Saturday, June 8, 2013

Where to eat in Cancun, Mexico

1) Azur at Live Aqua (all-inclusive resort) ---What to order: Azur is a very nice restaurant on the beach of Cancun. It has priceless view. We went to the All-inclusive resort Live Aqua and we were pleasantly surprised by the great service and dining options. For our first lunch, we started with the freshly baked pita bread, drizzled with olive oil and garnished with fresh herbs.

Pita bread with olive oil and fresh herbs
Our appetizer was a Carpaccio of tuna, salmon, and sea bass. It was very thinly sliced and drizzled with a light sauce. The plate was cold and super fresh. We were enjoying the sounds of the waves and the sun, while drinking some crisp white wine. 

Carpaccio de atun, salmon, y robalo 
 My husband ordered the fried seafood and fish platter, served with tartar sauce with capers. He really like good fried food, so he was happy with it. We had to wait a little bit for the food, because the place got really busy after 12 pm.

Fritura de pescados y crustaceos con tartara de alcaparras
I got the sea bass filet, served with dried fruit, zucchini, and cauliflower. It paired beautifully with our Chardonnay from Central Valley of Chile. The presentation was fancy and the dish was perfect for a lunch in front of the beach!

Filete de robalo con fruta deshidratada, zucchini, y cauliflower
Every day there was a different selection of desserts. The first day it was a chocolate cake, covered with mousse, and orange jelly. It was served with chocolate sauce and a nice curly decoration. Very refreshing and light. We shared one, since it was bikini season!

Pastel de chocolate y naranja


This was our second lunch at Azur (with beach view). My husband started with Ceviche de camaron a la Mexicana: shrimp cocktail dressed with tomato, avocado, and lime. It had nice citrus flavor and fresh seafood.
Ceviche de camaron a la Mexicana (tomato, avocado, and lime)
My first course was Tartar de atun: Tuna tartare with sesame oil, couscous with prunes, and yogurt sauce. I liked it, but the sesame oil was a little bit overpowering. Also, it was a little bit heavy for a first course, because of the amount of couscous.

Tartar de atun with couscous a las ciruelas y salsa de yogurt
My husband ordered the sea bass filet (I ordered it the day before), but this time it was served with a serving of rice. I liked that idea and was kind of jealous. I always prefer to eat protein and starch at the same time.
Sea bass filet with dried fruit, rice, and steamed vegetables
My second course was the Shrimps with Cilantro Risotto. Thanks God it was a small serving, because I was already full. The risotto was creamy and the shrimps were sautéed with shallots for a nice onion flavor.

Gamberi con risotto (camarones con risotto al cilantro)
The dessert was wonderful. They use a lot of passion fruit in the preparation of desserts in Mexico. This was a light cheesecake with tropical touch. The maracuya was on the top in a form of jelly. There was some chocolate decoration and crème anglaise on the plate as well. Lovely!

Cheesecake with passion fruit (maracuya)

Our third lunch at Azur was on the terrace with a view towards the beach. I got this delicious Caprese Salad with grilled vegetables and pesto. It had charred eggplant and zucchini, as well the more traditional tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. It was very refreshing and yummy.

Caprese Salad with grilled eggplant and zucchini
My second course was this fresh Ceviche de robalo con frutas tropicales. Basically, it was ceviche of sea bass, served with kiwi, mango, and melon. Besides that there was also tomatoes, lime juice, and fresh herbs. I liked the addition of the creamy avocado, which also served as a decoration on the plate.
Ceviche de robalo con frutas tropicales
My husband ordered the Tacos al Pastor with Cheese from the Pool Club (next to the restaurant). There were 3 corn tortillas on the plate, each topped with meat, grated cheese, grilled onions, and pineapple with coriander! There were 3 different salsas on the side, each with a colorful tortilla!

Tacos al Pastor with Cheese, grilled onions, and pineapple
The dessert was so tasty! This day it was Trufa de Chocolate. Almost like a mousse inside. Outside, decorated with tropical fruits and a chocolate bark. I ordered a Café Americano and enjoyed the afternoon sun on the terrace!

Trufa de Chocolate with Tropical Fruit




For an afternoon snack, we went to the Café and Boutique of the Live Aqua Resort. I just got a hot chamomile tea (since that day was a rainy one) and my lovely husband got the Strawberry Cake with a warm cappuccino. The cake was very fresh and extremely moist, just the way he likes it!
Pastel de fresas!!!

