Santo Menjurje, located in the beautiful setting of the hotel Casona Maria in Analco (just across the 5 de Mayo Boulevard), is the first restaurant featured in a new series of posts on the blog: best restaurants of Puebla. This blog focusses a lot on street food but I also want to share with you my favourite restaurants of the city.
Santo Menjurje focusses on contemporary poblana cuisine. Its menu comes complete with the classics we all know and love such as Mole Poblano and Pipián, as well as street-food style starters like chalupas, molotes and esquites. What I Santo Menjurje really excels at are the unique dishes (with poblana influences, of course) inspired by the restaurant’s head chef, Hugo Martinez. He has been given free reign to add dishes that are of his own creation, many of which are inspired by his abuela’s cooking.
Pictured are four dishes, which I think deserve a special mention due to their sheer creativity and range of flavours. The first, ‘cochinillo al horno’, is slow cooked over 8 hours and probably the best piece of pork I have ever had. The crispy fatty top with the very tender meat underneath are a perfect combination creating a melt-in-your-mouth sensation. The green salsa, the same one that is served with Tacos Al Pastor, is an unexpected accompaniment but holds its own alongside the meat and perfect guacamole. This is by far my trump dish from Santo Menjurje.
Next we have a mole made from chile pasilla served with ‘muslitos’ (muscles from the chicken). I’ve had mole before but this is something else. The combination of the sauce with the unusual choice of the part of meat is a great example of a classic dish (mole) that exceeds every expectation you might have had.
The other two dishes pictured, are desserts. I have a sweet tooth for sure and these two were so inventive that I had to mention them. The first is equivalent to a crème brûlée made with Natilla and a touch of Mezcal. I guess you could call it a Mexican crème brûlée. Crack the top and you are invited in to a creamy heaven.
Last but not least, one single ball of ice cream, leche quemada (cajeta) flavour, that will turn your night from a good one into a great one. Don’t even hesistate about ordering this. You won’t have ever tasted ice cream so rich in flavour. And who can say no to leche quemada?
Santo Menjurje is on my list of best restaurants in Puebla because it is clearly committed and passionate about Puebla and its cuisine. This is not only obvious in its cooking, but also in the setting of the hotel. Every last detail has been thought about, and you will understand exactly what I mean when you visit.
Thanks to Blink Diseño for providing the photos for this post.
I first visited Santo Menjurje to try their breakfast menu. I was then invited by the restaurant to sample a number of dishes from their lunch and dinner menu, on a separate occasion. As always the opinions are my own.