Jan 10 2015

DF/ Mexico


I love Mexican food and am always on the lookout for that new amazing Mexican restaurant in London that will re-create the tacos I had on the streets of Mexico City when I was there last. DF Mexico (from the same owners as Wahaca) opened recently in Shoreditch and it is one of those long standing pop ups that will be there for a while and should not be called a pop up. It is a modern Mexican diner, that takes no reservations, is medium sized and with its cool and hipster vibe blends into the streets of Shoreditch. DF Mexico is named after “Distrito Federal’ or what Mexicans call Mexico City.

We came here for a dinner on a Saturday, quite early, so we did not have to wait to get a table. DF Mexico tries to keep costs and prices low by having no waiters. You are seated, you decide what you will have and then go to order (and pay) at the till, and then someone brings you your food. That is all the interaction you get from a human, there are no people checking on your food and filling your glass, you do it yourself. I have read some complaints about this lack of staff, but it did not bother me in the slightest. I don’t mind not interacting so much with waiters if it keeps the price of my food low.

The menu offers grilled burritos, tacos, grilled dishes, tortas, which they call a “Mexican sandwich served New York style in a toasted brioche bun with smashed avocado, slaw and house pickle” but which really is a burger, DIY Mexican boards (or make your own taco kits), salads, sharing dishes and sides. The other thing that attracted my attention was the cool bottomless juicy water. For £2.30 you could have as much Hibiscus, Horchata or Lime and chia juicy water as you wanted to have and there were huge bowls containing these in the middle of the room where you could go and serve yourself.

We ordered the grilled chicken tacos, with pasilla chilli rub, habanero and pumpkinseed mayo and tomatillo guac, the steak from the grill section which had steak in a chilli rub with chipotle hibiscus salsa and was either served with rice or fries (we chose rice) and the DIY Mexican board with carne con chilli, which had 4-hour slow cooked beef with beans, cheese and sour cream. This DIY Mexican board was served with soft flour tortillas, red slaw, chipotle hibiscus salsa, corn chips and freshly made guacamole. There was no star dish from all of these, all of them were ok, good. The steak was cooked medium rare and was quite tender and delicious, which sort of surprised me and with the rice and salsa made it an enjoyable eat. The tacos seemed quite healthy and had a lot of vegetables in there and this sort of strange sauce, which I assume was the habanero and pumpkinseed mayo, which made the taco taste unusual, but did not make it a great taco for myself. As for the DIY Mexican board, I liked the red slaw, which was pleasant and refreshing, but the beans and 4-hour slow cooked beef had way too much cheese covering the beef. Also the 4-hour slow cooked beef was very tender, but I I was expecting a bit more flavour wise. However when you put them together, they were nice to eat. The colourful tortilla chips were a nice touch, and the guacamole ok.

DF Mexico for me is just an “ok” place to eat Mexican food. The food did not blow me away and to me did not taste too authentic, it was more hipster/ modern/ healthier than the authentic Mexican food, which I prefer. This is not my favourite place for Mexican food in London but if someone wants to go there with me, I won’t say no. Also I actually prefer the more canteen like and chain-like Wahaca.

Date: 10/ 01/ 15
Price for 2 people, no alcohol: £32
Location: Shoreditch

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Maija rated: 



DF/ Mexico
Hanbury Street E1 6QR
United Kingdom
DF/ Mexico Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3