Biko, Mexico City

February 23, 2009

On February 20, 2009, Judith, Linda and I dined at Biko, the only restaurant in Latin America to appear in Restaurant Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Restaurants in the World (89th), and that after having been open for less than a year when the 2008 list appeared. Biko‘s chefs, Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso, have created a Basque-Mexican fusion cuisine.  Both have worked in many restaurants including recent stints as sous-chefs in the renowned Arzak in San Sebastián. bka

We arrived early for our 8:00 reservation and were seated in the bar as the dining room was not yet open. We looked at the wine list and the menu. The wine list had a large selection of Spanish wines, but we wanted to order Mexican wines. The gracious manager of the dining room, the only staff member we met who was fluent in English, helped us to choose a Chasselas del Mogor from the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California for our white wine. I was surprised to find a Chasselas in Mexico as I thought it only came from cold weather areas such as Switzerland and Alsace. It was crisp and okay. For our red wine he chose a 2006 Mariatinto, also from the Valle de Guadalupe. It is a blend of 50% Tempranillo and 25% Barbera, 10% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. I was impressed when it was put into a decanter without our asking.  Linda and I thought it was excellent. Hot ham croquettes were put on our table; it was surprising that they could be so crispy on the outside and so creamy inside.

After we moved into the dining room, we composed our meal. A tasting menu, with or without wine pairings, is offered, but we decided to order à la carte. The amuse-gueules arrived: baby squid with black rice, tuna cevice and a beet gazpacho. Very good.

Judith’s first course was
Foie 100% Algodón.

There were five lettuce leaf wrappers with cheese inside on a foie gras mousse. Cotton candy spun sugar decorated the top. Linda and I each had one of these before we started on our first courses. We enjoyed the bite, but we all agreed that five was too much for something so rich; the spun sugar was a bit cloying. There was a small glass of muscatel with this.

Linda’s first course was
Mariscos ocultos con crema de esparragos trufados

The scallops, clams and mussels combined with a white asparagus sauce with a subtle, but true, truffle flavor made an excellent starter.

Mine was
Alcachofas con almejas

Clams had been combined with mashed artichokes and put back in the shell. There were slivered almonds on top and a nice broth underneath. Very good.

Judith’s main course was
Robalo en salsa verde con almejas

A good chunk of sea bass was served with clams and an herb broth. Very good.

Linda went on to
Codorniz empalom ada

This quail dish was superb. The breasts were coated with what Linda assumed to be a type of corn powder. There was fresh corn on the plate and in the sauce. The legs and thighs were served separately.

My main course was
Cordero pasion

Two tender pink pieces of lamb had been surrounded with what seemed to be bean sprouts and encased in what was probably a beet gelatin. I’m just guessing, but I enjoyed it. The little tortilla and sprout side dish was amusing and added a needed crunch.

I was the only one to have dessert
Sopa de coco su tapioca y mango
This was really terrific. The mango slices had been wrapped around a delicious thick cream. The tapioca and coconut cream had saffron in it.

Judith had a coffee with an amusing presentation of the sugars.

Nice little mignardises finished off the evening.

All evening we had the feeling of being in a restaurant which was first class in all respects. The welcome, the ambience, the service, the wine list and especially the cuisine would make Biko a highly regarded restaurant anywhere in the world. Bravo.

2 Responses to “Biko, Mexico City”

  1. john howell Says:

    What an experience! Such an imaginative blending of flavors and foods. This place, if it could be duplicated in NYC, would be a sensation.

  2. ChuckEats Says:

    Those are some great pictures and the food definitely sounds worthwhile – i think i’ll add this to the list of places to try.

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