Last Saturday, after a play in a small theatre in Polanco, in Mexico City, my wife and I searched for a place to eat dinner before we went home. We were looking for something casual, like a classic taquería to order tacos de pastor. As we were strolling around in the city, we discovered Biko, a Spanish and Mexican modern fusion fine-dining restaurant and was rated number 10 of one of the 50 Worlds Best Restaurants of 2016.
Biko is the creation of Basque chefs Mikel Alonso and Bruno Oteiza, who skilfully blend flavours from their homeland with Mexican ingredients. The cutting-edge technique of fellow Spanish chef Gerard Bellver, influenced by his time at El Bulli, adds another layer of complexity to the restaurant’s highly original formula. The restaurant is named after the Basque word ‘bikote’, which means ‘couple’ and reflects the union of Basque and Mexican cuisines
Obviously we were not dressed to the occasion as we were in jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. What are the chances of us getting a table and with no reservations? Well, it didn’t hurt to try.
My Experience at Biko
Biko is located in Polanco, one of the most exclusive areas in Mexico City and often you have to wear the right attire if you want to get a table in some of the best restaurants located in this zone.
When you arrive at Biko restaurant, it can be a bit tricky as the entrance is a little hidden. From the street you only see a wall art painted with the menu and you have to take an elevator to the restaurant. Already we felt it’s exclusiveness as we entered the restaurant and we haven’t even tried the food.
As we approached the hostess to see if she had a table available for us, we were expecting to get turned away. We were in luck! Turns out they’re not super strict in their dress code. All though a dress code is not a deal breaker, they do recommend you wear business casual or formal clothes and definitely make a reservation. We may have just had luck on our side. Can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience as we did.
As you enter the restaurant you can’t help to notice it’s interior design, which mixes light and dark; black slate and grey steel are offset by sand-coloured wood. Mexico City’s busy Avenue Presidente Mazaryk can be glimpsed through floor-to-ceiling slats across the windows, which diffuse the light to atmospheric effect. Now don’t get intimidated by the menu, as you’re not required to be a fine-dining expert, the waitress is very helpful by explaining the dishes and will guide you through your ordering process. The menu is split into two with traditional Spanish plates of bacalao and jamon contrasting with a list of highly inventive fusion dishes. Think foie gras candy floss or prawns accompanied by a powder made from their heads. Personally, we felt two courses was sufficient, however, if you’re really hungry order the four courses recommended by the chef.
My wife ordered Sopa de Maíz Quemado, a soup made with burnt corn and Pescado Empapelado, paper wrapped fish. I ordered Crema de Amaranto, creamy amaranth and Lechón al Limón, lemon shredded pork. One course was enough to satisfy us, as it was the exact portion we eat at home. But we couldn’t leave without trying dessert, which was a small praline cake and a matcha cake with fresh fruit (mango, strawberry, zapote, cherry). I have to admit, the attention to detail was impressive and the meal was exquisite.
Overall, we had an elegant experience. My wife and I concluded that this restaurant was designed for serious cuisine foodies who only want to focus in the food and its flavors. If you’re looking to catch up with a loud group of friends, Biko is definitely not the place for that. You can always have coffee afterwards at a different location to catch up and be loud. But I can guarantee if you decide to dine at Biko, you won’t want to talk. You’ll be too busy enjoying what’s in front of you. Expect a mouthwatering explosion experience.
Biko Restaurant, Presidente Masaryk 407, Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Follow them on Instagram: @bikomx