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I had my first little peek at Mestizo last year.
Just a cocktail and some nibbles but it was enough to give an
this was a spot to linger over and enjoy. A real meal was in order so
went with guest in tow to see if that first impression was accurate, or
an illusion encouraged by one too many of Mexico’s famous beverage.
You might say you like “Mexican”
food. You might
have had “Mexican” food on trips to the US, and Taco Bell might be your
favourite fast food but, dear reader, your experience is probably a
shadow of the real extravaganza awaiting you at Mestizo.
Mestizo Restaurant and Tequila Bar
has a convenient
location just around the corner from Euston Square Underground
station, and a
few minutes’ walk from Euston main-line station. Its atmosphere is of
charm but the impressive bar hints at fun times to be had. This
has a collection of Tequilas (over 130 at last count) enough to make
London-based Mexican quite home-sick. The restaurant has a cult
amongst the local Brits and, evidently, expat Mexicans. That has got to
indication of this restaurant’s authenticity. It already has the vote
in the know.
Mestizo offers food that is hard or
find outside Mexico. I wonder why these dishes haven’t had the exposure
other ethnic cuisines. It must be that Europe has only a slight
exchange with those countries that rest south of Texas and California.
food has migrated to its neighbour to the North, but has often been
in transit. Tex-Mex food might be vibrant and zesty but it isn’t a
food to be found south of the border.
We started our evening with
Spice got our attention. This was an amazing concoction of Casco Viejo
reposado tequila, cherry brandy, crushed strawberries, diced red chilli
It’s a tall delicate pink drink with a kick. I am not a cocktail
this particular recipe evoked all that’s impressive about Mestizo –
Our starter was a Mixed Antojitos
Platter which was
an assortment of flauta (crispy fried rolled tortillas filled with
topped with lettuce, sour cream and green tomatillo salsa), quesadilla
pastries filled with cheese, served with sour cream and salsa roja),
peppers stuffed with cream cheese, served with sour cream) - don’t miss
and tamales (steamed corn husks filled with masa and pollo con mole) –
authentic taste of Mexican comfort food.
The Mestizo staff are charming and
of them are Mexican and all of them can steer you through what will
an unfamiliar menu. Mole Poblano was my co-reviewer’s choice for main
This is a classic dish of boneless chicken breast served with a
mole sauce made of dried chillies, herbs, spices, almonds and
with beans and rice and some flour tortillas. Mestizo make all sauces,
condiments and salsas in-house. The tortillas, however, are produced by
specialist bakery, although Mestizo do make their own moreish tortilla
The chocolate sauce was savoury and well flavoured with a silky
introduction to the subtleties of Mexican cuisine.
Mole Huasteco (a traditional dish
from the state of
Hidalgo, Mexico) was new to me. It’s a boneless chicken breast served
huasteco sauce, made from over 32 ingredients, including dried
tomatoes, onion, almonds, garlic, sesame and pumpkin seeds. This is a
aromatic dish with an almost liquorice or aniseed finish. This must
surely be a
signature dish. If you only expect to make one visit to Mestizo then
Mestizo is a restaurant for convivial
well as intimate soirées. Many other guests had ordered the Taco
Tray. This is
for two or more and is evidently the meal of choice for groups or
looks spectacular, like so many of Mestizo’s dishes, as well as being
eat. Perhaps a good ice-breaker on a first
The Mestizo desserts are worth saving
a chink of
space for. We ordered Flan Caresro which is the Mexican take on
Light and sweet in a pool of caramel sauce. Pastel de Quesco y Coco is
cheesecake perfumed with coconut served with mango coulis. An exotic
end to a
memorable meal. I am sure it will turn out to be the first of many. The
Brunch is said to be worth a visit. Mestizo is without a doubt one of
five London restaurants.
Restaurant review: Mestizo Restaurant and
103 Hampstead Road
Phone 020 7387 4064