Peyote 2013
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Square Meal Review of Peyote ?

Like his nearby Coya, this restaurant sees Arjun Waney jazzing-up Central and South American cuisine for a sophisticated Mayfair audience. Peyote is Mexican, but conspicuously avoids garish design stereotypes – although the lighting is warmly welcoming. However, there’s colour and freshness aplenty on the sharing plates, from the fleshy tones of roughly chopped tuna atop a crisp tostada to red onion slivers cutting the richness of slow-cooked shredded pork pibil tortillas. For us, the best dish is a bowl piled high with grilled sweetcorn, chipotle mayo and grated cheese, while readers rate the “flavour-packed” guacamole, “wonderfully presented” dipping sauces, “outstanding” yellowtail sashimi and “standout” rib-eye with burnt aubergine salsa – plus the Tequila and mezcal selection of course. Alas, things go awry out front: service can be “clueless” and “disorganised”, while placing the open kitchen in the basement makes the downstairs dining room seem claustrophobic.

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  1. 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.

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