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SquareMeal Review of Cantina Laredo

Challenging preconceptions of the Mexican dining experience, Cantina Laredo tosses aside chilli-laden, sombrero-clad stereotypes and puts the food centre stage. Well-informed staff pay tribute to the care taken in the kitchen and the menu points out that the spicy mole sauce has over 16 ingredients, while guacamole is made to order at the table. Starters of tiger prawns wrapped in bacon with sweet potato sauce or sticky honey-basted ribs delight, but that mole sauce is strangely tame and promises of spice on the menu can at times prove to be empty. Tremendous drinks are where the kicks come from: the quality of the Tequila used in the superlative Margaritas is apparent and the chilli-laced hot chocolates are creamy and addictive. These flairs of energy fight against the strangely muted character of the whole outfit, which is still less cantina, more hotel breakfast buffet in appearance. With plenty of passion and commitment evident from front of house through to the kitchen, a more generous seasoning of fun could only make the whole experience more appetising.

Good to know about Cantina Laredo

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Mexican
Ambience
Fun
Food Occasions
Bottomless brunch, Late night dining
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Special Features
Wheelchair access
People
Group dining [8+]

Special offers from Cantina Laredo

Lunch & Pre Theatre: 2/3 courses £25/£28

From: 9 April, 2019
To: 9 October, 2019
Max: 8
From a set menu, 3 courses £28.
Availability: Daily 12:00PM-6:30PM

Location for Cantina Laredo

10 Upper St Martin's Lane, St Martin's Courtyard, London, WC2H 9FB

020 7420 0630

Website

Opening Times of Cantina Laredo

Mon-Sun 12N-11.30pm (Fri-Sat -12M Sun -10.30pm)

Reviews of Cantina Laredo

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18 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Ms/Mrs. Lorna W

Classy Mexican
01 February 2018  
Not my first visit and won’t be my last. Unfortunately two large tables of guests on a work outing spoiled the usual pleasant vibe of the restaurant and half the restaurant was closed due to a photo shoot. Sevice took longer than usual but food was good. I had the Enchiladas and my guest had the prawns which were huge and of course we had the signature guacomole which is a must try! I would describe this retaurant as a classy mexican without a sombrero or cheesy take on a mexican theme in site just good honest Mexican food and great margheritas.
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Ms/Mrs. Paula G

Pleasantly surprised at Cantina Laredo
10 November 2017  
I found Cantina Laredo via Squaremeal and had no idea what to expect. Upon entering I sat at the bar and ordered a margarita whilst waiting for my friend to arrive. I could see large trays of intriguing dishes being served to fellow diners, beautiful tacos with fresh fish, meats and cheeses. What really made this night great was our waitress who was very encouraging and passionate about the menu, it was great to see. My favourite dishes were the guacamole (made at our table for us) with tortillas, the sirloin steak tacos and the heavenly chocolate brownie with agave butter!! Overall, it was an excellent evening with delicious food, I highly recommend this restaurant.
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Anon

Excellent experience
25 July 2017  
Great food and service! Our waitress was lovely. Table side guacamole is a MUST. We went for the free flowing margaritas for brunch so it was a great value for our money.
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Anon

One of the best Mexicans in London
10 October 2016  
I have been to this restaurant a few times and always enjoy going back as the food is so delicious! This time it was in-between theatre shows (Harry Potter) so we wanted a filling late lunch-early dinner. At 4pm (we had booked just encase - this place gets very busy in the evening) the restaurant was nice and quiet and we received fantastic service. We had two friends with us who had never been and absolutely loved it. We had a pre-theatre set menu, 2 courses for £20 or 3 courses for £25 and a margarita for £5. We had the guacamole to start which is made fresh in front of you, very tasty and fresh. Two of us had the chicken fajitas, one had the sea bream and one had the tacos. The fajitas are always a winner here, great portion size with tasty sides. The sea bream was also very generous and very much enjoyed. The tacos are a little on the smaller side compared to the other mains, so perhaps not recommended if you are very hungry but still very nice. The margaritas were also of generous size and perfectly blended. We had the churros and brownie for desert. Again, the chocolate brownie is finished off in front of you and is full of flavour. The churros were light and crispy with a gorgeous strawberry cream and chili chocolate sauce. Overall we dined for 2 hours and each meal was served in good time and our waiter was very friendly and helpful. We will continue to return here as will our friends!
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David P

Great guacamole
15 May 2015  
Making fresh guacamole at your table is a neat touch and being fresh tastes delicious. The service is very good, attentive without being overbearing and the food was more than pleasant. I like this place. It is pretty smart and has a more upmarket feel than some of the more grungy Mexican places around town. Given it's location it also represents pretty good value for money. The mains don't come with sides so beware if extra hungry. The fish selection is very good IMHO and the other more standard Mexican fare also doesn't disappoint. Happy to report that the cocktails are also worth trying. Happy !
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Mr. Patrick B

