Ophelia Mexican Kitchen

165 W 2nd Ave, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 800-5253

Web: https://www.opheliakitchen.ca/

Instagram: @opheliavancouver

Advice: Advance reservations suggested.

Specializing in authentic south-of-the-border Mexican cuisine, Executive Chef Francisco Higareda named this wonderful restaurant after his mother, Ophelia.

As I love Mexican cuisine I am always searching to find a wonderful Mexican eatery with great food, unique dishes and a wonderful ambience. Chef Francisco Higareda opened Ophelia Mexican Kitchen with his partners last summer during the pandemic and it’s one of those places that took me far too long to visit. Back in June of this year I finally had a chance to visit and eat on their outside patio with a friend. I went back in August for another round with a friend on the patio yet again;  and in late September I returned for more deliciousness dining inside the restaurant with more friends.

As you can now tell I am in love with this restaurant, as well as Chef Francesco’s cooking. I have tried many dishes over my visits and some I have enjoyed repeatedly. Each table is served House-made taco chips and salsa trio complementary to tempt the tastebuds. I loved the Tuna Tostada with it’s fresh Sliced Ahi Tuna, Chipotle Aioli, Burnt Salsa, Avocado Purée top of a crispy shell.

I have tried a couple of their tacos, loved the Carnitas Taco with it’s Pork Confit, Cilantro and Onion, Chili De Arbol, Salsa, Corn Tortilla as well as the Vegan Taco with Corn Tortilla, Guajillo Marinated Portobello Mushroom, Cilantro & Onion, and Spicy Almond Sauce.

The Pollo en Mole de La Casa is a roasted half chicken with creamed tomato rice, sauteed green beans and a house mole that is made fresh daily by Chef Francesco and as he explained to me it features over 75 ingredients and he always adds more which creates an incredible mole which will be different each day. On my last visit I also ordered the Milpa Tortilla, an order of 3 made with wild corn from Oaxaca and it went perfectly with some of the delicious mole. Another unique and delicious dish is the Enchiladas Gratinadas which has layered corn tortillas like a lasagna, braised chicken covered in a poblano sauce, it is done very differently than the enchiladas we have all had in the past.

For dessert, the ChocoFlan was delicious with it’s dense chocolate, cajeta, walnut ice cream, topped with a churro; I also tried the Tres Leche Cake this yummy “Three Milks” Rum Soaked White Cake, was topped with Berry Compote, House-Made Lime Whipped Cream Pistachio Crumble.

This is a neighborhood gem worthy of your patronage, I can’t wait to return to discover more of his complex mole’s and other dishes.

Review by: Richard Wolak