Saturday, 1 February 2014

Mestizo: where we had one tequila, two tequila, 3 tequila more

Last week SquareMeal and Nuffnang UK invited a few bloggers to socialise at Mestizo, a Mexican restaurant on Hampstead Road. 


I got to chat to one of Mestizo's proprietors and discussed the scarcity of authentic Mexican restaurants in town. He said Mestizo's been around town for nine years and the secret to their longevity is an offering of authentic Mexican cuisine from the regions. This got me really excited  to see what they have in store for us.

They started bringing out the drinks and mentioned tequila and mezcal tasting... oh boy.

There's an old Mexican saying: "For everything bad, mezcal. For everything good, the same." 
Mezcal is another Mexican liquor made from agave different from tequila.

Tom Bartram, Biz Dev guru at Speciality Brands, gave us a bit of an education on Mexican drinking culture and agave. Best fact of the night: agave is NOT related to cacti nor aloe vera; agave is a cousin of *drumrolls* good ol' ASPARAGUS. Yes. One big "Really?!" really!

First drink up was Tapatio Blanco. This was a light tequila - smelt lethal but tasted a bit smoother than expected. Pleasant. Reasonably priced at the £22-25 mark, too.

They served traditional molotes filled with refried beans and pellizcadas topped with cheese, onions and sour cream.

They paired the dish with a shot of 5-year old Don Fulano Imperial.
This is a bit more distinct and definitely more mature than the first tequila. It's earthy, it's bitter, it's sweet and it stings your throat with a heat that's halfway between sexy and geeky. I kinda liked it. It's serious stuff with a serious price tag: a bottle retails from £80.

We had chips. Lots and lots and lots of chips. They were good chips. In a cute bowl. 

Sopes and chicken flautas topped with more sour cream, mole sauce, cheese and onions!

And then there was Ilegal Joven Mezcal (It's not really illegal mom!)
This was rather interesting and I'm not just saying this because of the cute fruit shell specially imported to serve it in. It's unaged mezcal, smoky and earthy in flavour. It also tasted a bit sweet and for some strange reason I thought there was a hint of mint. Interesting. A bottle usually starts from £33.

Our last dish was a mini cheese empanada with quazamole and fried tortilla strips.


All through out dinner the bloggers scribbled notes, posted on social media and snapped away with their cameras. So glad to see people who understand the need to take decent shots of food before forking through a meal! My highlight was hooking up with Tom and Kate who are such great darlings. We had such a good time chatting away at our end of the table that we decided to cap the night off with more food and drinks in Soho. =)

OOPS. =)

It was a good night, indeed.
Muchas gracias Squaremeal y Nuffnang y Mestizo!

103 Hampstead Rd London |  +44 (0)20 7387 4064
Mestizo on UrbanspoonSquare Meal


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