Saturday we went to a Mexican restaurant in Antwerp called Chi-Chi’s as an early Valentine’s date (since we can’t celebrate the 14th). I’ve always wanted to try it out, ever since I found out about it’s excistence. I’m usually not a great culinary adventurer, knowing that there are unfortunately a lot of things I don’t like (such as tomatoes, and I really do try…). But I felt brave enough last week and since we’ll be going to Mexico on our honeymoon we were really excited to get better acquainted with its food. So here’s the story:
On entering the establishment around 6 p.m. we were greeted by one of the waiters. You don’t have to make reservations but it’s highly recommended, especially when you’re with a group. The waiter inquired after ours and told us we could pick a table. There are three floors, but to be more in the center of everything we decided to stay downstairs. Another waitress came immediately after that to hand us the menu’s and inform us of their specialties, which are the margaritas and fajitas.
Of course I couldn’t let a margarita pass me by, so I quickly decided to pick one of the 8 variations. Yet another waitress came a bit too fast and asked us what we wanted to drink. We don’t like saying that we need more time (we really should start doing that though) so unfortunately we both picked a strawberry margarita. But it was a really great margarita and a superb start of our evening!
Niko decided to go with the Menu Chi-Chi’s which consists of 3 courses, and I just picked whatever sounded wonderful. For the starter Niko got 4 parts of Nachos with shredded chicken, jalapeños, cheddar and mozzarella. I went for the Chicken Assada Quesadilla, a large grilled tortilla stuffed with shredded chicken and cheese. Both were absolutely delicious, but really filling. Garnished with Pico de Gallo (tomato allert!), some sour cream and guacamole.
Then some time passed by, a live singer with a guitar began to perform, and we saw plate after sizzling plate pass us by. Up the stairs the waiters went, down the stairs they ran, and I thought: wow it’s really nice that we get a bit of time to process our food (because honestly, I was already full). But when an hour passed by, we knew something was wrong. Kindly having asked the waiter if they had forgotten about us (I mean, come on! We weren’t hidden in a corner or something, they had to pass us by everytime they went up and down those stairs), he went to inform about it in the kitchen. And sure enough, he came back to apologize for the mistake and ensured us that our food would be there in a jiffy.
I couldn’t exactly say that I was sorry, I enjoyed the music and the atmosphere. The more time passed by, the less full I felt. So I could go back to enjoying my food rather than to feel bad that I couldn’t eat much of it. And so when the main course finally came, I enjoyed every bit of it.
Niko had a grilled Fajita with beef, and I had the Fiesta Combo. The beef, sliced into beautifully pink pieces lay on a bed of onions in a sizzling hot pan. This dish was again accompanied by a plate of sour cream, guacamole and so on. But we’re not complaining, because it really goes very well with all the mexican dishes… The Fiesta Combo is a combination of 3 specialties: grilled marinated chicken breast, a beef taquito, an enchillada filled with cheese, mild chilis, salad and mexican rice. It really was a fiesta. Everything was so marvellous. The chicken was a bit dry but so full of taste. I had not expected to like the taquito very much because it was with beef, but it exceeded my expectations in such a way that I became speechless… And the enchillada was just so perfect! Though very heavy because of the cheese, and that’s why I didn’t finish it… I was even excited about the rice, it was perfectly cooked and tasted great. So all in all, it was certainly worth the wait!
Now we come to what usually is my favorite part of dinner (sweet tooth!): dessert. We both had some mexican ice. It’s vanilla ice-cream covered with a crunchy crust of corn and cinnamon topped with a bit of honey, a dash of whipped cream and a pretty cherry. All I can say is: the cinnamon was practically all I could taste. But I love cinnamon! So that was perfect. I really liked the combination of the crunchiness of the outside and the ice-cream on the inside. And it was perfect to finish this mexican dinner with.
Even though they had forgotten about us (it probably doesn’t happen that often), it was a great experience and we will certainly go again. Maybe on a different day, because this reastaurant has much more to offer. From Monday till Friday they have an all-you-can-eat buffet at lunchtime, on Monday and Tuesday in the evenings as well. On Wednesdays kids up to 12 years old eat for free. Thursday offers all-you-can-eat barbeque ribs, and on Friday and Saturday nights you can enjoy some live music like we did. So you can safely say there’s something for everyone.
For more information you can always visit their website: www.chichis.be
Here are some extra pics from the “Grote Markt” (Market Square) of Antwerp:
I hope you enjoyed this “review”. Do you like Mexican food? Would you like me to share more of these posts in the future? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!