Liam Rudden: Chiquito’s brightens a wintry day

Street food at Chiquito's
Street food at Chiquito's

SOME people always manage to go one better. A simple post to say I was enjoying a Mexican meal with the other half at the weekend and a moment later my mate Bob updated his Facebook page. He was having a Mexican too. In Mexico City!

Unlike Bob, enjoying temperate climes of 72 degrees, the warm golds, reds and ochres of Chiquito’s rich decor were all we had to help us escape another bitterly cold Edinburgh day.

That impression of sunshine was reinforced by the random sombreros dotted around the Frederick Street eatery, and the friendly, attentive service of Ricardo.

Chiquito have just unveiled a new menu, the reason for my visit. It includes a selection of tasty ‘Street Food’, inspired by the traditional fayre found in Mexican markets, delights such as spicy chicken crispy tacos, sweet chorizo croquettes with sweet jalapeno jelly and five-bean tortilla stacks. All ideal for sharing, but then so is the rest of the menu.

Passing on the new ‘Hero Burger’, a meat monster which comes topped with pulled pork, sliced chorizo, red jalapenos and Monterey Jack cheese, I opted instead to add to the 622,480 fajitas the chain serve every year by choosing the Acapulco chicken.

Fresh marinated chicken breast baked in tomato and hot habanero sauce, topped with tomato salsa, citrus crunch nachos and melted cheese - the spice was just right to give it a healthy kick.

Before that, however, the pina colada prawns had tempted - tiger prawns in a crunchy pina colada crumb, served with sweet pineapple salsa and toasted tortilla triangles. It was an ideal starter.

We also sampled the cantina mushrooms with melted mozzarella, and the sweet potato and feta quesadillas. Excellent.

A slice of sunshine, then, on a chilly day. Couldn’t have had a better time if I’d been in Mexico City with Bob - well, that’s what I keep telling myself.