Review: Mexico to Rome

Perhaps I had expected too much of this restaurant, or perhaps it was just a bad day. But, I have never felt as unwanted as I did that Friday night.

Name Mexico to Rome NS
Cusine Mexican/Italian
Address 23 East Essex Street, Dublin 2
Phone (01) 677 2727

Perhaps I had expected too much of this restaurant, or perhaps it was just a bad day. But, I have never felt as unwanted as I did that Friday night. The fact that myself and Ms Mango were walk-ins shouldn’t have affected the service either, as nearly everyone seemed to be in the same boat.

The exterior is quite pleasant, with clean cut lines and a bright metal finish. It is quite calm in the back area, and the lighting brings to mind a first date, but maybe that’s just me.

We were placed in the back, where we could watch the chefs cooking. The atmosphere, apart from rude waitresses, is fine for an evening of catching up amongst friends (you can ignore the service and lack lustre flavours.)

The quesadilla starter was adequate in its combination of hot spiciness and cool vegetables. Ms Mango’s Italian starter, which was basically a fish cake with some salad, did nothing to arouse the palate.

The Mexican chicken fajitas were expensive for what was served: soggy overcooked peppers drenched in a bland sauce and chicken strips. I was shocked to find that the salsa and tortillas tasted processed rather than homemade, and the sour cream had developed an ever so slightly dried up top layer.

In my experience, if you are going to have fajitas, the secret is in the combination of really great flavours and textures. From Mexico to Rome must have lost that part in translation. Ms Mango’s
fillet of salmon was basically just that: a fillet of salmon with some shallots and ‘lemon butter.’
To be perfectly honest, even I could have made that dish a little more exciting by enhancing the safe combination of salmon, butter, and lemon, and at €14.95 I would have expected more,
considering that you have to order vegetables as a side. Needless to say, I was thoroughly unimpressed by the experience overall.
However, I have been told this establishment is renowned for its hit-and-miss history. I can safely say that our visit was definitely a miss. As students we were treated with disdain, unlike the family next to us.

I was also annoyed at the waitress’
response to my pointing out that she had brought a red instead of a white Cabernet Sauvignon. She was rude and dismissive from the word go, and I would urge her to re-think her career path, or
perhaps just to try being a little more polite. There was one waiter who was quite pleasant, yet still, he could have been a lot more attentive.
Nevertheless, it has to be said that despite its central location, we were not rushed in the slightest, apart from when we had to order.

I think it is safe to say that this is not a restaurant I would recommend to anyone. I felt it lacked soul, and that it only makes its money by exploiting tourists not in the know with bland food and high prices.
Melanie O’Reilly