Regular readers of my blog and Instagram posts would notice that I am a big fan of Hot Dinners offers. When they announced an offer in collaboration with Cantina Laredo, I was intrigued. For £35 per person you receive a complimentary Margarita upon arrival, 5 sharing starters, a main course, side and a dessert. Also included are two glasses of House Wine each. It sounded too good to be true so a bunch of foodie blogger friends and I set out to investigate!
It was a sunny Tuesday evening and the place was buzzing. I was meeting fellow bloggers Megan (aka @nomeanfeast) and Becca (aka @beccaeatsworld) for a catch up meal. I had requested a table by the window which they had provided in spite of a busy service so already this place was starting to impress me.
As soon as we sat down, our lovely server Mariano took our drinks order. For our Margaritas, we had a choice of Ice Ice Baby or On The Rocks Margarita. We each chose a different flavour – Raspberry, Strawberry and Pomegranate. They looked colourful and tasted refreshing!
As we sat chatting and sipping our cocktails, a trolley was placed next to our table and a lovely waitress started making the Guacamole Clásico from scratch. This was the first of the five starters. I love a bit of food theatre and seeing food freshly prepared at the table gave the restaurant extra brownie points.
The Guacamole was vibrant and lively, bursting with all the ingredients (ripe avocados, red onion, jalapeño, coriander and tomatoes). This is such a perfect sharing dish, as you can carry on the conversation uninterrupted whilst dipping and scooping with warm corn tortilla chips. A definite crowd pleaser.
The rest of the parade included Quesadillas de Champiñones (Blue Corn Tortillas, Oaxaca Cheese, Mushrooms, Epazote and Oregano); Tacos Doradas (Crispy Chicken Tacos with Chile de Árbol Cream) and Tostadas de Berenjena (Aubergine, Crisp Tortillas with Green Habanero Mayonnaise)
The mushroom tortillas had a quite a distinctive colour to them. Each one was oozing with soft, gooey cheese and earthy mushrooms. The chicken tacos were crispy and crunchy outside, richly filled and the underlying sauce was just divine. The aubergine tostadas were unexpectedly spicy but delicious. All the starters were portioned generously and uniformly excellent.
Somewhere in between us scoffing our starters, we were served our first round of house wine and we had a second round later on in the meal. As it was a hot day, we stuck to mostly white but you do have the option to change from a white to a red (or vice versa).
For mains, Megan got the Taco Selection (28 day aged Ribeye, Avocado Emulsion and Guajillo oil; Cascabel Chicken; Pork Belly, Salsa Verde with Coriander and Onion Salsa and Tempura Mushroom with Grilled Sweetcorn and Chile Piquin). The assortment of colourful tacos looked great on the plate.
Becca and I both ordered the Brochetas Selection (Skirt Steak, Serrano Chile with Sweet Mexican Soy and Chile de Árbol; Butterfly Tiger Prawns with Valentine Butter; Chicken with Agave Chile Glaze; Sweet Potato and Beetroot with Green Habanero Mayonnaise. The skewers were all pretty decent; my favourite was the hearty steak one and the mayonnaise was definitely addictive.
With our mains, we also got a side each so we ordered the Frijoles Negroes (Black beans with Queso Fresco) and Papas con Crema y Chile Ancho (Creamy potatoes, Ancho chile and Queso Fresco). The black beans were ok, but perhaps the only weak point in the entire menu were the potatoes. They were a bit bland and tasted of nothing.
We were understandably quite stuffed by this point, but there is always room for dessert! We ordered all three on offer and ploughed through all – Brownie de chocolate con Helado de Vainilla (Chocolate, pecan and walnut brownie, vanilla ice cream and agave vanilla butter); Pay de Manzana con Helado de Canela (Mexican spiced apple tart with cinnamon ice cream and agave vanilla butter) and Churros de Canela y Azucar con dips de Chile Chocolate y Fresas con Crema (Cinnamon and sugar churros, chile chocolate and strawberry cream). All three desserts were delightful and deeply satisfying.
So in the end, the Hot Dinners offer really did deliver on its promise. There were no extra charges or hidden costs. In terms of service, staff were smily and chatty, and the courses were suitably paced.
I wasn’t going to blog about this place as it was more of a social catch up with friends than reviewing a restaurant. But this seemed such a good deal, not to mention in such a conveniently central location like Covent Garden, that I had to tell you all about it. If you dig modern Mexican food and are planning to get together with mates anytime soon, I highly recommend checking this place out. There is something for everyone here. But hurry, the deal won’t last forever!
Location : 10 Upper St Martin’s Lane, St Martin’s Courtyard, London, WC2H 9FB
The Hot Dinners offer runs from 1 June to 30 September 2018.
More information can be found here.