Wahaca

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address: Wahaca Brixton, 20 Atlantic Road, London SW9 8JA

telephone number +44 (0) 20 3763 6357

http://www.wahaca.co.uk/

We did say when we set up this blog that we would only review restaurants that were not part of a chain  … but we make the rules so we can break them. Also, the opening of Wahaca Brixton marks a further shift in what Brixton has to offer and does deserve some comment. It has taken over a large pub that used to be the Railway Hotel but was also part of the Brady’s chain of pubs and known as such by many locals. It was home to gigs, caucus meetings and other more shady goings on. There are some that still mourn its going but not so much by us. The beer wasn’t anything special; the carpet on the floor stuck to your feet if you rested for even a few minutes; and with the smoking you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. We spent many nostalgic and definitely misspent evenings there but, while there are different views about its loss in the eatinbrixton team, we do think that the new restaurant is an asset for Brixton. Continue reading

Brixton Flavours Festival

So.Much.Food. From sushi and brownies to chicken and tortillas and crepes I have actually only recently regained my appetite after our gluttonous evening in preparation for the brand new festival Brixton Flavours. With the actual day not until Sunday 26th October we were invited to see what the whole thing was all about this week and also apparently to eat our whole body weight in food.

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Brixton Flavours states that it is a festival to introduce people to the wide variety of cuisines and restaurants that our beloved hometown has to offer. It was clear from the way the organisers spoke that that they were committed to making sure that they didn’t just go to the well-known haunts in town, but to showcase all that Brixton has on offer. This is something that we at Eat in Brixton are always striving to achieve so it’s brilliant to see others with such passion as well. The day ticket holders are invited to sample secret dishes not usually available on the menu from over 22 restaurants around Brixton (full list of those participating can be found here). You will also be given 15 Brixton pounds to spend in any of the participating restaurants, so incorporating the idea of boosting the local economy.

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Jalisco

Address: 1, 48 & 49 Granville Arcade, Brixton Village Market, SW9 8PR

Jalisco is a Mexican restaurant just opposite the very popular Kaosarn in Brixton Village. As it was previously a Columbian restaurant (which unfortunately we never got to try out) I must honestly say we didn’t notice that the place had changed hands, so when we headed out for an evening of Columbian food we were very surprised.

I feel that I may mention a lot in these reviews that I have one ultimate type of food that is classed as my favourite, Japanese, Thai etc. but I’m going to carry on regardless by saying that Mexican really is up there as some of my all-time favourite foods. With the spices, coriander, sour cream, guacamole, meat or fish and a big dash of heat, the flavours and ingredients of Mexican food make it too perfect for words. That said getting good Mexican food in London is hard. Yes you have the Wahaca’s and your Chipolte’s, but good local decent Mexican food is a rarity I find. Although there is already the staple Mexican in Market Row, Casa Morita, our visit there wasn’t incredible and we haven’t returned since, mainly because we found it way overpriced for the quality and quantity of food served. El Panzon is the complete opposite.

With a kind of disarrayed decoration to the place and tables outside to sit on, which I’m sure will be lovely if this darn Summer would arrive, this is quite a basic restaurant. There is also an upstairs seating area which we didn’t get to see, but makes me feel comfortable that there will be no Honest Burger type problems with getting a table if I wanted to return.

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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.