Tiny Gecko-Isla Mujeres 2022

April13

One day in March, just as the sun was setting on the opposite edge of the island, we made our way along the malecon to this building with an unusual shape, reminiscent of the flatiron building in Manhattan.

All these good souls had gathered for a different reason to ours. They were wonderfully entertained by the lovely fellow Canadian Rease Warner who I found out later is the niece of another Islaholic and friend of ours.

We were there to sample the delights from the Tiny Gecko kitchen. Our first taste was this delicious spin on standard garlic toast. It had been unusually elevated by a sweet chili sauce which came off beautifully-the sweet, balancing the salty/savoury flavours.

The chef and his apprentice delivered these dishes simultaneously. First up was a creamy shellfish stuffed conch. Five delectable seafoods-octopus, shrimp, fish, squid and conch itself had been chopped and blended with white wine, garlic, parmesan cheese and two kinds of cream. There was so much seafood, it overflowed the cavity of the conch. The dish was totally unique and absolutely lovely.

Next up was the best octopus I had ever tasted on the island. Glistening with freshness, the tendrils had been basted in chili sauce and crowned the base of a grilled pineapple. There were two side dishes-one of seaweed with sesame oil and pepitas and the other a mango/jicama salsa, perfectly balanced and enhanced the hearty octopus.

My favourite dish of the evening was a fish filet rolled in crushed nuts and panko flakes and then grilled in an amazing tamarind sauce. The dark lighting doesnt do the dish (adorned with seaweed and a savoury rice) justice. Can you make out the image of a turtle made with rice and garnished with blackened sesame seeds? It was exceptional on the plate and on the palate!

Chef Paulino Medina was the creator of these works of food art assisted by his apprentice Pedro Damien Gracia who appears below. The chef has been given carte blanche by the Tiny Gecko owner and is a shining star on the local scene.

The culinary team shared the limelight with the creator of these exquisite cookies. We bought one for each of our grandchildren.

The 12 year old baker who is currently in cancer treatment, was selling these to help pay for his own chemotherapy. He is pictured with Raguel Rodriguez the owner of Tiny Gecko and philanthropic citizen of the island. There were other fund raising opportunities too as the cookie-baker is also being supported by LeanonMeIslamujeres.com and their miracle working team including Tammi and Mae who I consider new friends. We went to taste some delicious fare and came away with a renewed desire to support the beautiful locals of Isla Mujeres.

Kath’s quote: “I am still convinced that a good, simple, homemade cookie is preferable to all the store-bought cookies one can find.”- James Beard

Love is all.


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