There’s plenty of decent Mexican food in our fine city. Ex Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers for one has done plenty for the cuisine with her hit chain Wahaca. Edson Diaz-Fuentes, the ex ‘head of menu innovation’ for that very group, has since gone solo, or duo with his wife, and opened Santo Remedio, a cute and authentic Mexican cocina.
Inside, there’s a small ground floor dining room with white painted brick walls, old wooden tables and flashes of vibrant Mexico (the handpainted tiles on the open kitchen are imported from a small Mexican village) dotted throughout. At the upstairs bar, Margaritas and snacks are served in the evenings.
A dish that really stands out on the menu (for the right or wrong reasons, I’ll let you be the judge of that) is guacamole with grasshoppers (£7). Sautéed with lime and chilli, the insects added texture to an already superb guac. I thought it was all rather fun – who doesn’t like eating insects?
Beef Barbacoa tacos (£8.50) and a special of pig ear tacos (£7.50) were full of flavour; the sort you’d be able demolish a few plates of with a nice cold beer.
From the larger plates, octopus with yerba santa and jalapeño mojo de ajo (£15) was a beautiful looking thing. The octopus (cooked perfectly and not stringy like is often the case) and the accompanying sweet carrots were a match made in cielo.
Ox tongue (£11) had a slightly charred flavour from the grill which worked brilliantly with the nutty sauce called pipián rojo. The only weak dish was the chicken wings (£6.50). They were covered in an Oaxacan mole sauce which, although abundant in flavour, was too overpowering. Dried chillis, nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate – the plump and juicy wings didn’t stand a chance.
If you go to Santo Remedio and don’t order the churros with dulce de leche (£4.50) then you’re no friend of mine – these crunchy bad boys are a must. It’s the first time I’ve seen churros without chocolate sauce and these prove that you don’t actually need it.
There’s a lot to love about Santo Remedio – from the surroundings to the service, the whole place feels jolly and lively. And the food is vibrant and zingy – we tried no dull or ‘safe’ dishes. This is the sort of place that will fit right in.
We dined as guests of the restaurant.