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Le Chique

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Mexican cuisine given a modernist makeover

Why go? The white sandy beach and jacuzzi suites at the Azul Sensatori resort are compelling reasons to visit, but for food lovers the main attraction is Le Chique. Opened in 2008, the restaurant takes an avant garde approach to Mexican food, de-constructing traditional dishes and playfully reinventing them with cutting-edge cooking techniques.

On the menu: The multi-sensory tasting menu is an epic affair stretching across 20-plus courses. Dishes are designed to play with diners' perceptions of how food should look, feel and taste. So a Yucatán dish of panucho, which is traditionally made with fried tortilla stuffed with refried black beans, is re-imagined as a perfectly shaped egg with a surprise black bean filling. Similarly, the whole lemon in the 'lemon pie' dessert is actually made from a candy shell and filled with curd.

What's the chef's background? Jonatán Gómez Luna Torres graduated from Centro Culinario Ambrosia, before stints in the kitchens of el Bulli, Noma and El Celler de Can Roca.

Bonus point: The restaurant offers a juice menu with options including fermented plum and banana with vanilla and jicama (a kind of tuber).

Images: Tinsley Advertising; La Carmela (Fernando Gomez Carbajal)

On the pass

  • Jonatán Gómez Luna Torres

Style of food

  • Modern Mexican

Standout dish

  • Crispy cod skin 'caught' in a fishing net with avocado and habanero emulsion