Santo Remedio serves up 'proper' Mexican street food - including grasshoppers
PUBLISHED: 09:16 19 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:16 19 August 2016
"You're going to be ok, it's like eating peanuts," my friend coaxed me, as I contemplated spooning the grasshoppers past my lips, which were on top of the guacamole sitting in front of me in Santo Remedio.
I felt genuinely nervous at the prospect of eating the protein-rich fried insects – despite knowing it would be a noble practice to adopt, and could eradicate world hunger if everyone followed suit.
I wouldn’t say the consistency was nutty, but they were certainly crunchy - and the fact they were accompanied by one of the best guacamoles I’d ever tasted eased the experience.
The Mexican avocado dish came served with what turned out to be the best tortilla chips I’d ever tasted too, freshly made in the intimate Rivington Street restaurant out of white and blue corn.
Santo Remedio, meaning ‘Holy Remedy’ specialises in “proper” Mexican street food, and you won’t find the run-of-the-mill burritos and fajitas uniform to most other UK Mexican restaurants here.
There’s an intriguing menu at the restaurant set up by Natalie Diaz-Fuentes and her husband Edson, who has been working as head of menu innovation for Wahaca.
He uses traditional techniques to marinate and slow cook, with a variety of chillies, to recreate the richly diverse and sophisticated flavours of Mexico, where meat is expensive so they need to be creative and make the most of flavours.
Chicken wings in mole negro - a sauce made from chilies, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate – are richly divine, and the tacos here are outrageously good.
The pig’s ear special of the day was flavoursome, with an unusual slimy kind of texture, and the lamb chops in chipotle sauce were succulent.
I marvelled that there was no meat at all in the other taco ‘special of the day’, with a hibiscus flower filling.
To finish, churros dipped in dulce de leche are worth saving some room for and the café de Olla, a Mexican coffee from Chiapas, served in a French press with orange zest and cinnamon reduction has a bitter and compelling taste.
Cocktails include classic Margaritas, and others with hibiscus flower, while wines come from Mexico’s Baja California region.
Brick walls in the two-story, 45-cover restaurant are limed white transporting you away from London’s gray streets with a feel of a vibrant Mexico City shack.
Santo Remedio is an incredible little place where you’ll be sure to have brand new taste sensations, and experience the best Mexican cuisine has to offer.