If you’ve ever been to Mexico you will know what I mean when I say the food is off the scale. I was lucky enough to spend some time there last year and got to sample some of the best Mexican cuisine. I’ve got to be honest, since then I’ve not eaten much Mexican food as I always end up feeling short changed and disappointed, even something as simple as guacamole has never quite hit the mark. That was until I went to Cantina Laredo, a vibrant Mexican restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden.
Cantina Laredo has a contemporary vibe and sophisticated approach to Mexican food. This is reflected in the minimal décor, snug booths, tall tables and bar seating are all complimented by low lighting. An independent restaurant, it is owned by the Ginsberg family who are dedicated to creating an authentic modern Mexican experience. Tarryn Ginsberg has teamed up with one of Mexico City’s culinary experts, Roberto De la Parra to create an informal sharing menu that takes diners on a journey through Mexico’s diverse regional cuisines.
The menu is full of Mexican staples and bites all bursting with bold intense flavours using high quality ingredients. We went for the bottomless brunch menu, it’s good value and has plenty of choice unlike some brunch menus.
As soon as our drinks arrive our waiter sets up a trolley beside the table and starts mixing from scratch plump Hass avocados with red onion, tomatoes, lime juice and coriander creating their classic guacamole – it’s simple, creamy and fresh and tastes so good, I’m instantly taken back to a Tulum beach bar. Cantina Laredo has their own dedicated guacamole bar, it’s not gimmicky, it’s awesome. Their in-house “Guacamaestro” will create right in front of you a one of a kind guacamole to suit your taste. Some of the combinations on the menu includes Grasshoppers with Grilled Avocados, Creamy Blue Cheese with Almonds and Pineapple with Pomegranate Seeds.
I was tempted to eat my way through the guacamole menu and had to restrain myself, instead I opt for the Crispy Chicken Tacos with chile de arbol cream. These crunchy little morsels were delicious and packed a punch with plenty of filling and flavour. I then went on to try the Brochetas de Arrachera. Fiery, tender skewers of skirt steak bathed in sweet Mexican soy and chile de arbol meant every bite varied in heat. Pudding was a highlight for me, a squidgy, rich chocolate, pecan and walnut brownie served with a sizzling agave vanilla butter and velvety vanilla ice cream.
There’s a buzz about the place, the Tequila bar slowly fills up with groups bustling to sample the signature margaritas and cocktails. Certified ‘Tequilistas’ are on hand to guide you through the unique tequila infusion menu. There’s an array of 100% blue agave tequilas and a range of Mezcals to choose from and the Cantina Laredo ethos, is ‘sip, don’t slam’. I try the Del Maguey Mezcal, at 49% it’s not for the faint hearted and not my thing but the margaritas are to die for.
If you’re after an authentic, modern taste of Mexico then Cantina Laredo is worth a visit.
To book at table visit www.cantinalaredo.co.uk or call 020 7420 0630.