Sometimes it's difficult to find special eateries that combine tasty, natural, fresh and healthy meals. In Tulum this place has been discovered! When visiting the Archaeological Site or the beautiful beach of Tulum, within your day plan one must stop at Azafran in downtown Tulum. Azafran, is owned, managed, prepared and hosted by Mika, one of the warmest Deutsch persons you'll ever meet. Enjoy the best coffee in Tulum and a "Hangover Breakfast" (which tastes better if you actually have a hangover) to stuff yourself, or if you want the lighter version, try one of the many home-made bagels they have. You will not regret taking time out!
Sunday, July 13, 2014
By Ana Laura Peña
When there is a scorching 38°C/100°F outside and the humidity is around 70-80%, then one might desire eating something light and fresh. Although sushi sounds like the perfect option, you need to be selective in where you choose to dine because it’s hot outside and we’re talking about raw fish here.
We at Vimex Vacation Rentals are big Sushi fans that can’t stop eating it whether it’s super-hot or Caribbean breezy. Given the hard and delicious task of trying (not all) but most of the sushi establishments in Riviera Maya, below we have listed our top picks in and around Playa del Carmen.
Yes, the order is important, nevertheless, they’re all excellent options when it comes down to enjoying the little “fish and rice rolls”.
· Kampai – 5th Ave. Between 30th & 32th – Tuesday – Sunday 14:00 – 23:00 hrs. – Kampai is our favorite! The word that comes to mind to describe it is “Creative”. When you go to Kampai, do not expect the usual, expect something better. Their kitchen is flawless, and the atmosphere is modern and trendy. Enjoy dinner along with wonderful martinis and a good selection of beer and sake. They have 2x1 rolls every day. Our picks: Thai Spicy, Jupiter for sushi rolls, the Roca Shrimp and the green tea ice cream for dessert (guilt free!). Expect to pay 200 – 400 MXN per person (with one drink), but trust us, it is worth on a Friday night dinner with your pals!
· Sushi Ken – 10th Ave. Between 12th and 14th (Next to CocoBongo) – Every Day 13:00 – 23:00 hrs. – Sushi Ken is the best relation Quality / Price. It is well located with air conditioned and a couple of TV’s (in case you have the world cup fever and wish to watch a game). There’s nothing wrong in Sushi Ken, it is a simple familiar place to eat affordably. They also have promotions: Tuesday 2x1 for students, Wednesday 2x1 for everybody and Thursday 3x2 for the people with more appetite (like us). Our picks: Spicy Tuna, Bandera Roll and Grinch Roll. Also try the Miso Ramen Soups and if you have a sweet teeth, try the ice cream tempura (forget about your diet!). Expect to pay 100 – 200 MXN per person. They don’t sell alcohol, so if you’re aiming for a refreshing Mexican beer, drink it somewhere else before you come to eat or try this tasty and healthy option: jasmine ice cold tea.
· Sushiclub – 10th Ave. on the corner with 26th, below hotel Be Playa – Every Day 8:00 – 1:00 hrs. – If you’re thinking about the trendy and fashionista Playa del Carmen, you’re thinking about Sushiclub. A spot with a sophisticated atmosphere, perfecto for a couple’s dinner. Every detail is perfect in this place, starting with the chair you’ll be sitting in, and also the drinks and rolls. This is a place to “warm up” on a Saturday night before you go out: good drinks, good food, excellent music (sometimes you will find great Dj’s playing).Our picks: the New York Tuna Roll or the assortment dish, which are perfect to enjoy with friends; try a little bit of everything. Expect to pay between 250 – 500 MXN per person. Martinis + Sushi + Great Music, what else can you ask for? Sushiclub also offers Home Delivery, very convenient to have dinner for two in the comfort of your own pad.
· Sushi Itto – Plaza Paseo del Carmen, 10th Ave & 1st Street – Monday to Thursday 13:00 – 23:00, Friday & Saturday 13:00 – 00:00, Sunday 13:00 – 22:00 – I think the first time I tried sushi was in a Sushi Itto in Mexico City and, as one good taken care of franchise, it tastes exactly the same than 20 years ago (that long?). Sushi Itto started in 1988 and the key for their success is the combination of the traditional Japanese cuisine with more Mexican and local ingredients. Although Sushi Itto is considered Fast Food, you can still find personalized service and their home delivery service is perfect if you’re staying in one of our condos or villas.
So, these are our picks for Sushi in the Riviera Maya, we don’t want to miss mentioning “Hola Asia”, a great restaurant that was located in Puerto Morelos and unfortunately (for us lovers of Asian food) is closed currently. We invite you to try the places listed above and let us know how your experience was, you can always visit us online or directly in our office as we offer wonderful vacation rentals options for weekly and monthly stays.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Follow the smell of freshly baked goods to this authentic French bakery located on 5th avenue between 32th & 34th Streets! Chéz Celine offers delicious traditional French products like Baguettes eclairs, tarts of various types, pastries, sandwiches, quiches and salads. If you don’t want to miss anything, do like we did, order the mini tarts with different flavors, and please, please, don’t miss the chocolate éclairs.
