Dinner at Cetli Restaurant in Tulum

by foodhoe on July 1, 2018

Well hello there!  It has been a long time since my last post, but I’m still here and want to share with you some amazing food I’ve enjoyed recently. Last spring, we went on an adventure, traveling to the far northeastern end of the Yucatán peninsula in Mexico to Quintana Roo.  We visited Tulum with its breathtaking views of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean ocean, white sandy beaches and lowland jungle areas dotted with ancient Mayan ruins, cenotes (water-filled sinkholes), limestone caves, with a surprising number of incredible world-class restaurants.  We stayed in town  at a lovely Airbnb, rather than at a hotel or resort and loved the experience.

Mayan Ruins in Tulum

This was my favorite meal in Tulum, it is an enchanting restaurant run by chef Claudia Perez Rivas, celebrated for its focus on pre-hispanic traditional Mexican cuisine.

It is located on a quiet side street in the downtown Pueblo area and you feel like you are walking into someone’s home filled with beautiful artwork and full of eclectic personality and charm.

Mr. K began the meal with a shot of tequila served in a beautiful ceramic shot glass with lime slices dipped in chili.

Our server came by with a complimentary platter full of delectable appetizers: mini empanadas filled with beans and cheese, a seductive garlic butter wrapped in a corn husk to spread on the warm home made bread, beet jam with queso fresco, soft Requeson cheese (mild like ricotta) with tomatoes and herbs, orange segments topped with fried grasshoppers and chili salt that tastes a bit like Tajin, black bean sopas and mild green chilli salsa.


We could watch the chef working from our table, she had one person helping her in the kitchen and two servers. With this bare bones setup, she creates dishes based on her family recipes as a labor of love, grinding her own spices and herbs on her great grandmothers stone matate.

I loved this crispy salad called Xicamatl, full of intense bright flavors, green chaya (Mexican spinach) shredded carrots, jicama and beets with a vibrant citrus vinaigrette and nutty flavors from toasted almonds and sesame seeds.

The rice was served in corn husk packages like chubby tamales, infusing its flavors into the pilaf.

I had to order the Chile en Nogada, a specialty of the house, I order this dish whenever I see it on the menu after reading Laura Esquivel’s delicious novel, Like Water for Chocolate.  This is a traditional dish made to celebrate Mexican Independence Day with the colors of the Mexican flag.  An oven roasted poblano pepper stuffed with a savory and flavorful filling of minced beef & pork, prune, raisins, pineapple cinnamon, in a rich creamy walnut, cheese and sherry sauce (some call it a type of mole) decorated with pomegranate and parsley. It was so beautiful and full of lush savory flavors, tender soothing textures and even a bit of heat from the chile!

Mr. K had the grilled fish of the day Yeyetzi, fish prepared with sweet and sour Tamarind sauce with lime and sour cream

We were stuffed but couldn’t resist trying the Cetli For dessert, a Mexican sweet corn cake with dark chocolate  and kahlua sauce. Warm, soft and not too sweet, the earthy elegant sauce completes the dessert.

We had such a lovely meal, the atmosphere of the restaurant is cozy and intimate, my only complaint (which has nothing to do with the restaurant itself) was the mosquitos! Everyone went outside at some point to dose themselves with bug spray.

The loo is in a separate room out back so you get to wander through the lush garden to find it.

Our server called for a taxi to come pick us up, we got delicious peanut candies with our bill, I just loved everything about this restaurant!

CARRETERA 109 TUlum coba Km 2.5, Villas Tulum, Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
+52 984 108 0681
Thur – Tue 5pm – 10pm

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirk July 10, 2018 at 9:33 am

Very nice! Great to have a new post too!


grace July 10, 2018 at 10:38 am

how awesome! not only does the food look amazing, but the atmosphere must be unbeatable! love the shot of the mayan ruins especially–very cool.


Anne July 23, 2018 at 9:11 am

Glad you’re back to posting. What a gorgeous setting and food – thanks for sharing it!


palma raja 4 October 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm

Wow, the place is so beautiful. The recipes look wonderful.
If one to be there it will provides such fantastic feeling and so much joy for enjoying the food.
So peaceful without any distraction.


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