“Much Ado about Muchas Gracias”

What struck me most when I walked into Muchas Gracias, was the joyful décor, beautifully done to complement the first solely Mexican eatery in Male’ city. The relaxed and colourful atmosphere call for equally fun celebrations, and it’s no wonder that families and friends choose this restaurant for special occasions.

Opened about 3 months ago, Muchas Gracias continues to enjoy an enthusiastic crowd, with regulars opting to recharge their batteries during lunchtime, while the evening sees many newcomers walking in from the quiet side street off Ameer Ahmed Magu.

This is the owners’ first food related venture, and they are understandably cautious, introducing a varied yet limited menu, adding and adjusting according to local tastes and demands. Whatever they are doing, they seem to be doing well, since the food is absolutely gorgeous, not too light, not too heavy, just really tasty.

Having developed a liking for Mex-tex food while overseas, and since there was no place in Male’ offering mainly Mexican fare, the owners were in no doubt as to which cuisine they wanted to provide. Which is just as well, since Mexico being oceans away, and the colourful food already being something we hankered after (food programmes and movies to blame), there was a huge demand in place already. Besides, as they pointed out, when roshi and filling with a spicy kick are involved, it is bound to be well-received in the Maldives.

Muchas Gracias also attracts the ex-pat community, as well as tourists, despite the restaurant being tucked away from the bigger busier roads. The internet play a big role these days in drawing the customers, and being ever so picturesque, the restaurant need not worry about spreading the word. In fact, the décor and food being perfect for Instagram, the owners also provide a couple of elaborate sombreros which customers are welcome to don for photographs.

Although they offer take-away service, the place is too gorgeous and atmosphere too relaxed and fun to leave. And let’s face it, one big part of eating restaurant food is, well, just eating AT the restaurant.

The light meals and snacks being ideal for lunch, and it all taking a short time to be ready, what could be more ideal for a quick escape from work? Take care not to leave any telltale signs though, as the tacos are absolutely dripping with cheese and all things nice, with the salsa and guacamole all being equally irresistible. Having said that, the tacos are also packed with fresh vegetables, so if you’re not a salad kind of person, here’s a pain free way to ensure you get some goodness.

Popular items such as Nachos Supreme are made for sharing, and that is as good an excuse as any, to drag your loved ones to the restaurant. A little bit of this and that makes for a taste riot in every bite.  In addition to the Mexican staples such as tacos, enchiladas, quesadilla, fajitas, guacamole and salsa, favourites such as burgers and steaks are also available at Muchas Gracias, but expect the unexpected, as they do put twists in the plot.

And talk about the drinks! With this unrelenting hot weather, the selection of smoothies, mocktails, coolers and fresh juices are more than welcome. Hello Pina Colada.

And then. Churros alone are enough to get me to try new places. And churros at Muchas Gracias are quite up there in terms of taste and texture. Simple as the dessert may seem, when the owner explained all the factors which contribute to a good churro, a good good churro is much appreciated.

Much appreciation also to the owners Nimal and Chikko, who took the time to guide us through the exciting Mexican fare. We wish you continued success with the restaurant.

Words by Fasah Ahmed

Photos by Muchas Gracias