Sophie McLean visits Condesa restaurant in Covent Garden.
Leaping on to the tapas flushed scene on Covent Garden’s Maiden Lane, recently opened Condesa restaurant brings a Mexican twist to all those Spanish themed places we’ve also seen of late.
Here, alongside South American roasted coffee, Venezuelan hot chocolate and cake (where you’ll find free wifi too for long afternoons spent ‘working’) you can also tuck into a simple variety of soups and bocadillos.
The décor is predictably laid back, with projected images of beach-baked Baja California at one end of the bar, and a stylish wooden-come-shiny metal decked apartment theme throughout. During the daytime and evening the petite space at Condesa restaurant (with capacity for around 30 people, seated) serves up a variety of hot and cold bites.
Dueño Daniel Caballero, originally from Mexico, has managed to stay away from the hotter climes since, mainly though his gastronomic adventures through France and Spain, meeting aptly named business partner Rafael Serrano en route.
What I’m most keen about in this place is that next to a couple of other Hispanic choices, it has three reasonably priced La Cetto Mexican wines on the menu – including a Chenin Blanc, a Zinfandel, and a Nebbiolo – all showing very well.
The zinfandel is fresh and comparable to something from Sonoma, redolent of squashed strawberries and ripe fruit, and the Nebbiolo, a lighter, more floral version of the beloved bottles I used to know in Italy, but still with prominent violet characteristics.
Food-wise you’ll find classic lomos, choizos and cheeses, an interesting Cecina de Leon (12 month old cured beef, akin to Italy’s bresaola), and Mexican ingredients such as agave syrup that comes drizzled on the blue cheese salad, green tomato salsa served on the pulled pork sliders, and a weekly changing ceviche.
Changing specials include Mole chicken tostadas – not quite what you’d imagine if you haven’t been to Mexico before. The good news is that you don’t have to order food here with drinks just yet, so it’s an easy early pit-stop or place to nibble prior to more substantial meals elsewhere.
Address: 15 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7NG
Phone: +44 203 601 57 52
Read our guide to the best restaurants in Covent Garden.