Killer Tomato Portobello Road

275 Portobello Road, London, W11 1LR, United Kingdom

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Editor's note: this restaurant closed at the end of April 2018.

This is the second branch of Killer Tomato, which is named after an obscure movie (see the review of the original restaurant for details). It opened in October 2017, the first incarnation of the brand being in Shepherds Bush. The essential format at both branches is the same – tacos at modest prices in a casual setting. The menus vary a little to fit in with the tastes of the local population: it turns out that there are more vegetarians in Portobello Road than Shepherds Bush, for example. The menu items change monthly, at least in part. There are a couple of bottles of wine at £19.95 amd Estrella beer at £4.25. Just as at the original branch, there is no cash taken, only credit cards, this saving the restaurant from bothering with a safe. At this branch the kitchen is tucked away rather than being in view of the diners, and 34 diners can be seated at any one time. 

Today I tried three different tacos. Crumbed anchovy came with crispy bacon and a Mexican take on Ceaser dressing. This was the least good of the three, the saltiness of the anchovy dominating the other flavours. Better was tempura aubergine with courgette and raisin jam, the flavour balance better. Best was red chorizo with apple sauce and chilli-lime salt, the acidity of the apple working well with the meat, and the hint of chilli just adding a gentle bite (13/20 overall). I also enjoyed a pair of tostados (toasted tortillas). On one was tequila-cured salmon with crème fraiche and dill and pickled cucumber. This combination of flavours is pretty classical, and the tostados itself had good texture. Even better was butternut squash tostados with coconut and coriander and, it turned out, coriander and a lively amount of red chilli. I was worried that this might be too sweet due to the squash, but the punch of the chilli carried all before it (13/20).

The bill came to £15.95 without any alcohol. If you had wine then a typical cost per person might come to about £26. The food here may be simple but it is better made that at just about any of the Mexican restaurants I have tried in London touting their authentic Mexican credentials. Here they make no such claims, but just serve really good tacos.


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User comments

  • Laurence Modiano

    I lunched here, encouraged by AH's review. The place was empty, save for two other tables, the music loud and un-Mexican, the decor garish and the room temperature so cold I didn't take my coat off. There were no Mexican beers but the margaritas were excellent. The guacamole was served straight out of the fridge, tasteless, devoid of salt, coriander and onion. The anchovy taco was salty and overly pungent to my taste, the fried chicken taco again very salty and covered in a sweet and sickly sauce that neutered the taste of the chicken. The only decent dish was the pork burrito, which was rich and filling and nicely textured. Needless to say, despite the friendly and charming service from two Australian girls, this is a restaurant I shall not return to. Taqueria in Westbourne Grove provides a much better Mexican experience.

  • Anon

    Went last night, was fairly empty. Service was reasonably attentive and food came out promptly. Burritos were huge, best value item on the menu. Tacos are small, even though you get a set of two. Would recommend the Korean sticky fried chicken tacos for a bit of heat and then the anchovy or aubergine tacos for some cooling balance.

  • Ben Tamlyn

    Intersetingly, Caesar dressing is of Mexican extraction. Caesar Cardini (the inventor of said salad & dressing) first created this dish at his restaurant in Tijuana in the 1920s. Love food factoids! Love the blog BTW

  • Rajesh Taylor

    I've never ventured that far down Portobello Road, thanks for the find and review. I will definitely keep it in mind for people after they've taken in the pastel flavoured homes and market stalls.