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25-27 Brewer Street
Punters out late can live la vida loca at this dippy cocktail pit attached to El Camion’s Mexican grill. Choose from more than 300 class-act Tequilas, served with homemade sangrita (salt and lime
is for Philistines), plus a savvy selection of mighty mescals. The Pink Chihuahua’s margaritas and daiquiris have plenty of bite – hardly surprising, given that the head honcho here is Dick Bradsell,
the man who masterminded London’s ascent to cocktail capital of the world with help from protégés such as Tony Conigliaro. If Tequila isn’t to your taste, try fruity cachaça-based batidas or any
off-menu fix you fancy – not forgetting bottles of cerveza served Mexican-style with spices. The low-rent decor is nothing to write home about, but when the DJ cranks up the party after midnight,
this kooky kennel is top dog.
To celebrate the Year of the Woman, SquareMeal is running a series of interview profiles with top female chefs. Read here about Marianne Lumb’s colourful career as a private chef and the benefits of operating one of London’s smallest kitchens.
Cool London bars
25-27 Brewer Street
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 177m
Leicester Square Tube Station 427m
Piccadilly Theatre 50m
Lyric Theatre 114m
Mon-Sun 12N-3am (Sun -11pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
When Mexican food first appeared in the UK, it was a shadow of what any of us had tried in the US. Tiny, terrible portions and horrendously overpriced. Thankfully, in the last few years, some seriously good Mexican restaurants have cropped up in London and El Camion in Soho is one of them. Already a plus is the fact that they allow table bookings so you don’t waste half of Friday night standing and waiting for one to become available.
This is before I’ve even got to the food. This is serious Mexican with the portions you’d expect. My friend and I shared a starter and then had a main course each. In hindsight this was a mistake. Not because the food wasn’t great – because it was but the sheer amount of food we were given defeated both of us. As my friend commented, it’s probably the first time we’ve ever come close to running out of actual nachos before we ran out of the toppings heaped onto them. So many restaurants are ridiculously stingy with their guacamole etc but not here. For the mains we each had an enchilada. It came loaded with all manner of toppings and accompanied by a salad and it was a good size too. I felt like I’d never eat again by the time I left the restaurant.
Unfortunately the good value on food does not continue with the drinks. £8.50 for a tiny classic Margarita. It’s so small that you could finish it in two gulps. Also, bizarrely for a Mexican restaurant that specialises in tequila, our waitress first tried to encourage us to have a Mojito and then a Gin based cocktail. Very strange.
The décor is simplistic and colourful but it fits with everything we expect from Mexican and yes, it’s kitsch but it’s quite fun. It is a little lacking in atmosphere though, which is strange since the restaurant was pretty busy on the Friday we visited. The food is worth the trip but if you’re drinking, expect the final total to shoot up, making this far pricier than it really needs to be for the experience.
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