Culture meets cuisine at Cafeina

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Local art adds to the atmosphere at Cafeina.

Food isn’t the only thing pleasing senses at the new Cafeina Restaurante Galería.

“I think the place has a magic,” says manager Jessica Javier, noting that the restaurant’s located in the former home of famous Oaxaqueñian painter Rodolfo Morales. “It’s very cultural.”

Indeed, the culture is everywhere, with French-style architecture and local art bringing out the natural beauty in the building.

As for the kitchen, head chef Octavio Ramirez has studied under some of the best Oaxacan and contemporary Mexican chefs.

“I worked a lot, trying to make the principal influence and diffusion of ingredients in my recipes from Oaxaca,” he says.

When I went to Cafeina with a foodie friend, the first dish we were served was a mussel mousse on crostinis, topped with a sesame citrus dressing. The mousse was delicate though full-bodied, rich like a pâté while being light as a mousse should be.

We were also served a dish of tuna with a tomatillo and fruit compote, dotted with an orange mango sauce. The tuna was marinated, coated with hierba santa (Mexican pepperleaf) and seared to perfection.

Overall, the meal was delightful and I left with a smile on my face. Though prices are higher than average, the cultural and culinary experiences are well worth it.

Cafeina is located at 5 de Mayo 413, El Centro Histórico.

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