little mexico

Courtesy of Jood Shiqem

Ukhruj: Little Mexico

A little Mexico in our backyard.

Oct 9, 2016

I appreciate the dining hall. I really do. I am not trying to be sarcastic. I think it’s reasonably diverse, has okay food and most importantly, is somewhat free. However, even though there’s always dal to throw on my rice, a chicken steak to complement my salad or a falafel wrap for a quick meal, I still get bored of the dining hall sometimes. I am sure I’m not alone when I say that I just can’t have three meals a day for seven days a week in the dining hall. This is why, a few days ago, I headed out to one of the lesser known restaurants on Saadiyat Island: Little Mexico. This restaurant is so close to us that you can have lunch and still make it back in time for your next class.
Little Mexico is a cute, somewhat discrete restaurant that — shocker — is not in the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. It’s located inside the Saadiyat Beach Residences. Drive into the residential complex, take the first left and it’s right there. The indoor space has been recently renovated. Outside, there’s a smoker-friendly area overlooking the pool, with ceiling fans to help you get through the heat.
The food is relatively cheap in comparison to other options on Saadiyat Island. A friend and I got two fajitas, one beef and one shrimp, with two drinks and nachos to share; we ended up paying a total of 130 AED. The food is pretty good; it was spiced just right, presented nicely and it gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling which follows a good meal.
My only concern is that the portions are a little small, and you’ll need that extra appetizer to fill you up. Not many vegan-friendly options are available, but you can definitely just go for mocktails, Jarritos or iced coffee.
I always get a little annoyed when people come up to me and say that there are no places to go to in Abu Dhabi or that Saadiyat Island is just limited to the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. There are so many places to visit, so many things to see and so much good food to have. If you stay on campus or keep going to that one shisha café, you’re not going to get a taste of the city. Little Mexico is in our backyard, and why would you not want to have a taco every day?
I don’t want to support staying in, but I feel like I must share this fact: they deliver. The menu is quite extensive; the restaurant has a breakfast and brunch section, snacks, tortas, tacos, burritos, salads, pastries, churros, fajitas and shared platters.
Jood Shiqem is a contributing writer. Email her at
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