The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 12 February 2007

Mexican @ El Torito (Kanazawa)

It had been more than six months since we last watched a movie at the cinema. The main reason being that the closest movie theatres to us are located in the city which is more than 1.5 hours drive from inaka home. Yesterday, we did a 'couple-y' thing and had a movie 'n dinner date. We watched The Departed at the new cinema in the newly opened Forus Kanazawa. I enjoyed the movie, but it wasn't a 'feel-good' happy movie. Perhaps we should've watched The Pursuit of Happyness after all.

After the movie, we had dinner at El Torito, a Mexican restaurant located inside the Forus. We went there mainly because the American JETs recommended the place, and I consider Americans to be good judge of Mexican food due to their proximity to Mexico. And we were yearning for some foreign foods. It was surprisingly good. Surprising because 1) I enjoyed it considering that Mexican food is not on my list of favourite foods, and 2) the food was done quite well considering it is a foreign cuisine in Japan.

The staff were friendly and unobtrusive, and we were given a complimentary serve of corn chips and salsa soon after we were seated. There was a nice ambient atmosphere in the restaurant and it was lovely to have the whole restaurant to ourselves (it was around 5pm just prior to the peak dinner rush). Cost-wise, they are comparable to the Mexican restaurants in Perth. Entree dishes cost under 1000 yen (~AU$10), main dishes cost between 1000 yen and 3000 yen (~AU$30), and drinks vary between 400yen (~AU$4) for non-alcoholics up to 2000yen (~AU$20) for alcoholic drinks. Margaritas are around 1200yen (~AU$12).

The interior of the restaurant and Rob munching on the complimentary corn chips; and the view from our "window" seat of an indoor open space:

Sipping on my tomato juice (I love tomato juice! I blame my sister Faye for this) and on his Sunrise Sonata:

We ordered some Grilled Chicken Quesadilla (~1000 yen) to share as a starter, which was really yummy. It came with a dollop of guacamole and sour cream, and it was nice to eat /real/ cheese (which is somewhat of a rarity in Japan).

Then we ordered the Trio Fajita (~3000 yen) with chicken, beef and prawns. The waiter brought this to our table and asked us (in Japanese) if we wanted him to flambe the meat (it took us a good minute or so to figure out the meaning of what he was saying). And I wasn't quick enough to whip out my chunky huge camera to take a photo of the flames dancing on our food. Oh well. The meat were nicely done and tasted delicious, and the chilli sauce actually had a bite to it. Of course, it was not hot by our standards, but probably a bit too spicy for the Japanese taste buds.

Grilled Chicken Quesadilla; and Trio Fajita:

This Mexican restaurant gets our thumbs up. So far we haven't been disappointed with the foreign-cuisine restaurants inside the Forus centre, having previously eaten at the Shijan Korean and Frangipani Asian Restaurant. We will definitely try the other restaurants, but I think I will stay away from the Chinese restaurant for now - we've eaten "Chinese" food in so-called Chinese restaurants only twice in Japan but they have not been very good experiences.

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