To celebrate Dia de los Muertos, my friend and I decided to try the newly opened Mexican restaurant in New Westminster Station, Original’s Cafe Mexicano. We were not disappointed.
As soon as you walk inside, you notice how refreshingly spacious and colourful the place is. You enter through a small cafe space with an espresso counter, and further into the restaurant is a more sophisticated atmosphere with a bar and elevated seating. The restaurant is a harmonic hybrid of modern and traditional, featuring trendy yet timeless Aztec walls, cultural decor pieces, gorgeous urban furniture, traditional music, and charming Dia de los Muertos decorations.
My friend and I had a full-course meal, and we thought our stomachs were going to explode afterwards. I do not recommend doing what we did — their main course was plenty filling on its own. We had tortilla soup as an appetizer, which was delightful, but quite hefty. If you’re there with a friend, and you really want an appetizer, I suggest that you plan to share a delicious main dish. The menu is authentic and gorgeous, and contains many options for meat-eaters, from chicken to lamb, and quite an inviting array for vegetarians as well.
Unfortunately for vegans such as myself, there is literally cheese in everything — but, without counting the cheese, many meals are vegan-friendly, full of nutrients, and equally as delightful and filling as a meat dish. The refried black beans, for instance, were amazing, of a perfect consistency and anything but mundane.
The dessert is nothing short of legendary. I ordered a coffee and a chocolate cake, and my friend opted for a horchata latte and flan cake. We were both blown away by the quality of the beverages and dessert. Their coffee was smooth and rich, and even though I drank it black, there was no wince-inducing bitterness. It perfectly complimented the chocolate cake, which was flavorful but not too sweet, and the perfect texture between airy and dense.
My friend described the horchata latte as a “gentle hug from a cinnamon sheep,” and I laughed for about 10 minutes straight. What is horchata, you ask? It is a traditional beverage made of almonds, rice, cinnamon, and other spices that essentially tastes like a smoother and milkier chai latte without the dairy. We agreed that we would swing by again even just to order the dessert and coffee.
To top it off, the servers were kind and thoughtful, helping us decide between the many choices offered by the menu. Our food was brought promptly and there was a timely balance between the courses. I highly recommend this restaurant for an authentic yet modern dining experience.