Restaurant review: Taqueria El Rey Annankatu

21 04 2019

Taqueria El Rey opened it’s big brother (or sister) in Annankatu in March 2019. First El Rey is small taqueria which earned title “Best tacos in Helsinki” few years ago. New spot is in the same place where one of the first genuine Mexican restaurants Patrona located. With new owners Patrona was later ruined and it closed it doors 2018. So, what would be the better location to continue real Mexican tradition than the corner by Annankatu.

Menu at El Rey Annankatu is more varied and ambitious than in small taqueria, but same tacos are of course available. Also wine selection is more comprehensive and what makes wine menu remarkable is that there is one excellent wine from Baja California, Mexico!

Started the dinner with aperitifs, glass of La Chouette Champagne and Paloma, fresh and tasty Mexican drink made from tequila and grapefruit soda.

 

For starters ordered Guacamole Made daily with fresh avocados, tomato, onion, coriander, chile & lime. Served with traditional totopos, Sopesitos 3 small hand made corn sopesitos, topped with smashed beans & chorizo, crème fraiche, lettuce & queso fresco and Yaca Pibil Panuchos From Yucatán 3 small corn panuchos, topped with smashed beans, jack fruit pibil, pickled habanero & onios

Guacamole and totopos are always perfect combination. And as also “nachos” are home made, which make them lighter and less salty, it is easy to empty the bucket.

Sopesitos were excellent and one can “adjust” the taste by adding spicy sauces which were brought to the table.

In that sense Panuchos were great as they were served with jackfruit. That gave unique taste for the starter as we have not seen this tropical fruit used before.

We also got chance to try Ceviche de Coco Baby coconut, cooked in lime & yellow habanero juice, mixed with seaweed, avocado, onion, coriander & zuccini. Tart and strong flavor made this starter interesting, could even find savor of fish although this dish is vegan. For our taste it was a little bit too sour.

 

Main courses were one of the Chef’s specialities, Pulpo Grilled octopus with garlic, roasted potatoes with habanero & casbel chili oil and baby gem topped with pickle Xnipec and avocado mousse and Tacos Dorados de Camote 3 crispy tacos filled with sweet potato topped with hot chipotle salsa, fresh lettuce, avocado, coriander, onion & vegan creme fraiche and cheese.

Pulpo was crispy and soft at the same time, which it should be, if prepared in the right way. Portion does not necessarily need potatoes but for Finns they are many times very important side dish.

Tacos with sweet potato were delicious. When eating the third one, sweetness started to dominate but with spicy sauces taste could be balanced.

 

Had to order Mexican wine from Valle de Guadalupe although it was the most expensive on the wine list. L.A. Cetto Nebbiolo 2013 color is intensively dark red, it is full-bodied and taste is rich. Only the price might slow down the sales, otherwise it could be the best-seller in the restaurant.

 

Taqueria El Rey Annankatu is propably the flagship of Mexican cuisine in Helsinki. Brilliantly designed menu and well prepared food guarantee the success. Table reservation is good to make beforehand especially for weekend evenings.

Service is professional and polite but suitably easy-going as the idea is not to be too rigid. If that would be the case remember to try tequila from wide selection.

REVIEW: FOOD 4+/5 – SERVICE 5-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

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Restaurant review: Eatos – Mexican diner

15 05 2016

Eatos Mexican diner is inspired by the classic street food style of Mexico City and elevated it to a higher level to give its customers the best dining experience along with the authentic taste.

Menu includes variety of tacos served up on original soft corn tortillas, as well as filling burritos, quesadillas and tostadas. Restaurant serves dinner and lunch, which consists of various Mexican specials with an array of soups and salads that are already popular among its patrons. The Eatos bar is a home for new innovations with Habanero Micheladas and indigenous margaritas with tropical flavours. Restaurant also has range of mezcales and tequilas on drinks list, but Mexican beers, except Sol, had run out.

For starter ordered of course Totopos con guacamole Avocado dip with corn tortilla chips.

