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EVERYTHING AT THIS SLEEK AND ATTRACTIVELY CURVACEOUS RESTAURANT points to the grill — 10 metres of open fire fuelled by wood and charcoal. For many a contemporary chef, the set-up is a fantasy playground. Still, open-fire cooking requires much discipline and experience. Fortunately, chef Steven Molnar and his team are up to the challenge. Six years in, the dining experience here has emphatically never been better. It begins, logically, with flavourful, aromatic and correctly elastic tortillas, made daily from imported Mexican corn nixtamalized and double-ground on-site. Ceviches and aguachiles are bright and refreshing, texturally complex and well balanced. Standout dishes include lusciously succulent smoked sweetbread with a butternut-squash mole fragrant with clove and canella. Grilled Argentine shrimp with smoky roast veal marrow glazed with honey is a supremely winning combination. Elevated riffs on classic Mexican street food, such as pork al pastor, are also delightful. Even vegetarian dishes crackle with flavour. Desserts are finessed and imaginative (tres leches cake and horchata cream meet sea buckthorn). The room is boisterous and the atmosphere vibrant. Service is highly professional. The wine list overseen by Matthew Kopysh is solid and rich in smart choices complementing big flavours, but sometimes the excellent cocktails seem best poised to complement the smoke and spice. A Burro Borracho, anyone?

Quetzal is the total package. Matthew Liang
The chef’s counter with a view of the open fire (but don’t wear your finest threads, as you’ll leave smelling like a pit master).