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Mestizo

103 Hampstead Road, London, United Kingdom

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Mestizo opened in March 2005, a Mexican restaurant owned by Mexicans. It has quite smart décor, with wooden floor, tables with white linen tablecloths, and an attractive bar. The name apparently means fusion, not as in the cuisine but as a term used for the descendants of indigenous Mexicans who had interbred with the conquering Spaniards.  Mestizo has a sister restaurant called El Burrito in Charlotte Street. 

Tacos carnitas (£6.20) were topped with slow-cooked, marinated roast pork, but this was badly dried out, the tacos texture tolerable (10/20). Ceviche prawns (£8.80) had a gloopy sauce dominated by tomato, seemingly also with Serrano chillis, onions and lemon juice and coriander, though that would be hard to tell from the taste. The prawns had little flavour, there was not enough lemon juice, and they had not even bothered to pick the coriander leaves off the stems (9/20).

Crepas cuitlacoche (which are usually spelled huitlacoche, £12) are pancakes filled with black corn mushrooms, then sautéed with onion and garlic, with sweet corn and Serrano chilli, grilled vegetables and a white cheese sauce. The texture of the pancakes was soggy, so this just tasted like a soggy cheese and mushroom pancake (10/20). 

Chicken with green mole sauce (£14) was tasteless and slightly overcooked, the sauce of tomatillo, green chilli, lettuce, epazote (wormseed) and pumpkin seeds rather bland (10/20). The refried beans were a cut above the norm though, having decent texture, and were the bext thing about the entire meal (11/20). 

Service was cursory, the waitress who we met on entering barely acknowledging us despite being far from otherwise occupied. The bill came to £33 a head before service, which felt way too much for what was delivered tonight. Whilst the level of food was still higher than the grim Tex Mex chains that infest central London serving overpriced slop, this was well below the standard of even basic Mexican food that you can taste in the USA. It is vastly inferior to the cooking of a high class Mexican restaurant, such as Punto MX in Madrid.

  

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@gpaterlinisf Yep, it was good: http://t.co/kMo7TPkNcE