There are not many places like Ah Cacao. They took two basic ingredients of the Mexican culture and mixed them to have one of the greatest places in Playa del Carmen: serving coffee and chocolate. Ah cacao is one of those places where you can sit in tranquility, read a book, post on Facebook your vacation pictures, or just sit and stare at the people walking on 5th. Worth trying the brownie (kids will love it too!) and if you have it with a double espresso, it will taste even better.
If you happen to be taking the sun in Tulum on the beach and suddenly, you have a sudden urge to savor a dessert, complementing the beauty of the sea views and soothing surf, you must go to Ziggy Beach and try the Crème Brule. An exotic version served in a pineapple slice, with fresh fruit at the bottom. One may think that this could be ¨ too sweet¨ however, the acidic taste of the pineapple balances this sweetie, perfectly.
Panna e Cioccolato
Also in Tulum, the best ice cream, ever. Homemade gelato with the Italian tradition. A very unique place with colorful decoration with two funny monkeys: Panna (Italian word for Cream) and Cioccolato (Italian word for Chocolate). Our picks: Mint -Chocolate ice cream, perfect for a summer afternoon, Ferrero Rocher ice cream and Selvanegra (Black forest), chocolate and cherry. Let´s go!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
What to do in Riviera Maya on Rainy Days
“Anyone who thinks that summer sun is pure happiness, has never danced in the rain”. We know this by, being on vacation and being surprised by a rainy day (or two) ; definitely not a pleasant thing while on vacation however, we cannot control the weather (yet). But, it doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy several great activities which accompany and complement rain filled days.
If the rain is not heavy, make sure you put your belongings in a locker and jump into the water of the “world’s largest natural aquarium”. You were going to get wet anyway! After your swim, you can enjoy one of the parks restaurants and then swim again. They provide towels, so don’t worry about getting your towel wet. Just go with the flow and enjoy!
An unusual activity, but you might as well learn something while you’re on vacation and become chef for one night. Visit a Culinary School and learn how to cook Mexican food from a professional chef. Enjoy along with the experience, a glass of wine or mezcal, and show off your skills with your friends and family once you return back home.
If it’s pouring rain outside, you might as well use the day to shop for all the items you need: traditional souvenirs and Mexican handcraft, bottles of tequila and mezcal and any other items you can purchase cheaper than back home. Visit Ultrafemme, Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21, Zara, Quicksilver, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Ultrajewels, Liverpool, and of course, enjoy a hot coffee at Ah Cacao or Starbucks to take a break from your exhausting shop adventure.
If you’re travelling with your spouse, family or friends, bowling is always a fun thing to do. Visit the Bowling Center at Centro Maya and get ready for tons of fun and an aching arm the next morning.
If you’re more traditional, you may enjoy a movie, and why not? Try out and see a Mexican Movie, maybe you’ll speed up your Spanish lessons! In Playa del Carmen there are two big cinemas: Cinemex http://cinemex.com/ and Cinepolis http://www.cinepolis.com.mx/index.aspx. Check out their websites to see what they’re showing. You can also download the apps and get the tickets through your smartphone or tablet.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Famous Mexican chef Enrique Olvera recently opened this unpretentious restaurant that takes inspiration from the popular foods of Mexico’s coast, using only local products, focusing on flavor and freshness. Food is totally delicious and they provide a great service, definitely worth trying and going back!
A place with strong beliefs that holds a credo that goes something like this: 1. Quality above luxury 2. Absolute respect for raw materials 3. What matters is depth, not appearance 4. We prefer local, sustainable, family-based producers 5. We are authentic 6. The customer is King (or Queen) 7. We like sharing 8.We keep our word—you get what we promise 9. Local markets determine all the rest 10. We contribute to our community.
Food is a small tour through Mexico’s Coast. From the Aguachiles of the North, Fish “a la taya” of the pacific, to the local fried banana, their menu is a spectrum of Mexican Seafood embracing local ingredients and freshness.
On a warm mid-day of the Caribbean Fall, we were graciously received, seated and presented with a small basket of freshly toasted handmade corn chips and mint infused water with chaya, a local herb rich in iron, similar to spinach. After which, we tried the Jicama, cucumber and sour orange crudité, a fresh salad with a beautiful presentation, refreshing to taste with a bit of a citric flavor. After that, we tried the sliced fish, orange and worm salt, and the charred octopus and habanero aguachile, two great surprises, and even the aguachile is made with habanero, it only has the taste, not the spice. Our main dish was a fish, dried chile adobo, lime mayonnaise, a very lean and tasteful fish, fresh and delicious. For dessert we had a not too sweet honey panna cotta, with hot tea- the perfect dessert. While dining, we enjoyed the relaxed ambiance with decor inspired by small coastal Mexican kitchens which, reminded me a little bit of Puerto Vallarta or Sayulita back in the eighties but in a very contemporary environment.
Seeing the kitchen at the basement was a pleasant surprise. With a see through glass you can see the organization, cleanliness and professionalism of people working here.
We strongly recommend to visit (and then come back) to Maiz de Mar!