Fresh and flavoursome ingredients and more than a touch of heat come together in unusual ways for summer eating and drinking at Mexico.

This week, Mexico’s new summer menu is out, and it’s muy bueno. Earlier this year, executive chef Peter Jackson ate and drank his way through Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca and Mazunte, and on his return to New Zealand, created an entire summer menu based on the three weeks he spent there.

Peter took his inspiration from the incredible array of street food stalls, markets, restaurants, roadside stands and vendors walking the streets offering food from baskets. He fell in love with their simplicity of how the dishes all come together. The food is about flavour and ingredients – quality rather than quantity – and each part to each dish stands on its own, but also marries beautifully with other flavours and textures.

New dishes include the tamale with goat birria (a slow-cooked stew), olives, queso blanco and micro coriander, the chicken plancha in mole amarillo, chiles en nogada with tomatillo and pomegranate arils (pictured) and the incredibly delicious prawn and chorizo empanadas. There are four luscious desserts on the menu, including the standout Mexican buñuelos made with nutmeg spiced apple, cajeta, xocolate ganache, and sweet corn ice cream.

The cocktail department has also been busy coming up with four new Frida’s Margarita flavours in time for the hot weather. With flavours like red apple and salted caramel, melon and mint, pink grapefruit and chamomile, and peach and vanilla, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose just one. Plus, there are five new “cocteles” lovingly crafted by members of the wider Mexico team from around the country.

Of course, chef Peter Jackson has left room on the menu for the classic favourites that never go out of season – spicy fried chicken, spicy fried cauliflower florets, chimichangas and churros. There are also eight dishes created just for vegans. So if there’s one thing you can be sure about Mexico this summer, it’s that nobody is going home hungry.

Chiles en nogada with tomatillo and pomegranate arils


Mexican buñuelos

Frida’s Margaritas