Mexico City – Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtémoc is the colonia (official neighbourhood) to the north of Paseo de la Reforma at its western end. It’s a short walk from the Hotel Geneve in Juárez. Google map here.

There’s a good Japanese restaurant Cuauhtémoc.

Rokai (High Intermediate B+), www.edokobayashi.com

Unfortunately I had an upset stomach during my last few days in Mexico City and I’d generally had enough of Mexican food after three weeks of eating little else. I was also craving plain white rice which is very good for sorting out tummy trouble.

A good quality Japanese restaurant was just what I needed and this place, according to the friendly guy sitting next to me at least, is the best one in Mexico. I came twice and thoroughly enjoyed it each time.

The sushi chefs are mostly Mexican and don’t speak Japanese (which I speak better than Spanish), but there was a younger Japanese guy working there who I hit it off with. The restaurant is owned and overseen by an older Japanese ‘masta’, so all is as it should be.

Himalayan rock salt

Himalayan rock salt

A good lunch choice would be the Kai Sen Chrirashi Zushi, a bowl of sushi rice topped with ‘scattered’ sashimi such as, in this case, Akami (dark Bluefin tuna), Hamachi (sea bream), Suzuki (Japanese sea bass), Sake (salmon), Tako (octopus), Tamago (omelette) and Ikura (salmon roe).

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The Negi Toro Don (minced fatty tuna on rice, topped with Japanese spring onion) is also a good choice.

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These were never enough for me though and I added on quite a few items. Once I start eating Japanese food I can’t stop!

I enjoyed this trio of starters including Salmon Ahumado con Esparragos Albinos (smoked salmon with white asparagus), Ankimo (Monkfish liver) and Kaki (oyster) with roe.

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There are some Mexican items on the menu as well. On the second visit I tried a Tamale made with roast aubergine and goat’s cheese which was interesting.

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I think many Japanese sushi chefs would say that meat shouldn’t be served with seafood, but the Sondra beef teriyaki broke that rule.

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I can never resist at least one nigiri of Otoro (Bluefin again but the best cut from the belly).

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I was also introduced to a couple of Japanese beers I’d never encountered before, such as Orion from Okinawa…

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… and Asahi Kuronama black beer.

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A local also insisted I try the Colima which he described as the best Mexican lager. I think he’s probably right.

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The friendly guy who sat next to me on one occasion worked in the food industry and was happy to give me some recommendations for the best restaurants in Mexico City. They included Maximo Bistro which I’d been to (see my Barrio Roma Norte post) and Sud 777 which I hadn’t.

He also warned me off insect eating (a tradition which is having a resurgence) except for the Escamoles (ant pupae and larvae) at El Cardenal which are truly delicious, but unfortunately they were out of season (February to April) when I was there. Having recently eaten wood ants in the UK, which were great, I believe him.

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