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Santo Remedio caused a stir in Shoreditch in 2016 before rent increases forced it to close soon after opening. But it was around for long enough to develop an ardent fanbase who have helped crowdfund this new two-floor site near London Bridge. It’s an easy-going, high-energy kind of place, with bare tables and blue tiles creating the sort of clattery acoustics that are perfect for dates or a catch-up with a mate, with half of the 90 covers for walk-ins and the other half available to book.
All of the three tacos we tried (chicken, pork confit, soft-shell crab) were good, but the chicken had the edge for the sweet-and-sour kick of orange juice and pickled onions; we also loved the heat and crunch of the soft-shell crab. Slow-cooked beef rib was more DIY, though no great hardship when the meat slides off the bone and there’s thick molé to spread on the taco like chocolate Marmite. Non-taco dishes include cactus coleslaw, corn on the cob slathered with mayonnaise and Pecorino, chicharrón – light curls of pork scratching to dip into Mexico’s national sauce of Valentina, a sort of spicy ketchup – and churros to dip into a sugar bomb of dulce de leche.
To drink, there are half a dozen Mexican wines, a couple of beers and a house Margarita served on the rocks with a fiery rim of Tajin chilli powder. With high-end Ella Canta recently opened in the InterContinental, the vibrant immediacy of fresh Mexican cooking is finally getting the attention it deserves.
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