It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Mexican food and of course cocktails, so when I heard from friends that there was a great Mexican restaurant called Motel Mexicola http://motelmexicolabali.com/ in Seminyak of course I had to visit.
We had made reservations for 930pm however we actually got there about 45 minutes before and were shown to the bar to get a drink while we waited for the table to be prepared. The restaurant is set in a large courtyard with a long bar running the stretch of one side of it with banquette seating behind it whilst the main courtyard is made up of long benches in order to accommodate larger groups.
We had a small coffee table at one end of the courtyard not far from one of the kitchens which gave us a great view of everything as well as the benefit of being close to the bar! We ordered some Guacamole and a Chorizo Quesadilla to nibble on while we looked at the menu and then started on the “Margarita Verde’s” – classic Margaritas with added Green Chilli and Cucumber which were really refreshing with the addition of cucumber as well as having a nice spicy kick from the chillis.
Whilst the guacamole wasn’t anything special (I make this version at home which is yet to be bettered… http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/7967816/Thomasina-Miers-recipe-Proper-guacamole.html) The Quesadilla was made with homemade Tortillas which is always a good sign and the ratio of Chorizo to Cheese and Fresh Chilli inside was pretty decent as were the Black Beans and Salsa that accompanied it.
I was enjoying the Margarita Verde and so stayed drinking these while we selected a few other things from the menus. They had sold out of the Empanadas de Cochinita (Fried Masa Pastry filled with Slow Roasted Pork and Habanero Salsa) so we instead chose a portion of the Tostaditas (tiny, bite size tortillas) with the Roasted Pork and started on the Taquitos, the main thing we wanted to eat.
Taquitos are essentially just smaller tacos, here they were 4” and we each ate 5-6 of them as opposed to ordering a couple of the larger Tacos. First up we had the Al Pastor (yes more Pork!) Marinated Pork that is Grilled and served with a Pineapple and Coriander Salsa which I thought to be excellent. The Taquito de Camaron was topped with a Fried Tempura Prawn and an Avocado and Pineapple Salsa, I’ve been put off ordering these after having a run of bad ones in Singapore but this was pretty good.
The Pescado Assado (Grilled Fish) however was absolutely outstanding – slightly smokey, perfectly cooked juicy Mahi Mahi served with Pico de Gallo. I ordered another one of these instead of trying the Tempura version of it which the others tried and I definitely got the better deal! The Taquito de Pollo (Grilled Chicken with Red Cabbage) was also another fine dish but it was the next and last dish that we chose which turned out to be one of the best.
The Vegetarian Taquito came topped with Fried Baby Corn and Black Beans and was a lovely mix of sweet and earthy flavours and we all agreed it was one of our favourites. Of course more cocktails came and went, Daiquiris, Mojitos (Ok I know they aren’t Mexican but we were on Holiday!!) and a few Coronas (good in the heat but I would have preferred a Negro Modelo or a great Michelada had they been available)
The atmosphere in Motel Mexicola is extremely lively and as colourful as the crazily decorated restaurant but the crowd was again a nice mix of families and groups of friends. It was one of the best Mexican meals I have had since leaving London, certainly the most fun and such a pleasant surprise to find such decent Mexican food so unexpectedly!