I have never been to Mexico and so I can’t tell you what authentic Mexican food is.
What I can tell you is that:
- A Mexican friend assures me there is no actual Mexican food in London
- The best “Mexican food” I ever had was in an underground restaurant attached to a hotel in Brasov, Romania – see the Bella Muzica.
I’m always fairly disappointed by whatever burrito, enchilada, taco-variety I order. With that in my mind, I wasn’t particularly hopeful for my chances in Tokyo.
However, I had heard of Haciendo del Cielo, ensconced in Daikanyama, one of Tokyo’s trendiest neighbourhoods. Oshare is a Japanese word that means fashionable – something weirdly enough I am described as due to my penchant for wearing hair accessories that match my shoes, despite the fact I’m always bedraggled, without make-up and panting from having cycled somewhere fast.
Daikanyama is very, very oshare.
And so is Haciendo del Cielo, which translates roughly as “sky house” in Spanish and thus rather suits its 9th floor rooftop location.
Think glitzy modern décor with a large print of Barbie dolls posing by various liquors, including Bailey’s. I’ve heard that Mexicans drink a lot of Bailey’s.
On weekends, there is a fantastic deal called the Holiday Lunch, where for a mere 1500 yen you can get yourself a set appetiser – three little amuse-bouches (or whatever the Mexican equivalent is for that) – a salad (Caesar or green leaf) – a choice of main, dessert of the day, and a drink.
Oh and some yellow sangria. Yes, you read that right. But it tasted like a very light, mild version of sangria. White wine, maybe? I’m not a wine drinker so I’m not going to pretend to know what I’m talking about. But it was good…!
My main piece of advice is – if you’re going to go for brunch and haven’t eaten beforehand – probably don’t gulp it down at once if you’re not that strong with alcohol. Given this is Japan, and not many people can handle a lot of alcohol very well – hence the presence of all-you-can-drink deals that would be restaurant suicides back in the UK – serving the yellow sangria straight away could indeed be a cunning strategy by the restaurant to befuddle customers’ heads and get them to order lots more alcohol. Or it could just be a delightfully tantalising intro.
Our amuse-bouches arrived with broccoli clumsily paired with something powdery, white and cheesy. The middle was passable guacamole with a tortilla and the final was actually a secret triumph – fish in a tangy, and lightly citrusy sauce. I wish I could have just had three of those instead.
My caesar was well executed but only included green leaves whereas the green salad – for irony purposes only – actually included tomato, sweetcorn and avocado and looked rather fresh and delicious.
My main was tuna and tomato enchilladas, served in an oven dish on a wooden board to stop the table from being burnt. This was pleasingly incredibly large and included avocado, rice, potato, all wedged around the enchiladas and made for filling and satisfying if mushy food. The rice and potatoes did add some good texture variety. The taste isn’t complicated but it is very comforting.
Dessert was some sort of banana cream that on first sight looked like a deconstructed tiramisu. It reminded me that whilst I may have conquered almost all the foods I disliked this year, I still gain no joy from bananas (no, that’s not a euphemism).
Almost simultaneously hot drinks arrived – I took a coffee and was pleasantly surprised by its relatively mellow yet deep flavour, far exceeding my expectations for post-meal restaurant coffee. In fact, free refills are even available. I delighted in alternating between sweet banana cream and bitter coffee.
It is, thus, with a fairly distended belly that I tottered onto the rooftop for blue skies, spectacular views, and some farewell photos with friends. I didn’t feel like I’d had a Mexican experience but I did feel oh-so-oshare.
Hacienda del Cielo 4/5 – Great value, tasty and satisfying “modern Mexican cuisine” that keeps on the right side of fashionable without pretensions.
Food 3.5/5 – Uncomplicated but tasty.
Value 5/5 – Full bellies for 1500 yen!
Service 3/5 – Almost invisible, which some people no doubt like. A waitress helped us to take photos at the end of the meal, but she was fairly surly about it which was a shame.
Atmosphere 5/5 – Lively, but not too noisy. Airy, light and comfortable.
Hacienda del Cielo
Where: 〒150−0033 東京都渋谷区猿楽町10−1 マンサード代官山9F
9F MANSARD DAIKANYAMA Building, 10−1, Sarugakucho, Shibuya−ku, Tokyo 150−0033
When: Mon – Sat 11.30am – 4am; Sun/Hols 11.30am – 11pm