Cantina Laredo sits in the heart of Covent Garden, serving traditional Mexican dishes and a variety of traditional and new style guacamole dishes.
A few weeks back, I went to review Cantina Laredo, who pride themselves on being the heart and soul of Mexican food! There is so much variety to chose from and I wanted to get an authentic taste of Mexico.
The first dish to try out is was what Cantina is known for- their guacamole! Cantina serves 8 great guacamole, which awakens the taste buds with traditional guacamole and unusual twists of the loved dish. The choices are; Guacamole Clásico, Guacamole con Chile Habanero, Guacamole de Chicharrón, Guacamole con Cangrejo, Guacamole con Chapulines, Guacamole de Piña, Guacamole de Poblano y Maiz.
I was given the opportunity to make my own guacamole, which I enjoyed doing so. In the end, I and my friend made our own guacamole- Guacamole con Cangrejo. Which has Avocado, chipotle, red onion, jalapeño, jicama and coriander. Topped with white crab meat and citrus oil. Served with warm corn tortilla chips.
However, returning to our sharing table, we got to try some of the other great guacamoles. My favourite as to be the Guacamole con Chile Habanero, with Roasted yellow habaneros with avocado, coriander, roasted shallots and garlic. Served with roasted yellow habanero salsa and warm corn tortilla chips. This is great as it is both vegetarian and gluten-free, I love this dish, as it is quite morish, but Cantina did not hold back on the spice and will leave your eyes watering! However, if you’re not daring with your taste buds then stick to the Guacamole Clásico which is made with Avocado, red onions, jalapeño, coriander, tomatoes and warm corn tortilla chips.Prepared at your table with a selection of salsa molcajetes and is both vegetarian and gluten-free. This is just a classic version of guacamole but is still big on flavour.
We moved onto Entradas, which are small dishes to start with and are perfect for sharing. What I love about Cantina Laredo is that the dishes are suitable for different diets, whether you are vegetarian, or cannot eat certain dairy products like myself. My favourite Entradas dishes were the Camarones Rebozados, which are Tiger prawn tempura with chile and lime. The prawns are crunchy and full of flavour and are a great way to start your meal. I also loved the Tortas de Carnitas, which is Pulled pork, tortas, black beans and salsa verde. The pulled pork is dewy and automatically melts into the mouth, allowing the flavours to roam around your taste buds, whilst the salsa verde adds a savoury flavour.
Moving on from the Entradas, Brochetas were brought, which are medium-sized dishes, which are also great for sharing. Cantina recommends two dishes per person to share. My favourite Brochetas to share are the Brochetas de Pollo which are Chicken skewers with an agave chile glaze. A different take on chicken, with a sweet chill taste. Brochetas de Arrachera which are Skirt steak skewers with sweet Mexican soy and chile de árbol. Slightly more spicer in taste, but the steak is tender and exuding in flavour.
Tacos are also a highlight of Cantina as there is a variety of tacos for both meat and vegetarian lovers. My favourite tacos would have to be Tacos de Pork Belly which is Pork belly, corn tortillas, salsa verde with coriander and onion salsa. I am a big fan of pork belly and Catina got it completely right! The pork belly is soft and salty, giving the meat a savoury taste. I also tried the Tacos de Rib Eye, which is 28 days aged ribeye steak, corn tortillas, avocado emulsion and guajillo oil. The steak is medium cooked and well season. Although the Brochetas dishes are to share, they are quite filling, and by this time I was getting quite full. My final taco was something different, Tacos de Pato con Mole which is Duck with Nutella mole, corn tortillas and plums. The combination of the Nutella, plum and duck is quite unusual but seemed to work well together in taste. However, after a few bites, the Nutella was a bit overwhelming and sickly.
For mains, Cantina serve Platos Fuertes, Which are larger dishes, designed to share or eat individually. These dishes are not served with sides, so you will have to add sides separately, which is a bit inconvenient, however, it does give you the choice to design your main, according to your taste. For myself, I chose the Rib Eye-con Mantequilla de Habanero, Which is the 28 days aged ribeye (270g) with yellow habanero butter. I added Arroz Rojo which is Mexican red rice. The steak is well marinated but is very spicy, whilst the Arroz Rojo is very similar in taste to my native country (Nigeria) rice, which made me enjoy the rice even more.
Throughout the night, there were many choices of drinks to try from. My favourite drink of the night as to be the Pine for Patrón, which is Pineapple infused Patrón Silver, ancho chile shrub and lime. The presentation of this cocktail alone is aesthetically pleasing, served in a short glass, with a thick cube and the cocktail in the small silver patron bottle, to be served over the large cube of ice. This cocktail is strong and is definitely a signature cocktail to try out!
I also tried the Juan That Got Away which is Del Maguey Crema De Mezcal, Casamigos Blanco, watermelon and basil shrub. However, the basil made the cocktail sweet but with a spicy aftertaste. The cocktails Cantina Laredo seem to be quite on the spicy side, so I had to get a refreshing mocktail, I chose the Berry ride not to which is Strawberries, raspberries, passionfruit and vanilla. Even if you are drinking I would recommend getting this mocktail as it is so sweet and refreshing and aids in keeping your palate refreshed.
For dessert, I chose the Churros de Canela y Azucar con dips de Chile Chocolate y Fresas con Crema, which is Cinnamon and sugar churros, chile chocolate and strawberry cream. They had to change the dip to just chocolate, due to my tolerance, which the kitchen was kind enough to do so. The churros are delicate and tasted so good dipped in the chocolate sauce.
(Although the cocktails are quite pricey)
Ambience: Great atmosphere, with filling food and authentic Mexican vibes.
What to wear: Smart casual
(I wore a blazer, shirt, jeans and sweater)