At the time of writing, three of the best restaurants in Cancun according to Trip Advisor are part of the Oasis gastronomic family, and now these three have been recognized for the consistency of excellent reviews received during 2016. This is of course no surprise for the hundreds of guests we accommodate every day. However, if you have not yet visited us or eaten at these three restaurants, here we leave you a short description of each so that you can try for yourself and see what all the fuss is about. Live a gastronomical experience in the unequivocal style of the largest hotel group in the city and discover why three of the best restaurants in Cancun are ours.
Currently at the top of this famous list is Restaurante Benazuza at Grand Oasis Sens, beating 826 other establishments in Cancun. At Benazuza you’ll be in for a night of surprises as you make your way through its set menu of 27 dishes and cocktails. The Benazuza experience begins at the bar where diners are served several special cocktails such as the invisible margarita and rose martini. Guests then move to the dining room where they are presented with a series of small dishes many of which are not quite what they seem. This year Oasis opened a second Benazuza restaurant, this time at Grand Oasis Cancun allowing more of our guests to enjoy this culinary experience.
The White Box
Currently fourth on the list is The White Box; a gastrobar serving delicious tapas in a relaxed and laidback atmosphere without the pomp and ceremony typically found in old five star restaurants. The White Box can be found at both Grand Oasis Cancun and Grand Oasis Palm hotels. The menu is international and predominantly seafood based fitting in with its seaside locations, but there are also several delicious vegetable tapas and meat options such as mini burgers and caramelized pork ribs. Their fresh and vibrant dishes are perfect to share with your nearest and dearest.
Currently fifth on the list is Black Hole, also at the Grand Oasis Sens. This dining-in-the-dark experience begins with waiters in white gloves leading you to your table (it is recommended that you dress in dark clothing to make the experience even more special) and then the fun begins as you’re served 29 cocktails and small dishes each carefully prepared so that the smells, textures and flavours awaken your remaining senses. Waiters massage your shoulders and whisper in your ears and interludes of singers and ribbon dancers add to the adventure of eating in the dark. The restaurant is one-of-a-kind in Cancun and is an unforgettable experience from start to finish.
We would like to thank all those that have taken their time to review these restaurants and shared their experience with us; this recognition would not happen without you. Oasis Loves U!
While there is nothing wrong with having a burrito or downing a couple of shots of tequila on your next trip to Mexico (hey you’re on holiday!), there are a whole host of foods and drinks that you may not be aware of even if it is your tenth time visiting us. So to get you started we’ve compiled for you a few delicious alternatives to what you might typically order…
Gorditas instead of tacos
Tacos may be Mexico’s most well-known food but another snack that is just as versatile and delicious is the gordita (Spanish for little chubby girl). The gordita is made using either corn or wheat flour just like the tortillas used for tacos, but this time the tortilla is much thicker. The dough can then be filled with savoury or sweet fillings and is either baked or fried. The latter being the most common way it is cooked in our region. Once cooked, the gordita can then be made even ‘gorda’ by cutting a slit in one side and stuffing it with additional ingredients. Popular fillings include pork, chicken, beef, cheese and beans. The most common version, which can be found in our hotels buffets, is the gordita de chicharron (fried pork rind). A delicious snack for any time of the day!
Tortas ahogadas instead of burritos
Meat, rice and vegetables in one delicious wrap, who doesn’t love a burrito? The Tex-Mex staple, meaning ‘little donkey’ in Spanish, is the ideal fast food when you’re in a hurry. Another tasty treat that packs a punch is the torta ahogada, or drowned sandwich, a bread roll filled with pieces of pork meat and covered in a spicy tomato sauce. Variations of this hearty dish from the Mexican state of Jalisco can be found, where other ingredients like chicken or prawns are used instead of pork. Your stomach will thank you whatever filling you choose!
Ceviche instead of nachos
Nachos are one of the great dishes for sharing with friends but can seem like quite a heavy option if you’re spending the day on our paradisiacal beaches. A lighter, healthier alternative? ceviche, fresh seafood marinated in lime juice typically topped with chopped tomato, onion, chili peppers, avocado, and coriander leaves. In most of the seafood restaurants in our region you’ll find prawn, octopus or fish ceviche, or a mix of all three. Whichever seafood you prefer, the ideal version to share with friends overlooking the Mexican Caribbean is the ceviche caribeño which adds chopped mango to the mix. Served with tortilla chips and an array of delicious sauces your day at the beach just got a lot better!
