Imagine an oasis carved out of the heart jungle on the Yucatan Peninsula’s Quintana Roo. This trove of liquid and culinary treasures is Tulum’s Arca. Wooden tables hide beneath the shade of century-old trees and newer trellis. Here, a hip crowd finds solace from the busy streets outside and an attentive staff passionate for hospitality ensure that over the duration of the visit.
René Redzepi protégé Jose Luis Hinostroza helms the restaurant and the kitchen. Emphasising open-fire cooking and the region’s unique fruits, he creates masterpieces of bold flavours. With elaborate plating, often bringing the fire to the table, he turns dishes such as his Grilled Octopus (served with Recado Negro terrine, caramelised Cotija cheese, salsa macha, arugula and cilantro) into visual masterpieces.
The bar maintains Hinostroza’s high standards. Strong Oaxacan ties among the team are evident in an excellent mezcal selection. The suave crew also has the skills to both explain the spirit’s expressions as well as mix the agave distillate into standouts such as the Lone Palm (mezcal, hibiscus, piloncillo and chipotle syrup, lemon, chapulín salt frost).