Tasty chips with tomato salsa and guacamole best start the journey to Mexican cuisine. Eatos serves real chips, not nachos, like tex-mex fast-food restaurants. Mark of genuinity.

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For main coursed decided to order tacos.

One with overripe pork, Carnitas. Three corn tortillas, lot’s of grilled pulled pork meat, onion, sour cream and tomato salsa. Amount of pork was sufficient, but as meat itself was quite flavorless, some chillis or additional chilli salsa would have completed the gusto.

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Other taco was Berenjena Stewed aubergine, bell peppers, onion and tomatoes with ginger and tamarind.

It is easy for a Mexican restaurant to serve vegan or vegetarian meals as tacos can be filled with just about anything.  Egg plant seems to be a favorite vegetable for many restaurants to substitute meat. The spices and combination of vegetables in this tacos make for a very tasty meal.  Salsa was not needed, but it is always a nice addition if you like extra spice.  Black refried beans were ordered as a side dish, and they make a great addition if you want real mexican taste.

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Restaurant was this time quieter than time, but waiter remembered our last visit, extra plus for service. Location is off the beaten track in recently built building behind railway station close to Sanoma Building. That my be the reason also for more quiet evening.

There is a boom of Mexican restaurants in Helsinki. Some chains have opened fast food places with try to copy this special latin cuisine, but recommend to choose qenuine ones.

 

REVIEW: FOOD 4-/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

http://eatos.fi/en/





Restaurant review: Taqueria El Rey

24 04 2016

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El Rey is small Mexican taqueria in Southern Helsinki. Restaurant was opened about a year ago and today is so popular that table reservation is required.

Menu is short consisting of starters, tacos, 1 enchilada and dessert. In Mexican restaurant one can of course enjoy tequila and even mezcal. Wines are not not main thing in Mexican cuisine, only house red and white available.

If you have not tasted Mexican food before, it might make sense to order tasting menu La Reyna, which includes 6 different goodies from the menu.

For starters had:

Guacamole fresh avocados, tomato, onion, chilli & coriander. Served in a traditional molcajete with home made tortilla
A large serving enough for sharing.  The taste was fresh, and the consistency, thick with some pieces of avocado in it.  Perfect as a topping for the tortilla chips, and add some salsa for an even better taste.
Chips are made in the restaurant, so you do not have to eat those supermarket nachos which are served in tex-mex restaurants
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Sopesitos de Chorizo 3 small market corn sopes, topped with smashed beans, chorizo, lettuce, crème fraîche and queso fresco
Excellent combination, spicy and greasy taste of chorizo crowned the dish. With salsas one of the best Mexican restaurants starters in Helsinki.
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For main courses had:

Gringa de Pastor 3 big flour tortilla tacos made of spit-grilled pork meat marinated in a combination of dried chillies & grilled cheese. Served with pineapple salsa

Portion was big but amount of pork was not sufficient. It was difficult to find pieces of pork but the quntity of pine apple salsa was overwhelming.
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Enchiladas verdes 3 corn tortilla enchiladas in green chilli sauce filled with beans served with red cabbage

Not meant to be a vegan dish, but they were nice and tried to give a good version of the dish.  Beans replaced the chicken, but some lettuce and tomatoes could have been added.  Too much of the tomatillo slasa made the tortillas a bit soggy.  The red cabbage was a strange topping for a Mexican dish.
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Beer suits often better with Mexican food but wine lover always has to try wine list. although it was the shortest ever seen.  Red house wine was from Argentinean Bodega Norton.
Wine was red in color, sweet and spacious aromas reminding of black pepper. Fruity on the palate, with sweet and harmonious tannins. Paired well with dishes eaten.
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Taqueria focus is on authentic tacos. This was also noticed by local newspaper Nyt, as it gave El Rey best points for Cochinita Pibil taco of reviewed Helsinki taco restaurants.
Starters were perfect. Portions are big and prices affordable, bottle of wine was only 29 euros. Some improvement for main courses and it would be easy to give 4 points for food.
Service was professional but maybe little bit timid. However, waiters had time to explain what dishes consist although place was full of hungry customers.
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REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5







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