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No doubt buoyed by the success of his Peruvian eatery Coya nearby, Arjun Waney has relaunched what was Aurelia as a cheerfully chic, modern Mexican joint. Food-wise, it’s essentially a Latin take
on his greatest hit Zuma, with some eye-catching fish dishes to the fore on the small-plates sharing menu – lobster ceviche, salmon and crab tostadas, tuna and yellowtail laminados and suchlike.
But it’s not all seafood: pork tacos and chicken quesadillas make savoury diversions ahead of standout mains such as butter-soft lamb cutlets with smoky corn and chipotle mayo on the side. After
that, try churros with a hefty cinnamon kick. The clientele is Waney’s well-heeled, well-coiffed target market (hence a global wine list with slim pickings under £40), but they are joined at the
small bar by drinks nerds paying homage to an impressive array of Tequila.
A lot of Mexican restaurants have awful kitschy decor, but the downstairs dining room at Peyote couldn’t be more different. The muted, inoffensive beige tones is livened up only by a crystal-studded skull motif on one of the walls and the colourful weaved baskets used to contain nachos and the bill. Sitting at the ‘ceviche bar’ gives you the best view of the house – that of the u-shaped kitchen staffed by at least eight Spanish speaking chefs. The black-uniformed waiters were friendly, informative and efficient, although I didn’t know where to look when it came to the receptionists’ plunging necklines.Despite the relatively high prices and moneyed Mayfair location, the menu at Peyote is surprisingly traditional consisting mostly of tacos, tostadas, ceviches and quesadillas as well as ‘laminados’ – a vaguely South American and contemporary take on sashimi as far as I can tell...
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