Friday, 7 November 2008

Cheap Mexican eats according to Time Out

A selection of some of the 'cheap' Mexican joints in London.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Review: Wahaca, WC1

Having visited Wahaca for the third time today, I cannot help but like this place. While I have to agree that the long waits and no booking policy are a real pain, the food is definitely worth it. There's a nice relaxed but buzzy atmosphere to the place and it's a fun place to eat something a little different from the norm in central London. It's only been in the last few years that Latin American food has really taken off and Wahaca's popularity (i.e. queueing most nights) is testament to the fact that it is filling this niche in the market.

All the dishes we tried were fresh and tasty and full of flavour. I used to feel that the menu was somewhat restrictive, offering the same ingredients in a different format but the latest menu offers a much greater variety of both meat and vegetarian plates. The only disappointment were the actual tortillas used for the tacos which were unnecessarily greasy compared to the other dishes. I am inclined to agree with the other review as to the authenticity of some of the options (I certainly never saw a single churro in the weeks I spent in Oaxaca), this is certainly a step in the right direction and is far removed from the tex mex offerings of places like TGI Fridays. If you are new to Mexican cuisine and don't know a chipotle from a cinnamon stick, Wahaca offers a much more cosmopolitan approach to Mexican party food.

Wahaca, 66 Chandos Place, London, WC2N 4HG

Monday, 21 January 2008

Review: Mestizo NW1

I hadn't been to Mestizo in about a year but our visit last night made me wish we'd been back sooner. There is a much greater choice of Mexican cuisine in London these days but Mestizo still stands out as one of the most authentic, both in terms of the food on offer and the overall setting, reminiscent of an upscale restaurant in Mexico City. Everything tasted really fresh and full of flavour and each of the dishes distinctively different. I often find with some of the more ‘street’ food places, the menu is merely varations on a theme; the chili is an incredibly complex cooking ingredient and the different varieties offer a huge scope of spiciness and flavour. The house speciality, ‘Molcajete’, (a ground stone bowl crammed with a wonderfully flavoured stew) was impressive and added a sense of drama to the meal. The other main courses were all very good and the vegetarian among us had plenty to choose from. The staff were pleasant and knowledgeable about tequila (there is an extensive menu which is baflling to the novice) and jugs of margarita seemed a popular choice. If you want a more adventurous foray into Mexican food, this is the place to come.

Mestizo, 103 Hampstead Road, NW1 3EL