Thursday, January 10, 2013

aquiles 744 Bistro and Supper Club

A new, and distinctly different restaurant has opened within the last six months in Morelia. Our friend Rose Calderone, of Casona Rosa enthusiastically recommended it. It's called aquiles 744, and it's located in a corner of the Hotel Pórtico, at Aquiles Serdán 744, Centro, Morelia. A couple of young men have dared to venture beyond the typical dismal fare of the comida China cheapy buffets that dot the city, and have instead presented us with a fresh, "small plates" approach to dishes from China, Japan, Korea, but especially, Southeast Asia.

The restaurant is located across the street from the very different Spaghetteria Giancarlo, which was reviewed here earlier. It presents itself as "aquiles 744. Bistro and Supper Club". That's very cool, but really, there's nothing bistro or supper club about it. But I won't club them over the head for that conceit.

Entrance to the side of the main door to the Hotel Pórtico
I was more than a little skeptical about the pan Asian approach, especially considering that Morelia is so far from cosmopolitan dining sensibilities, but I tried to keep an open mind.

The space is very small but intelligently arranged and the seating is comfortable. The lighting is supplemented by large glass windows.

I was pleasantly surprised how good our meal was, but of of course, we liked some of the "small plates" of food better than others. I do have some reservations regarding their approach to dining; and that is that there are no "platos fuertes" or main courses, nor "guarniciones" or accompanying vegetables, etc. It's a place where small plates of distinctive, Asian derived platillos are meant to be shared. We did that, and from this viewpoint, it was very enjoyable and fun. But if you are looking for an in depth menu and a major feed of Asian food, you may be less satisfied.

We began with some very well made Wontons Camarones. They were so good that we ordered a second round. They were thin and perfectly fried, with a savory shrimp paste filling. The intense red sauce added much to this appetizer.

Wontons Camarón
I had "Camarones Chili", which is an interpretation of Singapore Chili Crab. I chose a rather low level of picoror chile heat, having barely survived a recent dish of Camarones a la Diabla at La Mesa de Blanca. At $120 pesos, it was the most expensive dish on the reasonably priced menu. Like many dishes at aquiles 744, it's served over a sticky and delicious short grain rice.

Camarones Chili

Rose had an Ensalada Thai.

I had a small taste and thought it was o.k., but not the best of its class which I'd had elsewhere. (Yes, an unfair comparison) I thought that the beef would benefit from being cut into thin slices rather than fingers, and that it needed to be grilled to best bring out the flavor. Points + for the excellent and varied salad greens.

Señora Cuevas ordered Bulkogi. This was not bad, but under seasoned and again, needed to be grilled to develop the characteristic caramelized crust on the meat. It was more of a stew or a braise than a grilled bulkogi.


We had a surprise dish that we hadn't ordered (probably due to some confusion and hesitance in choosing a chicken dish.

It was Fideos Siam; cold rice noodles with minced chicken in a tart lime and fish sauce dressing. 

Rose's chicken choice was Pollo Aquiles, a specialty of the restaurant. I thought it was pleasant but too sweet for my liking it very much.

The staff, Pablo and Rodrigo, were very pleasant and genial, and their friendliness enhanced our experience immeasurably.

L-R: Rose, Pablo, Rodrigo. Srta. Aydé from the kitchen is missing from this photo.

They treated us to a specialty coffee, "Cafézcal", above, served cold, and powered by a hefty slug of mezcal. After sharing a bottle of a Spanish white wine with my compañeras, I was quite woozy after the cafezcal.

The other complimentary dessert was a very pleasant and delicate pannacotta with a fresh berry sauce.

Of the desserts, the truly outstanding dessert was Nieve de Rambutan. In fact, it might have been the best dish of the meal. A must if available.

Our check was $850 pesos; the bottle of Spanish wine, $260 of the total; about $67 in USD.


Food: ***1/2  +Points for creativity.

Service: ****

Price: $$-$$$

Ambiance: attractive space; casual cool and hip. Comfortable seating.

Rest Rooms: A commodious unisex restroom off the Hotel Pórtico lobby. Ample space and all in very good order.

Tel: 312 14 46 ext. 102

There's an online menu at MoreliaLaCarta (used here without permission. Uh-oh!)


  • Wonton de Camarón (8 piezas)
    Fritura de Ravioli Cantones
  • Wonton de Queso (8 piezas)
  • Sopa Miso con Tofu
    Sopa caliente de frijol Japonés
  • Ensalada Thai
    Con Rib Eye y aderezo cítrico –picante al termino de su preferencia
  • Ensalada Miso
    Aderezo Japonés con pollo y setas
  • Fideos Siam
    Fideos Tailandeses servidos fríos con pollo
  • Pancit
    Fideos Filipinos calientes con camarón y verdura
  • Bulgogi
    Receta Koreana de carne de res marinada sobre arroz blanco
  • Pollo Aquiles
    Receta de la casa a base de agridulce y jengibre sobre arroz blanco
  • Camarones Chilli
    Adaptación del Singapore Chilli Crab (20 min de preparación)


  • Panna Cotta
    con culis de fruta de la temporada
  • Banna Lumpia
    Rollo frito relleno de plato y cacahuate con helado de vainilla


  • Naranjada/Limonada
  • Garrafa de té helado, naranjada ó limonada
  • Té helado
  • Refresco
  • Perrier
  • Cervezas
  • Smirnoff
  • Bacardi
  • Torres 5
  • Captain Morgan
  • Appleton
  • Tequila Azul
  • Matusalem
  • Etiqueta Roja
  • Torres 10
  • Absolut Azul
  • Tradicional
  • Mezcal
  • Etiqueta negra
  • Don Julio
  • Vino Montebuena

De la Casa

  • Cafezcal
  • Neblina
  • Keikura
  • Mezcalinha
  • Shitake
  • Shitake con arandano
  • Licor de Reishi


  • Chocolate
  • Americano
  • Americano expresso
  • Espresso
  • Espresso Cortado
  • Espresso Doble
  • Café latte
  • Macciato
  • Capuccino
  • Cappuccino especial (vainilla o caramelo)
  • Frappuccino
  • Frappuccino con sabor
  • Moka
  • Moka frappé
  • Nespresso
  • Carajillo (Licor 43)
  • Café Irlandés


Todos nuestros desayunos incluyen jugo ó fruta, café ó té y mini muffin
  • Fruta de la temporada
  • Huevos al gusto (revueltos, estrellados y a la mexicana)
  • Huevos con jamón y rancheros
  • Chilaquiles
  • Chilaquiles con huevo
  • Chilaquiles con pollo
  • Pan francés
  • Crepas (jamón, champiñones ó queso)
Don Cuevas

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