Bringing a touch of elegance to London’s Mexican restaurant scene is Mayfair based Ella Canta.
Located at the back of the Intercontinental with its own standalone entrance and sought-after address of 1 Park Lane, Ella Canta comes from Mexico city-based chef, Martha Ortiz.
Martha’s restaurant in Mexico City, Dulce Patria, is recognised as one of the top restaurants in Latin America, and features on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Martha is known for the use of colour in her cooking and with that she has brought the vibrancy and spirit of modern Mexico to London.
Start with a bowl of guacamole topped with grasshoppers while you read the descriptions of the dishes ahead, including “firedanced” sea bass and “vampire” ceviche.
But try not to roll your eyes at the way the menu is broken down into ‘Overture’, ‘Main Act’ and ‘Final Curtain’.
The vampire ceviche with mango and sangrita sorbet was excellent: fresh, zingy and bursting with colour.
Sopa de frijol negro, chicharon y foi gras con mezcal (velvety black bean soup, pork skin, foie gras with mescal) was true to its name and was pleasantly soothing after the fiery ceviche.
‘Main Acts’ include ‘firedanced’ seabass with cabbage tortillas and beef fillet with black chichilo and aubergine.
I had to leave before the final curtain, but I’ve heard the Mexican churros with caramel and chocolate are worth staying for.
Ella Canta was designed by David Collins Studio, which has managed to make a large space in a hotel look anything but corporate by breaking up the room into smaller sections, each with its own life and atmosphere.
The restaurant features contemporary Mexican artwork and a hand-carved floor to ceiling walnut installation runs along the full length of the space.
Ella Canta could be described as Mexican “fine dining” in one sense, but it’s much more fun than that. The food itself might be refined, but the design, ambiance and staff make it a far more playful experience.
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