Relaunch of Chiquitos!
Known for its Mexican favour!!
If you have ever been to a Chiquitos you will have experienced the great atmosphere of the place when you walk through the front door. Latin music blaring and inviting you in, modern, exotic bars and lots of people eating. Yet the food used to be awful. In the original Chiquitos the best you could expect was a cold chicken burger or four small fajitas for the price of a full meal at an expensive restaurant. It was heading downwards to put it bluntly.
Needless to say I was very surprised when I got handed a VIP invite for a complimentary 3 course lunch at their opening! Firstly I did not even know they had closed to renovate!? However I am not one to turn down a free 3 course meal, so of course I booked a table and looked forward to seeing the changes…if any?
To be honest the decor has not changed at all, you are still welcomed in too the blasting music, but this time there is much more focus on the bar area. I had always thought they would make more money either throwing the restaurant in and becoming a bar or at least making more of a show of the bar. This is exactly what they have done..and it looked great!! I actually found myself craving for it to be Friday and the chance to sit down and enjoy a delicious cocktail. However I had to be good so I allowed them to sit me down in the restaurant and put my craving behind me and hoped for the best…
As I am shown to our table I get served some popcorn in a bowl-different to the nachos they used to serve and slightly out of place. So at first I was unsure of how this was going to go down. First taste…WOW….a cheesy, smokey flavour bursts in your mouth and it tastes amazing! Who knew you could get it so right with popcorn as a pre-starter? Presumably cheap and yet the flavour works so well! Obviously if you were in a classy restaurant like The Ivy this would not be acceptable but for Chiquito’s it worked brilliantly!
Our waiter…I have not got a clue what his name was…whether this is a good sign or bad I am not sure? He certainly was not pushy but on the other hand the service was not quick. It took us about half an hour to get our drinks along with the starters- at first impressions, especially when you are wanting to make a good impression-ALWAYS SERVE THE DRINKS ASAP! Then people forget that they have been waiting for ages for their starter because they are content with their drink! If you serve the drinks late it makes me think that you do not have enough staff or that you are running behind which looks poor!
I forgive the lateness of the starters and am pleasantly surprised when the first course arrives. The nachos for one looks like a massive bowl for about 8 people. Tasted great but way too much! If I am going to order nachos it is going to be so I can share them with a bunch of people as a type of snack. I like the idea of getting nachos for one but I just do not think it works. Great big portion for great value-but by the time you finish you feel very full and you have not even had your main yet!
The Fried Chilli Poppers, a fancy name for fried cheese and chillis, were very nice. The appearance was alright, very simple bunch of fried chillis in a chips type packet alongside a jammy/marmalade dip. It tasted nice but the first impression was so dull that it kind of took the taste of it away. You almost wanted it to look as good as it tasted.
Feeling slightly full and uncomfortable (you know when you are verging on being extremely full but know that you have another course to eat-that kind of uncomfortable) however I was eager to see if the main had changed as much as the starter.
I wait patiently for another half an hour!
It finally arrives I ordered the spicy bean flatbread with melted cheese and chips:
Hot! (as in the burn my mouth kind of hot!) and yet tasty, sweet taste of the beans mixed with the melted cheese melting in your mouth. The flat bread just the right kind of crispy and chewy. The soft and fluffy taste of the chips-a little bland but perfectly alright.
I must admit that the Chicken Burger looked a little tacky-fried chicken in a wet bun reminiscent of a cheap KFC burger-perfect when you are drunk on a night out but for an actual sit down restaurant probably not what you want to receive. However I forgive the look of the burger purely because my main tasted that good!
Unfortunately I was running very late though thanks to the lack of service, so I did not get to taste the best dish of the lunch-desert-quite glad because I think I would have burst!
Would I go back? Yes I would but probably not very often. It is unique and fun for a quick cheap dinner with a mate after work. For drinks I can imagine it would be quite fun. My immediate instinct is to go back on a Friday and have drinks in the bar and not dinner! Whether this is a sign of a good restaurant or just a good bar I don’t know.
First impressions were A.Ok! Nothing more. It was perfectly alright-nothing special. I did not dislike nor did I love it.
- My first food review – Chiquito – The Atrium, Camberley, Surrey (doomhammer4000.wordpress.com)
- Insane Bloody Mary Topped with Popcorn, Nachos, Burgers & Obligatory Bacon (foodbeast.com)
- Ultimate Nachos (illhavesecondsblog.wordpress.com)
- Chicken Burgers (kingmidgetramblings.wordpress.com)
- How we rate our nachos (bostonachoblog.wordpress.com)
- Investors rebuke Restaurant Group director (thetimes.co.uk)
- Best Nachos In Los Angeles (931jackfm.cbslocal.com)
- Quick and Delicious Plain Nachos (homesweetsunshine.com)