When you step inside Isla Mexican Kitchen you will be surprised with the interiors. The rich wood tones and industrial light fixtures gives the place a moody vibe even during the day. However the floor-to-ceiling windows allows plenty of light to flood into the dining area. It is a restaurant with two mood settings – bright or dim – just pick your table based on the ambience you want to create!
The decor is sophisticated and sleek in the signature style of Richard Sandoval, the chef-restauranteur behind Isla. His other venues – Toro Toro, and Zengo – have a similar dark, masculine edge to the interior design. Sandoval’s cuisine style across his restaurants is influenced by his appreciation for Pan-American and Asian flavours.
At Isla the food can best be described as modern Mexican cuisine, with a nod to the comforting flavours found in traditional Mexican street food. They serve tacos, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, soups, nachos, and fresh homemade guacamole. They even have an extensive churro dessert menu!
The pleasant outside terrace will be the happening place for dinner and dessert once the evenings grow cooler. The outdoor cabanas provide the perfect spot for a relaxing evening with your friends and family.
There is a useful to-go window outside the restaurant which you definitely need to visit anytime you pass by. They have some excellent gelato flavours that really cannot be missed! The coconut, and the black licorice (puffa) gelato flavours were stellar – creamy and delicious!
Isla Mexican Kitchen
There is always a temptation to dive straight into the main course at a restaurant. But you need to pause a minute to investigate the appetisers on the Isla menu.
The guacamole pomegranate is highly recommended – it’s the dish that just keeps giving on the texture front. The creamy smashed avocado is layered with caramelised walnuts, sweet strawberries and tart pomegranate seeds. Served with crisp tortilla chips that will keep you deliciously munching while you wait for your main course.
The Chicken Zarape from the Isla specials is the dish to try. If this is your first time trying Mexican cuisine and you want to make sure you leave the restaurant satisfied then this is the dish for you.
You are presented with half a chicken covered in a creamy chipotle sauce, with a little fresh salsa and avocado on top. The sides on the dish is a herby coriander rice, and a warming black bean puree. All together the different elements make it a complete meal – it’s definitely the type of dish that will induce fellow diner envy!
We also ordered the lobster tacos for something a little different to the usual protein choice. The dish comes with three flour tortillas with lobster meat drizzled with chili arbor cream, and small pieces of avocado. It is served with a hearty black bean puree and delicious Mexican rice.
It is a very elegant presentation for a taco dish, but don’t be afraid to tuck in and get messy. For those of you looking for more spice you can ask if they have any of their ‘secret’ sauce which the kitchen reserve for this who can handle the heat.
It’s a universal truth that…you cannot visit a Mexican restaurant and leave without trying the churros!
Isla has probably got the best churros in the city – they definitely have the most interesting flavour options such as red velvet churros. They have churro bites, stuffed churros, and a churro ice-cream split! And if you’re not feeling greedy then the portions are definitely big enough to share.
The Caribbean churro is a magnificent dessert construction! Fried churros are covered generously in coconut, and served with pineapple ice cream, whipped cream and a zingy pineapple coulis. Every bite is worth the calories – you will find yourself fighting for the last bite!
Although Isla isn’t an authentic Mexican restaurant the staff always have a warm welcome for diners. They take the time to introduce the menu, and their recommendations are excellent.
Isla is a great spot to explore a sophisticated take on Mexican cuisine, whether you’re visiting for a casual bite or a special dinner.
Location: 2 La Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl- Qatar
Opening Times: 12:00PM until 12:00AM daily except Fridays when it opens at 1:00PM.
Call +974 4409 5285 for more information including reservations.