Mexico Arriba. A-6020 Innsbruck · Innrain 2
Hours: 12:00 – 14:00, 18:00 – 22:00
Despite increased globalization and widespread interest in foreign cultures, Mexican cuisine hasn’t quite found a niche here in Austria. With that said, it comes as a pleasant surprise to find a Mexican establishment that finely reproduces the flavors of Mexico in the heart of Innsbruck’s old city, along the Inn River. The menu is exciting and exotic – a treat in this part of Europe. The restaurant’s signature item is chocolate mole sauce, which is featured in two dishes – enmolada con mole poblano and mole poblano con arroz.
The Mole Poblano con Arroz dish consists of a thick, juicy chicken breast accentuated by mole sauce. A generous amount of sesame seeds is evenly distributed over the top of the sauce, imparting a toasty, nutty flavor to the dish. The mole sauce possesses such an enticing aroma that gets you excited about the dish. The chicken breast sits on top of a medley of grilled vegetables: chopped mushrooms, thinly sliced carrots and zucchinis, and celery. On the side, there is a plentiful amount of Mexican rice.
The chicken is unbelievably moist and has excellent flavor. On top, the thick mole sauce is a unique experience. Described as a comprehensive, smoky, sweet chocolate chili sauce containing spices, unsweetened chocolate, and over 20 different Mexican chilies, the bold flavor of the mole poblano is pronounced as the chocolate is noticeable, but doesn’t dictate the dish. Instead, the finely spiced chicken also comes through. Essentially, both the chicken and chocolate sauce comes through pleasantly. The combination of vegetables also adds incredible flavor that nicely complements the chicken breast. In terms of texture, the carrots add a bit of firmness and the celery some crunch.
Unfortunately, the side item disappoints. The rice is undercooked and, as a result, is too firm and hard. Though still edible, the texture is offending. Moreover, the rice drowns in too much grease. After finishing up the meal, a pool of oil remains at the bottom of the dish that makes you feel a bit guilty.
The portion-price ratio is rather disproportionate. Even with the breathtaking views from the 2nd floor overlooking the Inn River, the cozy and contemporary atmosphere, and the amazingly attentive and friendly service, 13.80 euros for the Mole Poblano con Arroz is an exorbitant price to pay for a single chicken breast, various sautéed vegetables and a portion of undercooked rice. The sauce is exceptional and gives the dish its special flair, but the serving size simply doesn’t justify the cost. These unreasonable prices are most likely the biggest deterrence, which is a real pity because the authentic food here at Mexico Arriba is unparalleled in this part of Austria. Nevertheless, it is good to know that you can get Mexican food here.