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Why Fuego in Cape Town is this Summer’s hot spot

This popular taco joint in Sea Point is now fully licensed and serves epic tequila based cocktails. Don't miss out.

03 Oct 2017

(image: Fuego Faceook) 

Dominican New Yorker turned Capetonian, Jennifer Fernandez opened Fuego in January 2017. This one of a kind taco taqueria (taco joint) and cocktail bar serves sexy Latin dishes along with thirst-quenching cocktails.

Don’t miss the popular taco bowls, which include seasoned rice or quinoa with corn, beans, mixed greens, tomatoes, and chipotle sauce and the popular drunken chicken taco. Of course you can’t leave without ordering the classic churros served with chocolate or caramel.

Cocktail highlights include the popular grapefruit coco cocktail (tequila reposado, served with fresh grapefruit juice, coconut liqueur and a touch of fresh lime) and hibiscus rose (tequila reposado shaken with rosewater, hibiscus and lime juice, with a dash of orange bitters) to name just a few. Currently, all cocktails have a tequila base.

Jennifer sat down to answer a few questions on what this sexy, inviting restaurant has to offer its guests... 

What was the inspiration for Fuego? 

The inspiration for Fuego came when Jennifer decided to move to Cape Town. Seeing a great time and opportunity to discover Cape Town, and being of Latin descent, she wanted to open a restaurant specialising in the cuisine she was most passionate about. Jennifer has travelled to Mexico frequently and has also taken culinary courses in Mexico, where she learned to make a variety of salsas, tortillas and sopes from scratch. With a love for tacos and margaritas, Jennifer aims to take her family’s traditional dishes, her diverse influences as a native New Yorker, and her culinary courses to create a Latin American Taqueria offering different Latin dishes in a taco. With very few Latin American restaurants in Cape Town, Jennifer also wanted to bring a bit of her heritage to her new home. 

Why Fuego? 

Fuego means fire in Spanish. This name was chosen as it is a descriptor for something cool, as in, “that’s hot,” but also as a description of the food. Mexican cuisine uses a lot of hot spice in its food, but many other countries such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic do not. What Latin American cuisine has in common is flavourful and savoury food that is far from bland. 

Why tacos? 

Mexican, and Latin American cuisine in general, has become such a staple in the US that many people, even those with no Latin heritage, enjoy tacos. Anything can be added to tacos, which are designed to be easy to eat with one hand. This is why traditional tacos are made to be small. Tacos were invented with the intention of being able to walk and eat at the same time, making them the perfect street food.

What does the interior offer?

Fuego offers home-style cooking in an upmarket, modern design with clean lines. This trend has become popular in New York, resulting in a dining experience that is up-scale while still being laid-back and familiar. To create a Latin American look without stereotypical elements such as sombreros, the interior was kept subtle through the use of yellow and green colours in the front of house. In the bathroom, unexpected touches such as pineapples and palms add a tropical ambience, representing the beaches of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Colombia. Copper was chosen for its warm, off-setting the restaurants touches of oak and white marble perfectly.

What traditional influences are found on menu?

Many of the recipes come from Jennifer's mother, aunt and grandmother. Says Jennifer of her grandmothers culinary influence, “My grandmother taught me how to make beans and sofrito when I was 9 years old. She was very old school and she thought I was already late in age for not knowing how to cook beans or cut a platano “plantain.”

What does Fuego offer Cape Town foodies?

Fuego offers authentic Latin cuisine that fuses traditional family recipes with an inviting space and contemporary twists. Unique flavours are added to create unusual dishes that combine traditional staples with exotic flavours. The result is a truly unforgettable menu that is inspiring and imaginative.

BOOK a table before it's too late! 

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