At the end of last year I visited Mexico, spending time in Mexico City and Tulum. It is such an incredible country, steeped in history, tradition and food that makes you never want to leave. One of the highlights of my trip – I know how real nachos should taste!
Sure London has quite a few good Mexican restaurants, La Bodega, La Taquiera and Chilangos. All of these are fab in their own right but all with their own London slant. Mestizo is honest to Mexico, it has the sweetest fragrance of authenticity. Situated almost at the bottom of Hampstead Road, flanked by Regent’s Park and super close to Warren street. There are not too many other reasons to come to this part of Hampstead Road. So if you are ever in the vicinity (getting a train from Euston or Kings X or treating yourself after Barry’s Bootcamp) you simply have to pop by for a real taste of Mehhicoooooooooooo
So back to the topic of nachos, I know what you may well be thinking a nacho is a nacho right? Yes but no. A typical portion of nachos in England are some super salty triangle shaped crisps or even Doritos, served with a pot of salsa, something that resembles guacamole and grated cheddar cheese. However, in Mexico the nachos are baked fresh and often served just with a fresh guacamole of avocado,lime, coriander and garlic. The freshness here is key, a lot of the time the guacamole is made for you at your table. This was the first place outside Mexico where I had tasted real nachos. The guacamole wasn’t made at our table but for a moment I was back in Mexico. Mestizo also do a version with added chicken and chorizo, always a hit with the meat obsessed gentlemen.
In Mexico one of the most traditional dishes is chicken mole. Chicken in a chocolate sauce. Mestizo is the first place in the UK I have found to serve this dish, a true mark of its authenticity. After much deliberating we decided to order the acclaimed ‘Taco Tray’ which is for a minimum of 2 people. You have the choice of four different fillings as well as all the extras and condiments which come as standard. These include, avocado, sour cream, fresh coriander, a choice of salsas and chillis, cheese and black beans. The slow cooked pork was completely melt in mouth and the chicken and chorizo was a carnival of flavours. The tray is large and wholesome, the tray is fresh and delicious, you simply have to order the tray! At £14 pp it is an absolute steal. I find it hard to imagine you will be able to resist one of the 280 tequilas to wash down your tanatalising tacos. We also went for a sharing dessert, not that it was particularly needed. Crepes de Cajeta – crepes in a hot, caramel sauce served with vanilla. It was a special treat to myself for finding the best Mexican restaurant in London.
This is not the prettiest restaurant in London, it is not a ‘place to be seen’ (although David Guetta, Sienna miller and Robert Pattinson are all fans. This is one of London’s secrets that shouldn’t be a secret but you are glad that it is! Hands down the most authentic Mexican restaurant in London and I defy you to find better, friendlier service at any other restaurant.
When you have that Mexican craving, run to Mestizo, you will arrive there quicker and have an optimal appetite. It is perfect for everyday and also a great for a celebration, they will make a fuss of you with sombreros and tequilas GALORE!