Ever since I can remember I have had a slight obsession with Mexican food. After years of consuming it everywhere else on the planet, there was no better pleasure than to arrive in Mexico City a couple of years ago and taste my first bite of authentic Mexican cuisine; the intense flavours, the vibrant colours and the beautiful margarita's too - my all time favourite cocktail. Somehow the lime, the salt, the tequila and agave nectar all combine to make my perfect drink and this concoction seems to compliment Mexican dishes very well too.
When in London, I always seek to find new Mexican restaurants that are as good as those I sampled in Mexico which can be quite difficult. As I was meeting my friend Emily in Covent Garden I did a search to find a Mexican restaurant close by and discovered Cantina Laredo where the menu looked impressive.
Arriving a little early, I picked a stool at the bar and ordered a margarita with Don Julio tequila whilst I waited for Emily. The restaurant was much bigger than I had imagined and includes a downstairs area which has just been launched as the Guacamole and Tequila Bar. Here, in-house ‘Guacamaestro’s’ theatrically prepare ‘The Great Eight Guacamoles’ right before your very eyes. If you don't mind a bit of table side theatrics during your meal then order one of these guacamole's. Also on the menu are tequila infusions with flavours such as hazelnut, jalapeno and strawberry and vanilla.
To start we ordered the guacamole which of course was served to us at our table, if nothing else it is a nice chance to interact with your waiter or waitress and find out more about the restaurant and special dishes to try. Our waitress was incredibly friendly and was really helpful when we were deciding what to eat.
The ingredients for this gaucamole included avocado, red onions, jalapeño, coriander, tomatoes served with warm corn tortilla chips and a selection of spicy salsas.
Next we ordered the tasty grilled butterfly tiger prawns with Valentina butter, an indulgent yet satisfying dish.
Following this we had the seabass cerviche with a lime salsa, black beans with cheese sprinkled on top and Mexican red rice. As if this wasn't enough we had the rib eye tacos with avocado emulsion and my favourite dish of the night; the aubergine on crisp tortillas with green habanero mayonnaise. These were unexpectedly very delicious and filling and the aubergine was an excellent texture.
Overall it was a great selection of dishes, all of which were well presented and flavoursome.
The margarita's were well made and came with lots of salt, although I would have preferred to drink them out of more delicate glasses.
The real show stopper of the evening had to be the chocolate, pecan and walnut brownie with vanilla ice cream. It came out on a boiling hot skillet pan, and the agave vanilla butter was poured over it and bubbled up to become almost caramelised, it was divine! We also shared the cinnamon and sugar churros, served with chile chocolate and strawberry cream. Also delicious, but couldn't quite compete with the brownie.
The Restaurant seats 207 in total and there are different rooms available to cater for private parties from 14 to 96 seated and with 150 standing. For a private event it could be worthwhile hiring the Guacamole and Tequila bar in its entirety.