Some restaurants are more than a place just to fill your stomach and Topolabamba on Union Street is one restaurant which is a perfect example. The Mexican fare served at this restaurant is a long way from Tex-Mex. Here, you will find yourself presented with an array of authentic Mexican cuisine from across four of Mexico’s main culinary regions. By the time you are finished your meal you will not only be feeling satisfied but will be mentally working out how long you must wait before you can return.
Topolabamba was the first restaurant on my list to try for Aberdeen Restaurant Week and to mark the occasion I brought along my flatmate Nicola– a fellow foodie lover. Immediately after walking in the door to the vibrant restaurant we were greeted by the friendly staff and were shown to our table. Water was immediately served to us and we were given some time to think about our choice of drink. We both decided on a Pina colada which was so good and instantly reminded me of lazy days in Mexico.
The first thing you will notice when you eat at Topolabamba are how attentive the staff are. From being welcomed into the restaurant, till when you leave they are always on hand to help you in whatever way you or your dining companion’s need.
Topolabamba have put a fantastic menu together for restaurant week. They have on offer an amazing £20 per person evening menu which promises you a variety of flavours and dishes. Dining with Nicola is always a smart move as she is always up for sharing meals. We decided to sample both the veg and the meat menu which they have on offer.
The food arrived swiftly after ordering which was fantastic as we were both ready to tuck in!
I started off by sampling the guacamole tostadas. These little corn tortillas are part of the veg menu. As someone who loves meat I wasn’t sure how these would rate when compared with the meat options, but they ended up being my favourite part of the meal. Packed full of flavour and made with the freshest of ingredients they must be tried if you are visiting the restaurant. Even if you are not a vegetarian I would recommend trying these little pieces of veg heaven. I never imagined that a little bit of guacamole, black bean, corn and crumbly cheese could make something so tasty.
Next up I sampled the chipotle honey ribs. The ribs were seasoned and cooked to perfection with the meat easily peeling away with a fork. The mixture of chipotle chilli and honey glaze means the ribs are just the right amount of spicy and sweet.
After the ribs I tried the lamb tostada. Lamb is always that meat people either love or hate but I would challenge anyone to say they don’t like the lamb tostada made at Topolabamba. Presented on a crispy Tortilla and filled with lamb, charged corn salsa and crumbly cheese, the lamb tostada is easy to eat and tastes fabulous.
The last of the meat dishes was a chicken tinga taco. This was probably the dish with the most heat but not overly so. The chicken tinga provides you with just the right amount of spice to get your mouth watering and having you reach for more. These delicious soft tacos are packed full of flavour – just like everything else on the menu!
The veg menu offers jalapeno poppers that are served with a Brava sauce. The poppers mix well with the Brava and the two together means that while you experience a slight kick upon your first bite the Brava cools your tongue so that you can fully appreciate the flavours of the dish.
The last of the dishes on offer was a veg burrito and upon the first bite my tongue was introduced to another little piece of veg heaven. Despite being a burrito, this dish is neither overly doughy or heavy. The burrito is filled with char roasted vegetables, rice, black beans, Pico de Gallo and queso fresco cheese. By this point in the meal I was so grateful that we decided to sample both the meat menu and the veg menu as I would normally bypass the veg option when ordering Mexican food. By the end of the meal I was certain that if I was to return I would not be passing up either the guacamole tostadas or the veg burrito.
In addition to sampling the menu for restaurant week we decided to order some of the classic Queso Fundido from the main menu. This is a homemade artisan style jack cheese fondue with garlicky roasted peppers and chorizo all served with corn tortilla chips. This dish is melted cheese heaven and is a must try. If you are visiting Topolabamba as a group on restaurant week then I fully recommend that you order this dish to share. You won’t regret it – promise!
To finish of the meal, we had some Harchata Ice cream. These little balls of ice cream may look plain but just one bite will prove you wrong. Dessert was light, airy and sweet. Enjoyment of this dish wasn’t expressed by words but with a look across the table at my dining companion and a mutual sigh and head nod.
Overall the Topolabamba menu has something for everyone and is the perfect place to have a relaxing catch up with friends, start your night or even have a chilled night with your other half. Dining here will give you the chance to enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine without leaving Aberdeen. Wither you are a fan of Latin American food or simply interested in trying some, Topolabamba should be at the top of your list of restaurant spots to hit. It promises quality service and quality food and can deliver on both fronts.