Mestizo, NW1 – restaurant review
April 15, 2014, Article by Ben Willis in Food, Restaurant reviews
The land between Euston Road and Mornington Crescent may be famous for being home to taxi firm Addison Lee’s head office, but it is for a very different reason that the MWSAB team venture past the row of eye-catching tenement buildings along the coccyx of Camden Town. The reason, if reason be needed, is Mestizo: ‘the concept of a group of Mexicans to bring to London a restaurant-bar offering a fine and authentic Mexican cuisine’.
Mestizo is a truly international establishment (it also boasts a Madrid branch), and though on first inspection the Amsterdam coffee-shop-esque surrealist videos looping on the wall-mounted TVs are a little overwhelming, one soon loses oneself in the tasteful décor and tangy aroma of passing burritos and their brothers and sisters: tacos and quesadillas.
I glance down at the A6-size, laminated menu. In a moment of either madness or divine inspiration, I decide on a whim to switch my focus from the safe haven of the ‘Chicken Mole Burrito’ (boasting a 20-spice sauce, which includes dark chocolate – nutters!) to the exotic sounding ‘Pork Cochinita’. When a dish is described in the establishment’s own words as ‘melt in your mouth pork’ in a ‘sauce of achiote and orange juice’, you know you’re onto a winner. Even if you don’t know actually know what ‘achiote’ is.
The dish arrives as it always does (accompanied by a small pot of rough-chopped guacamole and some homemade nachos). My initial thought is that the burrito retains its heat much more efficiently than its Chicken Mole cousin. But it is the bitter, spicy sweetness of the swollen, cylindrical specimen which has my taste buds as happy as bee in a jam jar. The pork is so moist, and the orange so subtle, that I feel like this dish could be served as a main OR a dessert. But in a good way.
Rating: 8.5 / 10
Highlights: Amazing food, amazing prices, great atmosphere, toilets downstairs.
Price: Food £6, Beer: £3, Total: £9
Quick Review: Unbelievably Mexican