Restaurant Review: Pachanga, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah

Free tango lesson with dinner? Don't mind if we do...
Monday , 23 May 2011
Tango in Pachanga
Tango in Pachanga
Chef Ruben carves churrasco
Chef Ruben carves churrasco
Gaucho-wearing waiters carve meat at your table
Gaucho-wearing waiters carve meat at your table
Amuse buche - scallops in avocado puree and creamed cauliflower
Amuse buche - scallops in avocado puree and creamed cauliflower
Tuna tartar and palm heart roll
Tuna tartar and palm heart roll
Palette cleanser - avocado and lime sorbet
Palette cleanser - avocado and lime sorbet
Wagyu tenderloin
Wagyu tenderloin
Pachanga
© Pachanga
Pachanga

Are you a hopeless romantic who yearns to be part of yesteryear’s era of dinner dances? If so, Pachanga could be the restaurant to sweep you off your feet. Every Wednesday Tango Dubai hosts a free lesson for diners from 7.30pm to 8.30pm so you can learn some lovely Latin moves before dinner. Then, as you enjoy your Latin American cuisine, a pair of pros give two finely polished 15-minute performances at 9pm and 10pm to show novices how it’s really done.

* BE THERE: See Ahlan! Live’s Last Tango in Pachanga film for a flavour of Wednesday night entertainment.*

If it would take more than a few caipirinhas to get you up in the middle of a milonga (the term for a group tango dance, so Pachanga staff tell us), then recline in the colonial-style wicker chairs, enjoy the view and marvel at the menu – it’s an education in Latin cuisine, both new and old. We revelled in trio de lagosta (three preparations of lobster with gazpacho, ragout and avocado), followed by traditional Brazilian grilled ‘churrasco’ meats on a skewer and Wagyu tenderloin served with garlic and parsley fried tapioca, which tasted like light, crunchy roasted cubes of potato rosti. Sunday’s roast spuds may just have found a rival!

Despite the generous portions being perfectly cooked, it was impossible to finish it all and the doggy bag was well received the next day. With free dance classes and doggy bags this was fast adding up to be a bargain night out. We’ll definitely return to sample experimental temptations such as roast salmon with vanilla pumpkin crush and comfortable classics like the beef burritos.

A Wednesday night out here feels like a brief and dreamy holiday on the trail of Ernest Hemingway, and, let’s face it, where else can you get a side-order of tango with your mango foie gras terrine?

HOT TIP: Also, don’t miss Tuesday night’s churrasco bounty for carnivore’s – it’s is a must for meat-lovers with 14 – count ‘em – 14 types of meat served between the buffet and the skewered meats carved up at your table by waiters donning traditional gaucho hats.

On the Menu...

STARTER
Quesadilla portobello mushroom with tomato salsa, quacamole and sour cream, Dhs45

MAIN
Traditional mixed churrasco meats, Dhs230

DESSERT
Dos amigos, a dessert of chocolate mousse, chocolate biscuit and dulce de leche ice cream, Dhs65