Casa Marita

address:Unit 9, Market Row, Brixton Market, SW9 8LB

This is a new restaurant in Market Row serving Mexican food. It is a hole in the wall with little decoration, just a cupboard piled high with tins and some pictures on bare walls with seemingly schoolroom castoff tables and chairs. But it all adds to the sense that it could actually be in a relatively salubrious part of a large Mexican town. There is an open kitchen with a large, shiny extractor and everything is on show – as there is little really to see. We speculated on where, if they had any, was their stock.

We went at 7.00pm and got a table relatively quickly but by 7.30 the place was full with even the tables set out in market row being full. The big rush was hard for the two waitresses who raced from table to table trying to ensure everyone had drinks  – you can pick from beer, wine and Mexican inspired soft drinks. The staffing issue is also a problem as we waited a time for the desert – well worth the wait but perhaps they need to consider their shift system.

There are all the usuals – tacos with fish or meat or vegetables and mole negro – a black sauce made from “30 ingredients” which was poured over chicken.  I thought that mexican food was really like tex-mex ….. hefty on chilli, refried beans  and guacamole and sour cream on the side. However this was not on the menu, a fact which we were quite pleased with as it allowed for experimentation.

The food was light and not overly hot as they serve hot sauce on every table so you can make it to taste. Beware of the odd mouthful of sauce as one bottle of beer disappeared trying to sooth the tastebuds. The mole negro was served lukewarm (not my favourite way of eating) and was not as tasty as I thought it might be. Perhaps warmer temperatures might bring out the chocolate and spices. It was served with what was described as rice and sweetcorn and as I hadn’t had any vegetables or fruit that day I thought this was a good option. However, they really fell foul of the trades description act as there were barely one or two kernels of corn in each plateful. The quesadilla and the pescadilla (with fish) came with a side salad. We had both kinds of sorbet – lime and passionfruit and there were thumbs up for both.

Defintely one to recommend for the things with fillings – I was not that keen on the mole negro which at £12.00 was a bit steep.  Portions are smaller than average but actually we eat too much and the portions are probably the right size for the cost (about £7.00). An excellent addition to the market.

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