Mexico’s most acclaimed chef has brought his unique blend of creative cuisine to Cabo San Lucas.
Enrique Olvera – whose Mexico City-based Pujol is currently considered one of the 20 best restaurants in the world – premiered his latest venture Manta at The Cape: A Thompson Hotel in July 2015.
The name of the restaurant has a double meaning: manta is the Spanish word for "blanket" – a nod to the comfortable surroundings – but it also references the manta ray, symbolizing Olvera’s commitment to sourcing fresh, local seafood.
Chef Enrique Olvera at Manta at The Cape: A Thompson Hotel. — Photo courtesy of Thomas Hart Shelby
Manta is a showcase for Pacific Rim fusion cuisine, with Japanese and Peruvian accents added to regionally sourced seafood and traditional Mexican ingredients.
“Baja has a Pacific influence,” Olvera says. “That’s why we’re playing around with Peruvian and Japanese flavors: because a sashimi, a tiradito and a Mexican ceviche all share a common language.”
Multi-course tasting menus are the preferred dinner option at Manta, and Olvera has customized the menu so that approximately 15 to18 of the restaurant's 30 dishes are available on a nightly basis.
This rotating menu concept is specifically catered to hotel guests, so that those dining at Manta several nights in a row need never sample the same dish twice.
Olvera has long been known for his quirky sense of humor, and much of the success of Pujol and subsequent ventures is rooted in the chef’s ability to provide consistently surprising flavor combinations and to poke fun at the pretentiousness of fine dining by subverting haute cuisine with elements from Latin American street food.
“I love the precision of fine dining, and I love the power of street food. The flavor of it. The soul of it," Olvera explains. "So we’re trying to bring in that soul from the street food and combine it with the attention to detail and execution of fine dining.”
Olvera’s attention to detail at Manta extends to his hand-picked sommelier and a relatively small but impressive wine list that offers some perfect pairing options from Baja California’s (and Mexico’s) finest wine region – Valle de Guadalupe – as well as other premier growing regions around the globe.
As amazing as the food and wines are at Manta, however, the star attraction may be the views.
The restaurant, like each of the 161 stylish rooms and suites at The Cape, features spectacular vantages from which to appreciate the evocatively shaped granite rock formations that extend to Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas.
The Cape is set on Monuments Beach, a legendary local surf site near Sunset Point, the latter so named because its privileged geographic position allows picture-perfect looks at local landmarks like El Arco and Lover’s Beach, as the sun sinks behind them in an explosion of tropical color.
Thompson, along with sister brand Joie de Vivre, is managed by the larger Commune Hotels + Resorts. The Cape is the first Thompson property in México, but another is expected to open later this year in Playa del Carmen.