My friends and I recently visited Tulum, Mexico and attended The Dining Experience, to see what it was all about and try something new. If you’re a social person or someone who wants to meet new people while traveling, this is the dinner for you! Also, it gives a great opportunity to learn more about Mexican cuisine. Read more about our experience and the tasting menu in my complete review below.
Our Evening At The Dining Experience
The Hosts of The Dining Experience have big fun personalities with a LOT of energy! They keep the night going with enthusiasm. As soon as you walk in the door you will feel welcomed by one of the hosts – Luis or Janae. You can tell they both love talking about Mexican food, sharing what they know about Mexican food, and are both very lively – making for excellent dinner party hosts.
To get the night started, drinks are served (mostly Mezcal and Tequila based) in their private cenote in the back of the MangleX Hotel. This was my first ever time seeing a cenote – not going to lie it looked like a swamp, but if you’re into swamps it’s cool. There are a TON of cenotes in this part of Mexico and all of them take on different looks and feels (some are caves, swamps, deep water you can scuba-dive in, shallow water, etc).
As everyone arrives, Luis and Janae make sure you get to know everyone during the meet and greet by the private cenote. Before dinner starts, you have a few more drinks. It’s important to note that to get your money’s worth here you must drink alcohol. You don’t have to but they serve a ton of drinks at this event (unlimited alcohol) so best to come prepared for a night of drinking! You then are seated with your party at a massive table where everyone sits. If you come alone, they’ll put you next to other solo travelers so it’s not awkward.
After we were seated, the hosts walked us through the menu for the evening, which is a 7 step tasting menu by Chef Emme Prieto (see below for what it included). The entire dinner came complete with guidance from the hosts on what’s being served and why it is important to local Mexican cuisine. Overall, the experience was very social and we walked away with happy stomachs and more knowledge on Mexican cuisine.
The Dining Experience: 7 Step Tasting Menu
For starters, we enjoyed prawn and pineapple al pastor skewers, potato-chorizo sope, esquites with garlic aioli and queso fresco. Below were all the dishes that then followed:
- Chaya tostada with huitlacoche, smoked sea salt seasoned chaya salad, avocado, and crunchy leek
- Lionfish ceviche
- Calabaza criolla with tomatillo pipián
- The handmade salsas: tomato, tomatillo, onion, ajo macho, xoconostle, chile morita (red); tomatillo, avocado, serrano, garlic, onion, cilantro (green)
- Pico de gallo: roasted bell pepper, green tomato, lemon juice, ginger, serrano
- Tacos: cauliflower/shredded chicken with guajillo oil
- Mole: smoked turkey with poblano mole
For dessert, we had a cacao mousse with mezcal-infused caramel. And yea, it hit the spot!
The Dining Experience: Location, Cost, & Dress
- The location is inside the MangleX Hotel. We took a taxi to Hotel Rosa Del Viento (known to local taxi drivers and discoverable on Google Maps) and then walked a minute over (it’s across the street).
- The cost is $100 for a 3-4 hour long event. Their website says 3 hours but we were actually there till almost midnight – chatting and what not.
- Dress code is smart casual and it’s outside so bring a scarf in case it gets chilly.
Looking for things to do in Riviera Maya? Check out my friend’s blog at For Two, Please on 10 Unexpectedly Awesome Things To Do In Riviera Maya
Looking for entertainment while eating? Check out Medieval Times, a nationwide event in the U.S.
Traveling abroad and want to dine with locals? Here’s some information on VizEat, an app that helps you connect and dine with locals abroad
Are you a foodie? Then you’ve probably been to San Sebastian, Spain. And if you haven’t, then you need to go.
Afternoon tea for two? Check out, The Langham in Chicago, they serve the most delicious rose tea and a luxury experience.