I love Mexican food. A huge plate of nachos piled high with melted cheese, salsa, soured cream and guacamole and jalapeños is for me a perfect way to beat a hang over. However I am yet to find a great Mexican restaurant in the London area.
The last time I had a satisfying Mexican meal with friends was up in Stamford of all places. Tucked away from the high street, each dish had it’s own distinct sauce and flavour. Lovely spicy refried beans, generous amounts of extra soured cream and guacamole and soft, warm tortilla bread. Perfect.
Image from Chris Brown Photography
Unluckily yesterday some friends and I ventured out to grab some food after a fairly heavy night out. Mexican was decided upon despite some arguments for simple burgers and off we went. The restaurant we found had a great position by the river but looked fairly dated. We were pretty much the only people in. Menus were handed over and a sinking feeling came over me. They were worn and tatty. Prices had been amended with pen and looked like a child had written them. One page was entitled “Here are our new dishes. Here you can find out how to eat them” followed by several dishes simply telling you what was in them. Cartoons were dotted throughout the menu and simply did not make any sense. “Chilli is like love. It burns you when you are pushing it out of your system” which is a nice thought as you are about to order.
We ordered two plates nachos (of course) to share (£9 each) to start followed by a combo of a burrito, enchilada and taco (£20) for my friends, I ordered the Chimi Chick (£13) and my boyfriend went for the enchilada (£12). I crossed my fingers and hoped that the menus did not reflect the quality of the food. The nachos arrived and looked fairly lacklustre. They had a selection of refried beans (which kinda tasted like they had tuna mixed in), green and red salsa, Mexi-mix cheese and a small dollop of sour cream topped with two olives. Gone within 5 mins I have had better in standard pubs. Onto our mains which we ordered once the starters arrived. Each arrived with spicy rice which I suspect came courtesy of Uncle Ben and the microwave. We each found our meals to be highly salty and mainly containing cheese. My chicken was not seasoned in any way at all. Needless to say I left half my meal and drank about three glasses of water.
Recently another Mexican restaurant nearby closed due to the same utter lack of care with the food. Customers stopped going as they voted with their wallets. The horribly lazy approach to the dishes, using the same sauces for every single dish making them taste the same might cut corners and save them time and money but I will not be going again. Next time you walk into a restaurant and it’s empty whilst others are busy take heed and get the hell outta there.
Why can’t we have a Taco Bell open up over here when we have burger joints and pizzas coming out of our ears. I love tacos!