Ifyou haven’t heard of Cantina Laredo then you either haven’t been on the internet for the last two weeks or have no interest in what is happening in London. This place has been on every website, in every newsletter and on every blog. Not one to rush straight in, I decided to let the dust settle before seeing what all the fuss was about.
Located in Covent Garden, the US based chain is next door to Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant, a tough competitor for the tourist market. The menu offers a range of Mexican dishes including the most popular dishes, fajitas and burritos to the lesser well know Cascabel an Naranja. The Top Shelf Guacamole is a must,although not as naughty as you may think it doesn’t actually contain any top shelf spirits! Or maybe that was just me?
The Guacamole £6.95, made at your table with fresh ingredients is served with nachos and dips. I have noticed some complaints about the price but there is more than enough for two people so well worth it. Washed down with a selection of Mexican cervezas, larger to you and me, the Guacamole is a perfect starter. We were greedy and ordered the Ceviche £8.95 as well, a seafood salad marinated in lime juice and spices. The salad had a great flavour, just the right amount of spices which really complemented the fresh seafood and again there was enough for two.
The menu is enormous and with all of those choices I couldn’t decided what to order. The boy played it safe opting for Enchiladas £9.95 but silly me went for the Oaxaca Camarones con Tocino £17.95, Tiger prawns filled with oaxaca cheese. The meals were served with rice and roasted vegetables, I am not sure how Mexican roasted vegetables are but they tasted good. The tiger prawns filled with cheese and wrapped in bacon did not. The prawns just didn’t fit with the cheese and bacon and the combination of the flavours and textures didn’t work.
With the mains out of the way we dived into a desert. The Mexican Apple pie £5.95 served on a sizzling skillet with Mexican brandy butter and vanilla ice cream was a treat! Like the Guacamole the desert is prepared at your table and it was the highlight of the meal. I am told the secret is in the apples, the pie is made with Granny Smiths, not Bramleys, as they are tart not sweet which means even with the brandy butter the desert isn’t overly sweet.
Would I go back? If I am entirely honest I am not sure I would.
Cantina Laredo, Unit 22 St. Martin’s Courtyard, Upper St. Martin’s Lane, London, WC2H 9DL