Pacifico instead of Corona
Did you know that Mexico was the world’s largest beer exporter in 2015? The most exported of these was Corona. Mexico’s most famous beer conjures up images of sunny skies and sandy beaches and is pleasant enough; but another, lesser known, and personally speaking much nicer beer, Pacifico is the perfect accompaniment to the sunny skies and sandy beaches of Cancun. This beer from the Pacific port city of Mazatlan, Sinaloa is also the ideal drink to wash down a Caribbean ceviche.
Mezcal instead of Tequila
Tequila may be Mexico’s national drink but it is its lesser known agave cousin mezcal that you ought to try on your next visit to Mexico. Produced on a much smaller scale than tequila, mezcal is a smoky tasting spirit that should be sipped and not shot. Often accompanied by orange slices and worm or grasshopper salt (yes you read that correctly), mezcal has seen a resurgence in Mexico in recent years with mezcalerias (mezcal bars) popping up in the trendiest parts of town. Mezcal is an acquired taste, but a taste worth acquiring. So next time your friends order tequila, order a mezcal and impress them by asking for orange slices and grasshopper salt.
Whether your try one or all five of these great alternatives when you next visit us, we hope that we’ve opened your eyes and senses to new flavours and experiences.
Was your favorite not listed? If so let us know your choice in the comments section
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“What should I have to eat?” is the question we ask ourselves when we are presented with a menu, this dilemma becomes even more difficult when abroad and we see a list of things we have never heard of. Not wanting you to miss out on some fantastic fare for not knowing what it is, here for you is a description of six delicious dishes you are likely to come across on your travels in Mexico.
You will likely find this dish at the breakfast buffet of our hotels. Chilaquiles consists of tortilla chips covered in hot red or green sauce, (the sauces are based on using green or red serrano chilies and tomatoes) topped with sour cream, mild white cheese, raw slices of onion, and coriander. Sometimes shredded chicken and scrambled or fried eggs are also added, accompanied by frijoles (refried beans).
Pozole is a hearty broth made up of hominy corn with chicken, pork or vegetables and plenty of herbs and spices. The dish is traditionally stewed for hours, often overnight. When serving, other ingredients are placed at the table to be added according to taste, such as lettuce, onion, oregano, lime, radishes, pepper, fried tortillas and pork rinds.
Probably the most famous Yucatecan dish of all, cochinita pibil is a pork dish marinated in spices and achiote (an orange-red coloured condiment derived from the seeds of the achiote tree) and dissolved in orange juice. The pork is then wrapped in banana leaves and, traditionally speaking, cooked underground over hot stones for many hours, leaving the pork tender and succulent. This cooking process is where it gets its name, as pibil in Mayan means ‘cooked underground’. The shredded pork is often garnished with pickled onions and enjoyed in tortillas as a taco. You may also find pollo pibil, the chicken version, on the menu at our hotels.
Considered by many to be Mexico’s national dish, Mole Poblano consists of a rich sauce made from around 20 ingredients including chilli peppers, nuts, seeds, vegetables, chocolate and other condiments. The flavour of chocolate comes to the fore in this dish from the state of Puebla, and getting the sauce to the right consistency is a labour of love. Once ready, the sauce is normally served over chicken or turkey and accompanied by rice and frijoles.
Tamales were first developed for the Aztec, Mayan and Inca tribes who needed nourishing food on the go to take into battle. Made with a starchy, thick, corn-based dough and stuffed with either a sweet or savoury filling, the tamale is then wrapped in banana leaves or cornhusks and steamed. Fillings vary from meats and cheeses to fruits, vegetables, chilies and mole. Once unwrapped from the banana leaf, they’re typically topped with a salsa.
Tacos al pastor
This dish was influenced by Lebanese immigrants who brought with them the tradition of spit-roasting meats, normally lamb. Mexican shepherds adapted the Lebanese style of spit-roasting lamb, using pork instead, lending its name al pastor which in English means ‘in the style of the shepherd’. The pork is marinated in spices and chilies and placed on a long spit. Thin strips of pork are cut by the taquero and served on tortillas. Sliced pineapple, onion, cilantro, salsa and lime juice are added according to taste.