Firstly, I owe all of my foodie followers an apology. Not long ago, I insinuated that London wasn’t necessarily a good place to find a commendable Mexican meal. Discúlpeme (as they say), it was what I honestly believed. That was, until last Friday night.
Eating with one of His newish work colleagues and brilliantly entertaining actress (as well as producer) fiancée, we drank and ate like under nourished Mexicans at Santo, located at the less glam but perhaps more interesting end of Portobello Road.
For those of you who have known me longer than 5 years, you might remember my 35th birthday party. It was at exactly this venue, under a different name and management and, if MY memory serves me right, we partied like Mexicans that night too.
Anyway, back to last Friday evening. The menu at Santo is as extensive as the owners’ (who are brothers) facial hair.
It clearly distinguishes a burrito from a taco and a quesadilla from a cazuela and allows you to pretty much decide on what should fill it once you have made the above choice. A jug of margarita (£45) was ordered and arrived with frozen glasses suitably laden with salted rims.
As we tucked into the utterly delicious margaritas, we shared all the obvious starters: Salsa Mexicana (£4.50), Nachos (£11.50) and Guacamole (£5.50). And, because I was the nominated driver that night (having been driven all over Ibiza by Him), I argued my case that we should call Scooterman without further ado.
My main course was spectacularly Mexican. Opting for a Pollo Verde Cazuela (£11.50), I was presented with a hot bowl of chicken cooked with coriander, green chilli and green tomatoes as well as six soft corn tortillas so that I could essemble my own tacos. A fun and messy task after highly alcoholic margaritas!
Santo bills itself as a ‘home cooking’ joint and that’s exactly what it feels like. The authentically minimalist restaurant was packed with 30 and 40-something Notting Hillers by 9pm on Friday night and felt buzzy. As we left for Notting Hill Art Club (future blog post), DJ Flex was warming up at the back for after-dinner salsa movers. Sombreros, ponchos and a great big beard – I reckon everything goes at Santo after those jugs of margarita.