So I don’t think anyone has questioned my zeal for Mexican food – or at least food from a certain corner of Mexico which has percolated to our shores. (The day mole becomes widely available here will be a very good day.) But if someone were to question this for some reason… well, that’s why I’m putting this out here first. Would Babette write about any Mexican place they come across? Anything that serves a burrito?
Baja Fresh has a bunch of locations around Singapore, but the nicest in my view is the one at Rendezvous Hotel. Mind, most of the niceness comes from the hotel, not the restaurant – Baja Fresh occupies a nice street-facing corner, but it occupies it with such aggressive blandness – cracked leather chairs, tables which would not look out of place at KFC. Not to mention covering half the glass walls with advertisements.
None of that is a problem, of course, if the food is good. At Baja Fresh you don’t get to choose your burrito fillings; instead, a set is a burrito in one of a few styles, with one of a few fillings. This then comes with a drink, and a pack of nachos – the proper, slightly resilient kind that bend and snap rather than crisp. Dipped in the black, mildly spiced salsa, it’s not bad at all.
The burrito’s skin is on the hard side, but pork carnitas is appropriately, drippingly moist. Salsa and guacamole is adequate. And yet it feels like the don’t come together as they should – it’s creamy avocado on one side, ripe and juicy tomatoes on another, facing the pork. They connect as much as an estranged couple responding to their work emails over coffee.
Unsure if I should be disappointed, I look up at the sign painted over the free-flow salsa bar.
Look, I get it. None of us want to tell little Walter Tomato that not every kid gets to be an astronaut. Sometimes you just get diced up and served at a serviceable fast-service burrito chain instead. (The tomatoes, not the kids.) And that’s okay! That’s just the way things are. Baja Fresh is not bad at all – pity it isn’t any better than that either.
Baja Fresh Mexican Grill
9 Bras Basah Road
Rendezvous Hotel, #01-03
Contact no.: 6337 7300
Mon – Thurs: 8.30am – 10pm
Fri – Sun: 8.30am – 11pm