On walking into Cantina Laredo on a buzzing Saturday night, be expected to drink your cocktails almost in the doorway. Though, if you are lucky, you may not. The cocktails are pretty good and the staff make cocktail-time that much better by taking your coat and being friendly, which is occasionally lacking in busy restaurants, but not here. The atmosphere was great and though somewhat noisy, it’s the sort of loudness which keeps your spirits up.
The staff were entirely attentive and are willing to explain Mexican food to any Mexican-food-novices.
A short wait later, and we were sat. The scale of the restaurant is deceptive. It’s huge! And on sitting, we were given a rather thorough explanation of everything as to why there was an avocado and half a lime on our table (taken away and used to make Guacamole at your table if you order it), to the specials and tequila of the month.
We ordered the famous guacamole, a slightly awkward moment of the evening. Do you stare the waitress down, watching her make the stuff, or carry on with your conversation. We watched, intently. Served with warm tortilla chips, it made the perfect start. Fresh and tasty. I can see why it’s ‘famous’ but it would have been nicer if there was an extra half an avocado in the mix. The ceviche was tiny but also fresh and full of flavour. Citrus marinated tiger prawns, scallops and fresh fish, avocado, coriander, tomatoes, peppers, onions, olives and capers. It was the perfect combination of fish and flavour all in a minuscule portion of goodness.
Following our starters, we were introduced to what appeared to be small main courses, but were entirely the opposite. Entirely filling! The side’s as well as the mains were also very fresh. The clarity of the flavours were impeccable.
It’s surprising to admit that Mexican food can be considered, almost ‘posh’ with the general notion of hand-rolling food, runny sauces and topped with a pile of cheese, but Cantina Laredo have surpassed. Everything is pretty. No messy enchilada in sight!
The Ensaladita was my favourite side. Baby salad leaves, black beans, cherry tomatoes and avocado tossed with a coriander-lime dressing. Topped with feta cheese, The Camotes Al Horo, being a sweet-potato bake with honey, ginger and jalapeños was also a little gem of the evening, though the Cascabel Zucchini was a tad too spicy considering every inch of the meal had jalapeños.
Jalisco Old Fashioned
Virgin Apple Mojito
Pasion Fruit Paloma
What we ordered:
Guacamole En Molcajete
Taqueria chicken cascabel
Fish of the day: Sea Bass
(Side) Cascabel Zucchini
(Side) Camotes Al Horno
|10 Upper St Martins Lane, St. Martins Courtyard, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9FB|