Restaurants & Bars U.K./Ireland

Lupita (london)

relizabeth | | Aug 22, 2010 03:19 AM

Last night my husband and I went to Lupita, the new mexican restaurant near Charring Cross. You can see the menu at Overall, it was good, but not spectacular. The decor is very clean with some industrial (raw concrete blocks) and rustic (not very neatly stacked dark wood) elements. Concept designer probably sold it as 'modesty funky.' Nothing about the decor says "mexican restaurant" which I think is kinda refreshing. We went around 7:30pm on Saturday night. It was busy but not full. They have been open for a week.

For starters, we had the Guacamole Artesanal (they make it at the table). It was nice, but could have used more lime. Nothing you can't make at home. The Cebollitas Cambray Preparadas were quite yummy. They were fresh (not dried) onions that had been grilled until soft and sauced with Worcestershire sauce. Simple, but very yummy. The Totopos with salsa (v) confused us a bit. The tortilla chips were not homemade. This is one area that they could really improve upon. The salsa was warm, as in had been heated up and served still steamy. I've never had warm salsa before. I'm going to have to read up Diana Kennedy's opinion of it. Googling has lead me to a chowhound post where there are mixed opinions.

The tacos we had were pretty amazing. They were out of Rajas con Papas Queso y Crema. My Pastor taco had very good pork and the spot on combination of pineapple, onion and coriander. Just to give you an idea of the portions, for £3.95, I got 2 10cm soft corn tortillas. Our Nopales tacos were also very satisfying. We think the cactus was pickled and tinned. Nice flavor, though. Once or twice in the past 6 years, we've had fresh cactus at Taqueria.

Our quesadillas were so-so. We very much enjoyed the Huitlacoche. I think this is the second time I've ever had it and was very excited to see it on a UK menu. Our Flor de Calabaza had too much cheese. I love squash blossoms and too much cheese over powers their delicate flavor. These were on flour tortillas that were a bit bigger than the corn ones used for tacos. Again, 2 quesadillas a serving.

In retrospect we should have had a flan and an arroz con leche for dessert, but instead we each had 2 arroz con leche. It was served with a really amazing clove and vanilla syrup. The rice had a nice al dente bite that I can never replicate. Our margaritas were not very strong, but well flavoured. Our bill came to £50.

There are a few teething problems in terms of service, but I'm assuming that they will tighten those up. Everybody was very friendly. I remember having one or two phenomenal meals at Taqueria years ago that far surpass this one, but otherwise would rank this above our experiences at Green and Black and Wahaca. I also hope that they add some aqua frescas and horchata to the menu.

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