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When I visited on Friday, I was greeted by an exquisite, colourful, intricately decorated altar. This Dia de los Muertos altar (an altar for the Mexican Day of the Dead, our Halloween) contains all the traditional elements required for such a display: candles, salt, earth, sugar skulls, marigolds, water, tequila, and photos and favourite foods of the “dear departed” are all presented on the traditional seven steps, and swathed in a bright orange cut paper backcloth.
Our host, Brian, had created the altar that day, along with Luz Elena Ruesga (the wife of Sr Ignacio Duran, the Minister of Culture at the Mexican Embassy), her friend Alejandro Guajardo, and UK-based Mexican artist Javier Calderon.
Over a delicious frozen margarita, Brian explained Mestizo’s position as one of London’s most authentic Mexican restaurants. As well as being owned by Mexicans, and having a female head chef from Mexico (Dalcy Aguilera), Mestizo’s staff are also from Mexico. When the Mexican Embassy hosts events, they’ll often use Mestizo as caterers. When Mexican sports teams are in town, they choose Mestizo for their post-match celebrations. And with more than 200 varieties of tequila, surely more than any other restaurant / bar in London, Mestizo’s unique credentials are there for everyone to see, taste, and knock back in a variety of simple shot glasses.
Pop in, and you can take your pick from traditional dishes like Guajolote en Mole Poblano, Crepas de Cuitlacoche and authentic Tacos in soft flour or corn tortillas loaded with your choice of delicious fillings. You won’t be disappointed.
Aside from the fantastic food and drink on offer, Mestizo also hosts cultural events. From tomorrow, there’ll be a fantastic exhibition of original photos from the famous Casasola Archive of the Mexican revolution, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the revolution. And on 20 November, the Dia de la Revolucion itself, don’t miss Mestizo’s special commemoration party, in the event space downstairs from the restaurant.
Do you have any more tips for finding a taste of Mexico in London? Let us know in the comments below.