Green and Red

51 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London, England, E1 6LA, United Kingdom

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Green and Red closed in 2011. It will not be particularly missed, at least not by me.

The dining room is on the ground floor, along with a bar. A larger bar area is downstairs. On a Thursday evening the place was very busy, with some tables being turned.  Salsa and tortilla chips were nothing out of the ordinary: the tomato salsa seemed home-made but a little bland and lacking in bite, it could have done with more lime juice and maybe some fresh coriander (round up). They have Bohemia beer and make a good marguerita at the bar, and there is a whole menu of tequila. The menu is Mexican rather than Tex-Mex, so not a burrito in sight. Camarones Puerta Vallarta was four shrimps cooked in their shells, served with a warm salsa of plum tomato and Serrano chilli. The prawns were cooked correctly though they were unremarkable, and the salsa was again pleasant but lacking any real interest (11/20). My friend’s salad of broad beans, white onion and coriander featured a nice bite from lime juice but excessive chilli, which all but killed off any other flavours. I am fond of spices, but this was just one-dimensional chilli hotness which smothered the rest of the dish (11/20).

My main course chicken was supposedly corn-fed chicken roasted with achiote spices, served with (you guessed it) a tomato salsa.  The chicken was decent enough, correctly cooked and served on the bone, but in this cases the spices were restrained, a little chill hotness but little else coming through (round up). Refined black beans with chorizo were mushy (10/20). If I am kind I could get this up to a 11/20 score, given that the prawns and chicken were correctly cooked, but the use of spices was crude; I’d have been tempted to score it a zero. This is actually better than most Mexican restaurants in London (mostly cynical chains aimed at teenagers on dates) but it is really not very good Mexican food compared to some that I have had in the US.   

One bonus is that the place is just across the street from the Brick Lane 24 hour bagel place, which is useful if you have the misfortune to order as your main course the soggy roast pumpkin with lentils and sweet potato as my friend did.

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