Saturday, June 4, 2011

Asian food at the Mercado

One day a year ago, Jennifer and I were headed to the mercado for lunch at one of the loncherias. We were walking by one of the small places and it was filled with Asian guys, with tables loaded with food served family style. It was obvious that they were happy with their food.

Of course, this is one of several places on Cozumel that cater to the cruise ship crews. There was a hand written menu on the wall above the kitchen, and I didn't recognize a single item on the menu except fried rice.

We took the only vacant table and were approached by a young man who asked if we were familiar with the menu items? "No". Do we like seafood? "Oh, Yes"

He then explained they cooked Malaysian and Indonesian which are a balance of sweet, spicy and savory, and Filipino, which was mostly sweet and sour.

We went for an Indonesian dish called bakwan udang. It turned out to be one of the best shrimp dishes I have ever had. Wonderful fried shrimp and vegetable cakes served with an amazing sambal sauce that had us licking the spoon.

bakwan udang & sambal

The sambal sauce is a spicy hot, sweet sauce that has a unique flavor. It burns your mouth, then cools it with the sweetness. Totally addicting.

Fast forward to today's mercado, where the loncherias have been rebuilt and a parking lot installed. On our last visit the restaurant has no menu or name on the exterior. It is the place that is the closest to Rosado Salas.

It's best to go with a small crowd, since the portions are large. Four of us ordered a whole fish in a curry sauce, fried rice and the required bakwan udang. Bring your own beer or settle for refrescos. Definitely bring your appetite.

Open for lunch Monday - Saturday

No comments:

Post a Comment