Paprika is a new restaurant opened in 2014 by Chef Josefina Santa Cruz. She is the owner of Sesame, the well known Asian restaurant in La Roma neighborhood in Mexico City. She now ventured into a totally different geography, while Sesame is an Asian fusion concept, Paprika is a combination of Mediterranean flavors leaned toward Arab recipes. The restaurant mixes flavors from different countries from Europe to the Middle East. As you walk in you will probably feel you are in the heart of Soho in New York City, with brick walls and a cozy feeling.
The menu is designed to share all the plates amongst your table. This concept also known as mezze is based on the idea of serving a variety of plates in the center of the table so that everybody shares. Portions are small so you can try a variety of dishes and flavors. Here are my recommendations based on the wide menu this restaurant offers.
To start your meal you should order a drink, they have different cocktails with and without alcohol. I ordered the Calcuta drink, that has passion fruit, yogurt and honey. The mix of acid and sweet flavors make it amazing!
For starters we tried the cilantro and the paprika dip, the Iranian rice with cranberries and the Charmoula eggplant with Greek yogurt. We also got the artichoke and the beet salad which comes with some goat cheese.
As main course we got the Salmon Kibe which consists of raw salmon with some lime accompanied with jocoque dip which is made from fermented milk. The salmon Saha is to die for, it is prepared with an herb, nut and tahini crust and it’s a little raw in the center of the filet. My boyfriends favorite dish was the curry sausage in pita bread with purple onion and yogurt. For the deserts we tried a few but nothing grabbed my attention, in my opinion something in the lines of baklava or halva is missing.
Although I won’t lie the dishes are very condimented they bring out the strong flavors in the ingredients. All of the dishes we tried where outstanding. The place itself is extremely quaint and unique for Mexico City. The overall price of the restaurant is extremely reasonable, if you are into middle eastern cooking you will love this restaurant and believe me you will keep going back to try all the dishes.