2) Sushi Station at Live Aqua (all-inclusive resort) --- What to order: At the resort, there was a Sushi Station: an informal joint, where one can order sushi rolls, and enjoy at the bar or while waiting for dinner. It opened everyday at 5 pm, so this was our snack: Philadelphia roll with salmon, cream cheese, avocado, and furikake. It was served with ponzu sauce and chipotle mayonnaise. Fresh ingredients, simple, yet interesting presentation. My husband ordered XX dark beer from the bar and voila, the perfect pre-dinner snack!

Philadelphia Roll: salmon, cream cheese, avocado, and ponzu sauce

3) MB at Live Aqua (all-inclusive resort) --- What to order: This restaurant by Michelle Bernstein is probably the best one at the resort. It is the specialty dining, so if you are planning to have a dinner there, put your name on the wait list (they don't accept reservations). Inside the place is very romantic, the plates are super gourmet and small in size. We started with this Mushroom Salad (Ensalada de Hongos en Texturas). It was served with mixed lettuces, sous-vide mushrooms, huitlacoche powder, and truffle foam. The only problem was that our lettuces were overly salted, so we asked for new serving without salt.

Ensalada de Hongos en Texturas
I ordered this beautiful halibut fish filet ("mero"). It was marinated in "pipian", which is a paste made from pumpkin seeds. The fish was served on top of artichoke risotto and it was topped with sautéed spinach. The execution was perfect. Very flaky and tasty filet, excellent accompaniments.

Green "Mero" marinated in Pipian, served with Artichoke risotto
My husband ordered the "Mar and Tierra" (Surf and Turf). It was a swordfish filet mounted on caramelized sweetbreads. The whole plate served with mashed banana and carrot-tangerine air. Very elegant and extremely flavorful.

Mar y Tierra (swordfish filet mounted on caramelized sweetbread)
Since the plates were so small, we ordered an extra something: Shrimp Tiradito. That was a poached shrimp served with aji mayonnaise, wild rice crisp, and pop corn. It was like an appetizer. Super delicate!
Shrimp Tiradito served with aji mayonnaise and pop corn
The dessert was outstanding. Called Cacao + Cacao, it was the ultimate chocolate indulgence. Chocolate and Hazelnut Truffle, vanilla ice cream, and caramel foam. It was like a mousse texture, very airy and fluffy. I wish to eat one now!
Cacao + Cacao (chocolate and hazelnut truffle, vanilla ice cream, foam)

On our second dinner at MB, we were sited outside in the patio. It was such a wonderful calm night. We had a nice Cabernet Sauvignon and we started with the Tartar de Calamar. This was a simple plate of calamari and fish cubes, accompanied with mashed avocado, garlic flakes, and cilantro.

Tartar de Calamar (calamari and fish cubes)
This time, I ordered the Swordfish filet, but instead of the sweetbreads, I got roasted vegetables on the side. It was yummy yummy. The fish was like a steak, very thick and satisfying.

Swordfish filet and mashed banana
The roasted vegetables were ok. Just a mixture of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, green beans, and seasoning. Nothing extraordinary, but a nice side dish.

Grilled vegetables
My husband decided to try the "Mero" (halibut). The fried ball on the side is a mashed potato, encrusted with pumpkin seeds. A really nice addition to the pipian sauce, which is made from pumpkin seeds as well.

Halibut marinated in pipian, served with risotto
My husband's dessert was Fresas Jubilee. On the bottom of the plate, there was a pool of strawberry sauce. On top of it, queso mascarpone (the Italian cream cheese version). Over it, chopped fresh strawberries, nice scoop of strawberry ice cream, and to finish it off, a peppery merengue.

Fresas Jubilee (queso mascarpone, helado de fresa y merengue)
Since I am not a huge fan of mascarpone, I ordered the Mousse de Maracuya. It was basically a passion fruit Panna cotta with caramel mousse on the side. The texture was silky and gentle on the palate. The tropical fruit is very refreshing for an alfresco dinner. We had an amazing time!

Mousse de Maracuya (passion fruit panna cottta with caramel mousse)

4) Breakfast at Siete, Live Aqua (all-inclusive resort) --- What to order:

5) Dinner at Siete Mexican Restaurant (Aqua Live all-inclusive resort) --- What to order:

6) Cenacollo Ristorante --- What to order:

7) Fantino Restaurante (at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel) --- What to order:

8) Café Mexicano Restaurant (at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel) --- What to order:

9) Cenacolo Mare (Seafood Restaurant) --- What to order:

10) Gustino (4 Diamond Restaurant at the JW Marriott Hotel) --- What to order:

 11) Katsu-ya (Japanese Restaurant) --- What to order: