The only Mexican restaurant participating in Aberdeen Restaurant Week, we wanted to find out what hungry foodies in the north-east could expect from Topolabamba.
Offering a tapas menu for dinner, and a burrito and nibbles for lunch, you’re guaranteed a good feed at an exceptional price.
Keen to showcase a variety of food, head chef Emad Elnwisre has developed a meat and a vegetarian offering which can be enjoyed individually or mixed and matched to suit diners’ tastes.
We caught up with Emad when he was cleaning down after a busy lunch service to find out what his must-have dish would be.
How long have you worked at Topolabamba ?
I’ve worked at Topolabamba for two months and have been the head chef here for one month.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve worked in Aberdeen as a chef for 20 years now. I was the head chef at Mi Amore on Huntly Street for seven years and I moved to Amarone after that. I’m classically trained in French cuisine, but I have been cooking Italian for decades. And now I’m cooking Mexican – I’ve got a great mix of cuisines under my belt which I can ultimately combine.
Tell us about your Aberdeen Restaurant Week menu?
The lunch menu is a good amount of food with the burrito and the nibbles, but the dinner menu is a reflection of what has been some of the most popular dishes since we opened our doors. The ribs are brilliant and the tostadas are extremely good too. It’s a great showcase of what we offer.
We’ve split the menu in half with meat and vegetarian options. There’s so much happening with veganism and vegetarianism right now in Aberdeen so it was important to cater to that. We wanted it to be clear and show that we have just as good a vegetarian offering.
With having both menus you could even come in and share the vegetarian and meat options between friends. All the dishes are designed for sharing so it works so well if people want to try out a few things and it’s all made fresh to order.
Why did you guys get involved in Aberdeen Restaurant Week?
We’ve been involved in ARW since it started last year. January and February tends to be a quieter time of the year in hospitality so the fact it was in February was great. It’s a little before Valentine’s Day so for those not wanting to go out on the big day itself, ARW is the perfect time to go out and enjoy new places.
What are you most looking forward to about Aberdeen Restaurant Week?
It gets people out and about and a lot of my friends in Aberdeen headed out for it. I personally went to three places I’d never been before so it’s a great opportunity to get a taste for restaurants you’ve not visited at a really reasonable price too.
What’s the one dish diners need to try?
The honey ribs are very good and the burrito for lunch is another I’d highly recommend. They’re pretty big to be honest and it’s healthy enough so it will definitely keep you full. The guacamole tostadas are brilliant and are a great vegetarian option.
And what would you say is your top cooking tip?
I love to cook at home and really enjoy it. I find it very relaxing so I guess its just focusing on relaxing and enjoying it.