First impressions - Tacos Padre sure has nabbed a great spot in Borough Market. If you manage to grab a table on one of London’s more pleasant lunchtimes or evenings, you’ll find yourself basking in the glow of the sun with a frozen margarita in hand - a thrill rarely experienced in the capital.
The majority of the seating in the summer months is on an open air terrace just off Winchester Walk, but there is some covered seating available too for those who don’t mind sitting up at the kitchen counter. Tables and plates come in a range of cool pastel shades, adding to the tropical vibe.
We kicked things off with oyster divorciados - a neat take on Mexican ‘divorced eggs’ where the two oysters are served with two different sauces. A good splash of lime juice took these into the higher echelons of the oyster stratosphere, so much so that we immediately ordered two more. Crab tostadas were equally excellent - a double-bite of crisp tostada, spicy brown crab and white crab meat on top.
These early snacks were among the best things we ate, alongside a brilliant fish taco - deep-fried in beer batter and tucked into a blue corn tortilla alongside a crisp fennel slaw and morita chilli emulsion. When Padre gets the mix of textures and flavours right the results are pretty sensational, but not everything gets there; a dish of Iberico pork with pickled pineapple sounds great on paper, but the pork was a little lacking in flavour and left the dish feeling flat. Our main taco sharer of carne asada ribeye was beautifully cooked, but the sauce was intense, and the dish needed some texture and freshness to balance and cut through. The desserts available were limited to a couple of soft serve options - both sounded nice, but the soft-serve machine was broken.
We suspect that this was an off-evening for Tacos Padre - staff were lovely and clearly doing their best to keep up with a very busy restaurant. We’d certainly go back for a few more margaritas and a platter of those oysters though.