Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Cantina Laredo

It was my sister's birthday today so in celebration we had dinner at Cantina Laredo on Upper St Martin's Lane.

Now I am a sucker for Mexican food. I love the mix and match appeal of Mexican, you can configure the food anyway you like it. As for nachos, as simple as they are, they are a divine trinity of taste for me. Now I'll hold my hands up and say that just because I like what passes for Mexican in the UK it doesn't mean I know a great deal about authenticity. Although it's not difficult to spot that Wahaca is a great deal better than Chiquito. (I would love to go to Mexico one day but there's part of me that thinks it would be inevitable that I'd never enjoy a "Mexican" in the UK again having had the real deal.)

Now Cantina offers "modern mexican" and it's certainly a world away from anything I've had before. When I got there I was already a margarita down and there were only the scraps of tortilla chips and salsa left. (Quite why they didn't have the nachos is beyond me).

For main I had the "camaron poblano asada":

Grilled carne asada steak wrapped around a fresh poblano pepper filled with sautéed tiger prawns, mushrooms, onions and monterey jack cheese. Served on a bed of chimichurri sauce and Mexican rice 

A steak wrapped around a stuffed pepper: mental. It was a pretty good steak and the pepper was stuffed full of prawns and cheese. Although it was sad waste of prawns as the cheese dominated everything. However, it was good enough for me to happily polish off and temporarily put my aversion to green peppers to one side.

Dessert, however, was something else. I had the biggest, fattest churros I've ever seen. Liberally doused in sugar and cinnamon, they came with orange cream and spiced chocolate sauce which were a perfect compliment. Since I've never been a fan of the orange-chocolate combo, that's really saying something. I don't think my family were quite so enamoured with their mexican apple pie or tequila lime cheesecake with avocado ice-cream. Mind you they were quite a few more margaritas to the good so the plates were sent back spotless anyway.

The service was faultless. The prices for the mains were in the £15-£30 bracket and were bit steep for what we got. I'd gladly go back to try out some other interesting things on the menu but I'd need a "wow" experience to go back again. A slightly reserved thumbs-up.

Cantina Laredo on Urbanspoon

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