Last updateFri, 10 Jun 2016 6am

Gossip’s Kitchen delights with Cajun and African-fusion flavors

If you want some of the best tasting and most creative food in Ajijic … go to Gossip’s Kitchen! 

The Kenyan-born owner and chef, Ismat Jivani, serves African-fusion specialties and Cajun dishes from New Orleans, which are truly inspiring and delicious. Early in his cooking career, he worked for Paul Prudhomme, the celebrated chef, for three years in New Orleans. Jivani was the former in-house consultant for lakeside Restaurant Number 4, before opening Gossip’s Kitchen in 2011. Located right on the Carretera, the hustle and bustle of the Ajijic traffic is not bothersome and somehow adds to the pace of the restaurant.

This casual, funky eatery has seating in the open kitchen, where you can watch the food being prepared or you can eat outside by the Carretera. Jivani knows his seafood and serves fresh Pacific oysters with a choice of three different sauces. Then follow your dining experience with a choice from soups, salads and appetizers. The “happy gumbo” is filled with chicken, chorizo and oysters in a rich earthy soup base – small 69 pesos and large 89 pesos. Another winner is the “knife & fork” Caesar salad with bacon, cornbread croutons and parmesan figs for 69 pesos. You can add chicken or shrimp for an extra 49 pesos.  Under Cajun fondues, you can choose from seafood, with a mixture of shrimp, oysters, crab, fresh fish prepared with mushrooms, white wine, Tillamook cheddar cheese and cream. Also try Gossip’s chili, which is a vegetarian black bean chili with Bocconcini croutons.

The sandwiches are perfect for lunch: rib-eye burger with Tillamook cheddar or the Xander burger with Sambul mayo, cheddar and crumbled bacon or perhaps a grilled salmon sandwich, that is mango and chutney glazed. They are priced from 79 to 130 pesos and can be ordered with your choice of fries or salad. Extra sides include fries, coleslaw, salad, rice, garlic bread or their famous cornbread.

Under hookups, you should surely try the tasty crab cakes, inspired by Paul Prudhomme, and the beer battered Pacific salmon. These fish dishes can be ordered grilled, blackened or pan fried. Entrée winners are: Gossip’s organic lamb shepherd’s pie, flavored with Mombasa spices, peas, tomatoes and cucumber raita for 99 pesos; or the smothered shrimp etoufee, a Cajun dish served with rice for 129 pesos. Another favorite is the slow roasted rum and Coke marinated grilled pork ribs, which come with black bean chili and a crisp tortilla for 139 pesos.

Jivani always has a curry of the day and two daily specials, which are created from what he finds fresh in the market that day. Don’t skip dessert because you will love the delicious banana bread pudding. If you go to Gossip’s Kitchen more than once, you are treated like family by the friendly wait staff. All in all, this is a happy restaurant serving creative and delicious food that makes it hard to not become a repeat customer.

Gossip’s Kitchen, Javier Mina 36 Carretera Ajijic, 376-766-0217. 

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