The crown jewel of Hotel Xcaret’s culinary collection, Restaurante HA’ features the talents of Carlos Gaytán, and although he will forever remain the first Mexican Chef to receive a Michelin Star for his “Mexique” in Chicago it is with all the trappings of a luxury...resort that HA’ aims to achieve so much more.
Defined as “Water” in the Mayan language, a sense of flow established on arrival and continuing through an immersive space surrounding a cylindrical glass fountain, guests are seated on plush banquettes abutting crisp linens, the service gratuitously pleasant such that no want or need goes unfulfilled.
Not included in Hotel Xcaret’s all-inclusive package, and open to the public via reservation only, HA’ suggests a seven-course menu complete with Wine or non-alcoholic pairings, an opening volley of Lemongrass and Lime afloat on Aloe refreshing the palate alongside raw Hamachi and a flash-fried Artichoke Amuse.
Combining French technique and the finest ingredients with Mexican Sauces and Spices, while many courses also implement elements of modernism, Venison Tartare makes a grand entrance thanks to scoops of Liquid Nitrogen-frozen Huitlacoche before dissolving into a kaleidoscope of flavors, the King Crab to follow equally mesmerizing thanks to fresh Peas and Salmon Roe dancing around delicate Panna Cotta.
Indifferent to the pairings, both versions a bit steep in comparison to Haute Cuisine that outpaces HA’s price point, course three arrives as confit Duck tucked in a small package surrounded by superlative Pipian plus a hint of mint while the Yucatan’s love of grilling sees a floret of Cauliflower complimented by Coriander and preserved Black Truffles.
Served at a pace customized to each table’s preference, neither to brisk nor lingering, sweeter Beverages begin to arrive as plates grow more rich, Chef Gaytan’s Mi Cuit Foie Gras with Red Fruit Mole as good as one will find anywhere in Paris before Al Pastor arrives in a deconstructed but entirely delicious form.
Blessed by unrivaled access to Ingredients, plus ideas cultivated across Mexico’s rich history, Dessert sees traditional Chilate matched to a textbook Marquesita enlivened by Truffle Foam prior to Coconut Milk Horchata accompanying a Mascarpone Meringue spiral atop Pear Ribbons and Charcoal Ice Cream.
Charged extra for Espresso, bold Beans from Chiapas sipped slowly over Ice with Mignardises including distinctive Bon Bons and Truffles, it is after settling the bill that guests are sent on their way with pleasantries and a signed menu, plus a boxed a boxed Alfajor and a new understanding of modern Mexican Cuisine.More