Dec 5 2014

Cantina Laredo


I frequently watch the TV show Food Junkies and during one of the episodes the cabbie Joey went to Cantina Laredo and gave it 10/10 (if people say I am an easy marker of my restaurants, they should look at him!). I love Mexican food and for years have been thinking that New York does it so much better than London, so I am very keen to find that Mexican restaurant in London that rivals the New York ones, so I was keen to try this 10/10 restaurant Cantina Laredo.

You can book some tables at Cantina Laredo, which is located in Covent Garden, but most of the tables are for walk ins, and they invite you to come in, order a drink by the bar, and wait for your table to become available, which is what we did. They had a wonderful selection of margaritas, one of the best things about Cantina Laredo, but the bar area is very small and you feel like you are being squeezed in there, and it does not have enough space for all the people that are waiting for a table there. I came here with my mum and we both ordered margaritas and as we had to wait for my boyfriend for some 30 minutes, we also ordered some snacks.

The best dish of the meal was their trademark Guacamole En Molcajete which is prepared at your table. A nice man came to us and prepared the guacamole in front of us, which was great as my mum does not like chillies, so we could ask him not to add these to the guacamole. The guacamole was very tasty, very fresh, great, although I personally would have preferred it to have a tiny bit more lime juice and salt, but it was also great the way it was. I do like freshly made guacamole in front of you and have only seen this done in New York, so I loved that part. The tortilla chips were served warm. As we finished the guacamole and had more tortilla chips left we also ordered 2 tomato salsas, one warm (Roasted tomatillo salsa) and one cold (Roasted tomato salsa). They were nice, not as great as the guacamole, but good for finishing off the rest of the tortilla chips, and only cost £1.50. Note though the warm one was extremely spicy and you could not eat it easily.

By this time we were shown to our table and my boyfriend had arrived, so we ordered bigger dishes. These actually let me down a bit, and they were nothing special compared to the other Mexican restaurants in London. The menu was divided into smaller dishes (even the Peruvian ceviche made it on to the menu), which included quesadillas and empanadas, salads, Mexican dishes, fish and seafood dishes, grilled dishes, tacos, enchiladas and sides. My mum ordered one of the Mexican dishes, the Chile en Nogada, which was a poblano pepper with a crispy batter stuffed with sweet picadillo filling of minced beef, pork, almonds and raisins, topped with a traditional walnut-almond sauce and garnished with pomegranate seeds. She quite liked it, but I don’t like raisins and it did not sound too appetizing to me, so I never tried it.

My boyfriend ordered one of the “from the grill” dishes which we could share, as it was huge and cost £30, which was called “Fiesta Grill” and included tiger prawns, costillas, half baby chicken, beef and chicken fajitas, and was served with flour tortillas, Mexican rice, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo and a choice of beans. You could wrap the meat in the tortillas and top it with what you wanted. It was quite pleasant to eat, and I did make a few tortillas topped with a mild salsa, Mexican rice and beans. I love tacos, so I had to order these and I ordered the Carne Asada tacos which cost £9.95 and included 3 tacos of grilled adobo-marinated skirt steak topped with roasted tomatillo salsa, roasted red peppers and fresco cheese. I thought they were nice tacos, but I think Taqueria in Notting Hill does much better ones. We also ordered sides of arroz Mexicano, the Mexican red rice with garlic, onions, tomatoes and spices, which we actually should not have ordered, as another portion was included in the “Fiesta Grill”, but the waitress never told us, and the frijoles negros or the black beans topped with fresco cheese.

I loved the margaritas and the freshly made guacamole at Cantina Laredo, but the rest was ok. The atmosphere could have been more fun, it was fun at the bar, but less so at the tables. The food was not expensive but it lacked that wow factor, it was just decent Mexican food.

Date: 05/ 12/ 14
Price for 3 people with alcohol: £135.11
Location: Covent Garden

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Maija rated: 



Cantina Laredo
10 Upper St Martins Lane WC2H 9FB
United Kingdom
Cantina Laredo Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3