Mexican food is my ultimate favourite, so I was very pleased when I heard my hometown was getting its first solely Mexican restaurant. Not only is El Tajin a Mexican restaurant, it’s an authentic eatery, rather than serving Tex-Mex. Sam’s family have been frequent visitors and each time they’ve relayed how good the meal has been, but we only got to experience it for ourselves this month. El Tajin is a very inconspicuous place off of the main street, with a small archway leading to some stairs, which take you to the basement restaurant. It has a cosy and homely feel because it’s a small building, but also because it’s family owned, with the husband, wife and daughter all working on site.
8 of us arrived on a Sunday night and there were only a few other diners, but because the restaurant is quite small, and we were a large group it didn’t affect the atmosphere. I really enjoy the layout of El Tajin; as you enter there’s a bar area with a handful of tables and then a few more tables as you head through the back. The menu has a wide range of dishes, but my eye instantly sought out fish tacos. The Arbroath Smokie tacos sounded amazing, but I decided to try something different and share the Platter for 2 with Sam. Our eyes are always bigger than our bellies, so we ordered the stuffed avocado with Arbroath crab meat and pico de gallo, and of course I couldn’t eat Mexican food without a tasty margarita to wash it down with!
After we had ordered, we were presented with complimentary tortilla chips, a black bean dip and guacamole. This was a lovely gesture and left me very excited about the meal ahead; both the guacamole and bean dip were amazing! They brought out 2 plates of this for the 8 of us, so it’s safe to say that we were going to be very full by the end of meal. The starters arrived beautifully presented and tasted just as good. The avocado and crab were nice and light, but came on a bed of rice if you wanted to bulk it up. Sam’s Dad had ordered the jalapeno filled with Arbroath smokie, which I managed to steal a taste of and it had a good kick without being too spicy.
There are different tequila-based drinks on the menu that I want to explore more of on my next visit, but the margarita went down a treat, so I decided to order another one of those. When the main courses arrived, Sam and I were presented with a huge plate bursting with meat, including steak, chorizo, chicken wings and pork rib. It was a good mix of meats, of which, all were nice and succulent. The platter also included a good-sized piece of halloumi, corn on the cob, rice, cactus, black beans and guacamole. I would be very surprised if anyone had a complaint about the portion sizes at El Tajin, what Sam and I ate would have fed a family of 4!
I had a lovely evening in El Tajin, with its intimate setting, pleasant and attentive service and delicious, flavoursome food. They have seasonal menus, so I’ll need to fit in a few more visits to try more dishes on this one before it changes! This is a great addition to the Montrose and North East Scotland food scene, bringing something different and specialised.
Atmosphere – 3.5
Food – 4.5
Price – 4
Service – 4
Total – 16/20