Test Kitchen Hong Kong
158A Connaught Road West - Shop 3 - Sa Ying Pun
999077 Hong Kong
Chef Luis Aguilar (Safari, Tulum Mexico) X TEST KITCHEN
Dates: 30th May – 2nd June, 2019
Time: 7:00pm & 8:15pm seatings
Price: $980 Menu | $480 Drinks Pairing | $180 Corkage
Location: 158A Connaught Road West, Shop 3, Sai Ying Pun
Chef Luis Aguilar is bringing his award-winning Mexican dishes all the way from the hipster haven of Tulum on the Caribbean coast. Aguilar worked as a chef around the world, from New York to Spain, the Bahamas to New Zealand, before returning home and setting up Safari in Tulum Mexico, his relaxed, funky upscale taqueria nestled in the jungle on Tulum’s beach road, where most of the cooking takes place in a genuine 1971 Airstream ‘Safari’ trailer which gives the restaurant its name.
His real Mexican cuisine at Test Kitchen shows how his cooking has matured still further since his 2017 visit and demonstrates the true tastes, culture and ingredients of the Yucatan Peninsula in a series of sensational dishes, as he explains:
“The Yucatan Peninsula is an area where three states – Quinata Roo, Campeche & Yucatan – combine incredible culture from the Mayans, the area’s ancient people. This part of Central America was known as the Mesamerica and our food is inspired by these Yucatan Peninsula flavors with our unique jungle twists, always respecting the hints and subtle notes of each ingredient.”
His family-style cuisine starts with salsa madre that alone features 12 ingredients, an explosion of flavours from vibrant tomatoes, chilis and more. Diners will also feast on house-made corn tortillas with avocado and pickled red onion, pan-seared fish with blistered shishito peppers but most of all a stunning lechon whole roast suckling pig with recado blanco, a Yucatecan condiment featuring pineapple, oregano, bay leaf, castilla & tabasco peppercorns, agave honey and much more besides.
Chef Luis Aguilar (Safari, Tulum Mexico) Menu
Habanero Sea Tuna, shells, spices ash, watermelon, shallots.
Lechon Yucateco Vegetables escabeches, herbs, salsa verde, corn salbutes.
Fire Roasted Pulpo Guajillo tortilla, espelon, chick pea sprouts.
Poc Chuc Wagyu Pomegranate reduction, shishito toreado, grilled onions, greens.
Robalo Vanilla confit, cacao mole, rice.
Horchata de Coco Tapioca, flan, crumbles.
Chile de arbol
Sikil’pak – pumkin seed spread
Passion fruit mezcal habanero
Craft Beers & Wine
About Chef Luis Aguilar (Tulum, Mexico) Executive Chef/Part Owner @ Safari:
Chef Luis Aguilar was born in Durango in Northwest Mexico between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Occidental. After high school, he moved to Vancouver for an English degree where he got his first kitchen job as a dishwasher. He immediately got hooked into the kitchen rush, observing the cooks, smelling the garlic frying with olive oil, how that “organized chaos” had a place.
He then enrolled in culinary school in Austin, Texas, at the renowned Le Cordon Bleu program. He was first hired at The Hilton in downtown Austin but his curiosity soon took him to Europe, namely Valencia in Spain. Thereafter it was to The Bahamas and Miami before a move to Playa del Carmen and 3 years at Ula Gula Restaurant, where Chef Fran del Piero was his mentor.
Then it was a year’s working holiday in New Zealand, learning about wine, before he ended up in Australia at Sydney’s Rojo Rocket Mexican Cuisine. He joined Tacombi group in New York in 2012, playing a very important roll in the culinary program and growing the group from one to four locations. One cold winter, he took a quick trip back home from NY to the palm beaches, turquoise water and jungle of Tulum – somewhere he realised would become his home again.
In 2015 he started Safari after finding a vintage 1971 Airstream which became “the kitchen” of his own restaurant.
Vincent Mui, Founder Test Kitchen comment
“Chef Luis has a great passion for true flavours based on impeccable technique and the finest quality ingredients. They stunned us with their brilliant dishes the first time around. I’m super excited to have him back in Hong Kong!” #testkitchenhk