Opening of a Mexican restaurant at the DIFC

Copala is a casual DIFC restaurant that promises to bring “a real taste of Mexico” to diners.

Located at the Index Tower Mall, Copala was dreamed up by friends and Mexico City natives Mercedes Torres Lagarde and José Alberto Altamirano Peña, who left their legal jobs to pursue something new.

The Middle East caterer spoke with Lagarde about how Covid-19 was a catalyst in following their passion and bringing Copala’s dream to life. She said: “It was a unique experience going into business with a friend. During the pandemic, we were dreaming together and constantly thinking about our restaurant. Knowing that the people you work with have a similar approach to life actually makes the communication process easier and makes it easier to handle stressful times. Simply put, being friends has allowed us to have a built-in support system, we understand each other without even having to say a word, and we genuinely enjoy our “co-worker” relationship. »

Lagarde and Peña teamed up with Mexican executive chef and Dubai resident Adan M. Naranjo and together they worked on the menu and a space. Lagarde said: “The Mexican food served here in Dubai is typically Tex-Mex and as Mexicans that makes us sad. Our country and our culture are incredibly rich and deep. The frustration of never being able to satisfy our food cravings and the fact that we could never recommend a “good Mexican restaurant” was the main catalyst, along with Covid-19, to launch Copala.

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