The restaurant: Santo Remedio Mexican Cafe
Location: 55 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HP
On a corner of Great Eastern Street, Santo Remedio sits illuminated with its warm yellow lighting and window decals ‘cocktails’, ‘cerveza’ and ‘tequila’ tempting us in. Santo Remedio, launched in Shoreditch five years ago, then moved to London Bridge and has now opened a second branch back on its home turf not far from Old Street station. Offering a small menu of Mexican small plates and a cocktail list packed with thoughtful twists on the classic margarita ‘de la casa’, we went for dinner to discover whether it lived up to its Spanish name ‘holy remedy’.
The dining space is small but packed, so an evening reservation is a must. Decorated with bright blues and oranges, then filled with wooden furniture and hanging plants, the space is quirky yet cosy. Seated in the middle of the room, the restaurant felt abuzz around us in a happy and lively way — or perhaps that was the cocktails talking!
The tone of the evening was set with a wicked Mezcal margarita: a much-welcomed smoky alternative to my favourite classic cocktail, served with tajín, a punchy chilli, salt and lime seasoning around the rim. My pal chose a peach mezcalita: it was packed with sweet, creamy flavour and a hint of smokiness, while the white peach puree amplified its fruity freshness.
Fresh guac and chips arrived at the table as we looked picked a selection of plates to order. The menu is short, eight dishes in total, all nicely distinguishable from each other. Tuna tostada was first; sashimi-grade tuna topped with creamy avocado, sesame seeds and chipotle mayo was fresh and flavoursome. Pork belly tacos were packed with meaty chunks of pork belly and crispy chicharron, cut with a tangy kick of tomatillo salsa and lime.
Chorizo quesadillas: a mash of melted Manchego, caramelised onion and smoky chorizo were salty and satisfying, though a little on the greasy side. Next, baby potato flautas (‘flutes’ in English): soft, buttery potato rolled in a lightly-crisped taco doused with vibrant avocado salsa, crumbled cheese and pink pickles were indulgent and comforting— crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, like all of the best foods.
Santo Remedio delivered a refreshing dose of Mexican flavours through vibrant and exciting cocktails and dishes. Expect authenticity and familiarity mixed with a Mexican ingredients you might not have been introduced to before.
Open Tuesday to Friday 5 pm to 11 pm, Saturday 11 am to 11 pm and Sunday 11 am to 4pm
Find out more on santoremedio.co.uk
Written by Lauren Mae