After arriving at NIZUC Resort & Spa, taking a quick dip in the pool to refresh ourselves, and quickly getting ready, it was time for a very special date night at Ramona, the hotel’s fine Mexican restaurant.
With six different restaurants at NIZUC there’s a restaurant that will suit you no matter what you’re in the mood for. Whether you’d like to enjoy dinner at rustic La Punta Grill & Lounge, which serves grilled meats and seafood as fresh as if you’d picked it out of the sea yourself, or if you fancy trying some Peruvian cuisine at NI (if we had been there for another night that would have been top of my list!), there’s a restaurant and a dish with your name on it.
For our first night in Mexico there was only one cuisine we wanted to try: Mexican! With a mid-afternoon arrival time we had booked a late beach side dinner at Ramona to experience the hotel’s signature restaurant.
We were fortunate enough to have the chef choose our meal for us and help us to experience not only the dishes he thought would be most suited for us, but also to really showcase the restaurant! And to top it all off, the sommelier offered to pair our date night with matching wines.
As we listened to the sounds of the ocean, looked up and saw just how many stars were above us, and let it really sink in that we had arrived in Mexico and at NIZUC, our waiter brought over some delicious appetisers. Served without cutlery and in a little treasure chest like box with the intention that you fully enjoy the food in just a couple of bites, these were one of the highlights of the meal.
Our next mini-course was a traditional Yucatecan chicken dish. Just a little morsel of incredibly tender, spiced chicken. Executive chef Sylvain Desbois’ vision for Ramona is to showcase the incredible variety of flavours and tastes of the Yucatecan region, but also to recreate the dishes ever so slightly to give them a modern interpretation.
What better way to spend your first night in Mexico! Our first dishes were served with glasses of a very crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire region of France, which made a perfect pairing – and made for an amazing toast, too!
Our starter was a dish that really enjoyed; called ‘Pickled Avocado’, it’s almost a celebration of the avocado, with a pickled avocado, grilled avocado and served with a leek cream, a little chili, corriander and topped with a sweet tortilla. I loved the way that different flavours and textures all came together to make one great dish.
And being accompanied by a glass of Tattinger champagne made it my favourite dish of the night.
Throughout the meal I was really impressed by the waiters’ knowledge of the menu, the ingredients and the history behind each dish, as well as their passion for the food. No matter what your question about the dish was, they always had the answer, which made for a really special evening.
When it came to our meat course, I was pleased to see a delicious beef dish. Served rare with black mole sauce (which is a specialty from the region of Oahaca) and a rice cake, it was a dish that was full of flavour. The black mole sauce had the potential to overpower the taste of the beef, so I’d recommend just having a little at a time, but I loved the dark flavours of this sauce. Made from, among other ingredients, charred chillis I thought it would be a little spicy but it had enough of a kick without being too hot!
A little gelato to cleanse our palette from the delicious flavours of our savoury courses…
Before a light sweet course as we were quite full already!
‘Textures of Mamey’ – a little mousse, ice cream, a recreation of a mamey with a little chocolate and a little cake, too. If you’ve not had mamey before, the taste reminded me a little of apricot, honey and almonds in taste.
Suitably full, we were very glad that we didn’t have far to travel to get back to our bed!
Our meal at Ramona and our stay at NIZUC were complimentary.