Nicaragua, Mukul, Dining, 16 to 22 February 2016

The dinner on our first evening – reported here – left us pretty optimistic about the quality of food at Mukul.

17 February 2016

Breakfast the next morning (as always, after tennis) was served to us by Juan, a jolly, chubby waiter who was delighted to learn that we were Londoners because he loves the late Princess Diana and Big Ben. Bless. I explained to him that the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster (the icon he actually loves) is not actually Big Ben but is that part of the Palace containing a huge bell, which is named Big Ben. He seemed pleased to be better informed. We did not discuss my take on the late Princess Diana.

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By Diliff (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
On Juan’s recommendation, I tried a smoothie named “green machine” which was mostly fruit with some spinach for colour, edgy flavour and lots of goodness. Janie tried a more conventional fruity one. I tried the nica chilaquiles; quite spicy with chicken and cheese, certainly worth trying once. Janie asked for a salad with rocket and goats cheese. The only weakness in the breakfast was the regular coffee, which tasted a bit strong and stewed, so I resolved to try a proper americano (with espresso coffee in it) henceforward.

We tried La Mesa (the haute cuisine restaurant) that evening. We shared an octopus carpaccio starter. I had a slow-cooked daube of beef dish, while Janie tried pork cooked three ways. We shared an ice cream/sorbet desert. Very rich meal. Orlando looked after us again, as did Hungarian sommelier Imre who recommended a very tasty Malbec; Bodega Noemia A Lisa.

18 February 2016

Breakfast the next morning was served by someone other than Juan. I opted for a lighter meal of granola pancakes while Janie opted for omelette and bacon. At the end of the breakfast we were furnished with an unexpected extras bill for the smoothies, my choice of coffee and even for Janie’s toast to go with her egg and bacon. I refused to sign the bill and raised the matter with Frederico, whom we had in any case arranged to see that morning about the boat arrival debacle. Frederico agreed that we would not see such extra charges for our breakfasts.

That evening we decided to try the new Beach Club, which only opened in December and has just started doing dinners with an experimental snack foods menu. We thought a lighter meal would go down well. Daisy started with tempura prawns and moved on to steak. I started with tostones with queso (plantain fritters with a sort of local haloumi on top) and followed with a sort of shrimp cocktail. Chips, veg, shared ice cream to finish and two glasses of house wine. Over £80, which seemed steep  (like St Tropez prices to us, without the St Trop. setting) for such a casual meal, especially when compared with the higher but relatively modest charges for the haute cuisine food. To be fair, this Beach Club thing is still experimental and the staff were delightful, but there is work to do on menus and pricing.

18 February 2016

We both opted for smoked salmon bagels as the main part of our breakfast. These were really delicious and we guessed (correctly) that we would both return for these again before we leave.

This evening is Italian night in the main restaurant but you can mix and match with a la carte. So Daisy started with a mozzarella and pomodoro thingie, while I indulged in red snapper ceviche. Then I had a pork with yucca dish ( a sort of posh vigoron presumably) while Daisy had stingray with mash – she decided that stingray  is not really her thing on the back of that experiment.  We finished off our delightful bottles of wine from earlier evenings.

19 February 2016

This breakfast time we both opted for croissant french toast with cream cheese. The “with cream cheese” bit deceived me into thinking this might not be insanely sweet, but it was. Yummy though. The green machine smoothies made the breakfast feel that little bit less naughty.

This evening we thought we would try the shrimp ion the main restaurant. We both started with an excellent gazpacho soup, “almost as good as Anthea’s” we agreed. Daisy had her spicy shrimps with coconut rice, whereas I took mine as advertised with yucca chips. We shared a piece of grandma Pellas’ special rum cake. We both drank Muga Rose this evening; Daisy (the lush) had two glasses while I had a modest one.

20 February 2016

It is traditional in Nicaragua to eat Nacatamal with your family over the weekend, so Sunday morning had to be the day for me to try it at Mukul. Much richer and more yummy than the one we tried in Leon, but what a massive portion for breakfast! Daisy was having none of it and went English style for scrambled eggs and bacon that morning. Wimp.

That evening we returned to La Mesa, the haute cuisine restaurant. There we tried a smoked fishes platter as a starter to share, then I had a wonderful lobster tail dish not vastly different from Daisy’s wonderful lobster tail thingie. Daisy tried a lamb stuffed in cabbage dish, which was also very good. We shared an ice cream/sorbet again. We tried Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay to wash it down; there’ll be some of that left for tomorrow.

21 February 2016

Last breakfast and we both wanted to return to those yummy bagels. So we did.

We both wanted to eat light, as we were getting up so early the next day. So we decided to do without a starter and simply order mains with fries and a salad to share on the side. I tried the shrimp burger – an unusual idea that works well (or at least this particular recipe works well). Daisy tried a more conventional burger with bacon and cheese. (The shrimp burger also has cheese). We went for the shared ice cream/sorbet desert again – we have mixed and matched different flavours across the days, so as not to be samey. Daisy had a glass of tempranillo with her steak, allowing me one and a half of the two remaining glasses of Kendall Jackson.

Overall, for sure we ate well during our week at Mukul and the staff couldn’t have been nicer.

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