The newly opened Santo Remedio is a small and intimate Mexican restaurant in East London. If like me you had fallen out of love with Mexican cuisine after one too many flavourless, mushy tacos and paste-like guacamole, then you need to head to Santo Remedio as quick as your little legs can take you because I think I’ve found a winner! Finally a Mexican with delicious food and great cocktails.
Santo Remedio was started by the lovely Edson and his wife Natalie. They wanted to share with Londoners just how varied and exciting Mexican food can be. You will not see any burritos or fajitas on the menu because they are not found in Mexico, as they are in fact not Mexican. And after three years of hard work through catering, pop-ups and supper clubs, here they are with their very own place.
Last week my friends and I were looking for somewhere new to have a good ol’ catch up with some good food. J and I had seen the bright and beautiful looking food all over Intsagram and decided we had to check out Santo Remedio. Does anyone else decide on where to eat purely based on pretty photos from Instagram!? I’m such a sucker for a good photo.
We jumped straight onto a bus after finishing work and made our way to the restaurant. Santo Remedio is tucked away on Rivington Street and as we got closer we realised it wasn’t open. At first our hearts sank, ‘maybe it’s not open on Tuesday!?’ and then we realised it was 5:50 and it doesn’t open until 6pm! Crisis averted we crossed the street to chat in the spring sunshine, then as soon as the doors were open we were in! The plus side of being keenos is that you will always get a table!
With a large window, white walls and wooden furniture this place has a lovely bright and airy feel to it whilst still being cosy and welcoming. As the restaurant filled up around us, it felt like somewhere you could sit all night long.
I putting it out there, I think Santo Remidio may be one of the best Mexican restaurants in London. To be honest I’ve never had a good one. If you have please let me know so I can check it out!
If you’re a regular reader you will know that I like small, compact menus, so it was no surprise I liked the menu here. The menu has the perfect range of dishes to build up a Mexican feast, it is split into: Snacks, Antojitos Mexicanos, Sides and Specials are on the board.
We ordered the Classic Guacamole with corn tortilla chips, you can order them with grasshoppers but we chickened out. It’s lush green guacamole came piled high with a cup of chips on the side. It was so fresh and perfectly seasoned, and I was so happy to see it still had chunks. I hate pureed guacamole! It could have done with a few extra chips as the portion was so generous we were finishing it off with our forks! Not a bad thing really.
Then came out the tacos. We opted for the Pork Carnitas and the Beef Barbacoa Tacos. The beef was nice and spicy and meat so tender. Then a mouthful of the slightly lighter pork with a good squeeze of lime balanced out the heat for me. Again the meat incredibly tender. So often you get tacos filled with poor, chewy bits of meat. You can tell the ingredients are well sourced here.
The Chicken Wings in Oaxacan Mole sauce were next to arrive. Now I have to admit when they arrived at the table I thought they looked just a touch dry. Nope. I was completely wrong! They were juicy and smokey with just a little heat. We fought over the last one!
Now lets not forget the sides. And I really mean this. The black beans were ordered immediately, but when the grilled sweetcorn was suggested I wasn’t really bothered because we all know it’s a rather messy affair. The Elote was definitely a contender for favourite dish of the night. Who knew smokey mayo and pecorino cheese could transform corn! You must order this if you visit.
We also ordered the grilled octopus which at £15 is a little dear, but it was smokey, firm and juicy and delicious, served simply with carrots. Again, you can see how well their ingredients are sourced.
We managed to try a couple of the cocktails too. I went straight for the Margarita Santa to begin with, I loved just the hint of chilli in this. Then in order to provide a fair review I obviously had to order another, different cocktail. The Hibiscus Fizz (Tequilla, hibiscus extract, lemonade, lime and lemon juice) was next. There wasn’t much of a fizz but it was lovely and sweet and fresh with citrus flavours.
Even though we were starting to feel a little stuffed, we could not leave with out trying the one dessert offering – churros with dulce de leche. Ordering a portion each because I cannot share churros. It’s just a fact. And unsurprisingly these were spot on. Dusted in cinnamon sugar, lightly crispy on the outside with a soft fluffy centre these were a great end to a wonderful meal.
Seriously, as each new dish came out my favourite changed. Like I mentioned above, I really think Santo Remedio is a serious contender for best Mexican in London. The food is fresh and so well executed. It makes me want to jump on a plane right now to Mexico to sample more. Also, the staff here are friendly and so helpful, and Edson clearly loves what he is doing.
Do you like Mexican food? Do you have a favourite Mexican restaurant in London?
22 Rivington street