Say hola to El Mostacho Dubai – a tiny little Mexican joint in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), and join The Huntr as we present our full review…
As soon as you put one foot inside El Mostacho you are transported to a taqueria in Mexico. Think vibrant colours and walls peppered with Mexican-inspired graffiti and the Mexican flag, cactuses, dapper skeletons and cute little Mexican-inspired objects on the table. There’s even a small curated library of books dedicated to Mexico and a shelf boasting a plethora of spicy Mexican sauces. The music is also – you guessed it – Mexican.
The brains behind this new gem are the same brother duo that used to run a little place called The Taqueria in Business Bay and Joe & Sons in Al Quoz. Sadly both have since permanently closed. But onwards and upwards – and we’d be surprised if El Mostacho was going anywhere soon because these guys are on to a winner and they’ve partnered up with the team behind Bystro…
El Mostachoare proud to offer authentic Mexican food, with co-founder and Mexican-born Isaac Mendoza leading the kitchen. The tacos are handmade from real corn, the sauces are straight from Mexico and even the Coca-Cola is Mexican. Plus, unlike some Mexican joints in the city, El Mostacho’s dishes aren’t too salty – something that we really appreciate: Because who wants to be up all night downing water?
We decided to start with a Mexican breakfast dish that is only available on the weekends – the Chilaquiles. It’s comprised of corn chips, red beans, tomato salsa and topped with 2 sunny-side-up eggs. We absolutely loved it.
Whilst perusing the rest of the menu, we nibbled on the Proper Guacamole & Chips (15AED), homemade and fresh, they didn’t disappoint.
Next, we sampled the Sopa (15/25AED small/large), which is a famous Azteca tortilla soup. It’s crafted from slow-fired tomatoes, a homemade chicken stock base, queso fresco cheese, roasted chilli and avocado and topped with crispy tortilla strips. Comfort in a bowl.
Naturally, it would be a crime to leave El Mostacho Dubai without sampling a taco and a burrito, or two… Each taco menu item comes as three small tacos with chips and salsa on the side. We sampled the Barbacoa (30AED), which is slow-cooked shredded beef, minced white onion, cilantro and shaved radish, the Tinga De Polla (30AED) – shredded chicken, pickled red onion and cilantro, the Lengua (30AED) – classic slow-cooked beef tongue, chipotle mayo and cilantro and Baja Pescado (30AED) – Baja-style fish tacos with shredded cabbage and carrot, chipotle mayo and lime. We’d be hard-pushed to tell you our favourite and recommend mixing it up with a friend to sample everything on offer here, especially when the prices are so reasonable. It’s worth noting that there is also a vegetarian option – the Hongos Con Maiz (30AED) – marinated portobello mushroom, charred sweet corn, avocado, pimento peppers, smokey chipotle yoghurt and salsa. After all of that, we really only had room for one burrito, and decided to order the Carne Asada (40AED) – a flour tortilla stuffed with grilled carne, rice, beans, shredded lettuce, tomato salsa, crema and cheese. It comes with spicy salsa and corn chips and is pretty generous in size. There’s also a shredded beef burrito (Barbacoa 40AED), chicken (Pollo 40AED) and a vegetarian option (Vegetale 35AED).
The drinks menu features some interesting ‘Berbidas’, which are all handmade using natural ingredients. We tried the Watermelon and Lime (10AED), Pineapple and Mint (10AED) and the Horchata De Arroz Tostado (10AED) – a famous rice-based drink served throughout Mexico with cinnamon, milk and condensed cream served over ice.
The service was extremely friendly and we instantly felt at home. Co-owner Isaac was there to greet us and tell us the story, and we loved the teamwork we witnessed amongst the staff.
Two big thumbs up from The Huntr. We loved the tiny, cosy vibes, all of the authentic details and the reasonable prices. It’s time to add this gem to your hitlist, pronto…
Insider tip: Don’t want to leave the couch? El Mostacho is on Deliveroo.