A very good take on Mexican
03 May 2013  
A couple of points about Cantina Laredo stand out, firstly its excellent location on the frontier between Covent Garden and the west end, its opening hours and its quite refined but still buzzy atmosphere which is more refined than most Mexican contenders. The service is excellent and honest, meaning that if you are not up to speed on the details of Mexican food, here the team has been trained to explain patiently. Overall it is a slick and fun operation which is usually busy well into the night. Making a claim to be at the higher end of Mexican cuisine, I missed a bit of zing in some of the otherwise very high quality dishes. Mexican food is fun, and doesn't work when taken too seriously, but at least the quality and freshness can not be faulted.
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Christopher J

13 April 2012  
Gourmet, as an adjective, is used to flog most food nowadays – sandwiches, sausage rolls, even Cat food. It has become a meaningless term which should now translate to ‘good’ or ‘not crap’. I think it is quite unlikely that the very restaurants designed to serve gourmets where this term orginated, would wish to be associated with it any longer. Cantina Ladero's tagline is ‘Gourmet Mexican Food’. I am a big fan of Mexican Food but we don't do it very well in this country. The Mexican restaurants in London particularly are generally in tourist traps and serve 4 pint pitchers of blue margaritas to noisy tables of 20. I am pleased to confirm that Ladero does not conform to this genre and actually turns out some very well presented and delicious Mexican food in very civilised surroundings. We ordered a couple of items from the ‘Tapas’ section (same language I guess) followed by Taquería (Tacos). I did also see some sizzling skillets of Fajitas being transported to tables and experienced momentary food envy. One reccomendation I would make is for the ‘Guadalajara Michelda’ which is actually a regional drink recipe – Beer served with Tomato juice, Lime, Chilli sauce and with a rim of sea salt which will put thick black hairs on your chest.
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Ms/Mrs. Julie R

05 January 2012  
I've never been to Mexico so cannot comment on the authenticity question, but as a new pre-theatre venue for me, it ticked all the right boxes. I have to agree with the SM reviewer as the room itself is somewhat uninspiring – personally I went for hotel foyer rather than dining room, but that doesn't detract from the enthusiasm and friendliness of the waiting staff who seemed genuinely pleased that the food was appreciated. The “top shelf” guacamole was interesting being that it is made at your table, but would have been better with slightly riper avocados and although advertised as sufficient for two, make sure your dining companion does not have a big appetite! Our mains or steak wrapped around a pepper and steak with bacon wrapped prawns were very good but the accompanying sides of rice and sauteed vegetables were a tad disappointing – vegetables being somewhat overdone and rice just lacking in any sort of flavour. That said, it was an enjoyable meal (margaritas v good and half price at the time) and I will return but probably for a swift informal meal, rather that a leisurely, lengthy evening.
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Mr. Martin F

30 December 2011  
Think of Mexican food and you might picture lurid chilli reds and guacamole greens, and the tendency to slather sauce or cheese over most dishes; certainly not a cuisine that to lends itself naturally to the term ‘gourmet’. So it was with some intrigue that we ventured into Cantina Laredo, proudly boasting just such credentials. How could this slick-looking place turn tacos and enchiladas into something more elevated than your average. Certainly service was a step above being thrown tacos in tin foil and offered a slice for your beer. The whole place was achingly efficient, with door staff gliding us to the bar as we waited for a table and at the same time expertly upselling the house margaritas. The drinks were good – certainly not timid on the tequila – though to my taste perhaps just missing quite the right balance to make this a truly memorable incarnation. Salsa with nachos comes as a complementary appetiser, and is a crisp, fresh start with a great kick. Yet good as they were, these somehow seemed only to remind me about how over-priced much of the rest of the menu appeared. Table-made guacamole added nice theatre and shared the zesty, full flavours we’d experienced thus far, yet at £6.95 felt like a twisted misappropriation of that gourmet tag. With familiar mains at unfamiliar prices, we were hoping for something with a real zing. However fillings in both a chile relleno (stuffed pepper) and enchiladas were significantly under-flavoured and disappeared quickly on the palette. A bizarre side of sautéed vegetables (courgette and sweetcorn) was a flabby addition to both plates that tasted as if they might as well have come out of a tin. Stylishly outfitted in thick wooden cuts, in a prime location in the new St. Martin’s Courtyard complex close to Covent Garden, and with consistently good service, Cantina Laredo can lay some claim to its gourmet tag. Yet read by another (and frankly more important) meter, this was average cooking at above-average prices which left me hankering for something held together in tin-foil and where a cocktail simply means the choice of lemon or lime with your drink.
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Ms/Mrs. Susan H

08 February 2011  
We went for dinner before the theatre and opted for the pre-theatre menu. Great decor and some very comfy booths. Friendly staff and our waiter – Andrew was extremely helpful and polite, he also made an amazing fresh guacamole at our table. Food was delicious and fresh with healthy sized portions. Will definately be going back…
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