the company more. I am no Mexican gourmet. I had tried a few in the U.S. Somehow I felt the Mexican dishes here lacked authenticity. But that is only to be expected, just as much as I expect getting authentic Malaysian food in Acapulco.

We are already looking forward to the next World Cup.

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