Peyote was another restaurant we had been meaning to go for a long time in our eternal endeavour to find good Mexican food in London. But sadly, Peyote won’t enter the Mexican Food Hall of fame, sadly, and next on the list is Mestizo, as my friend Gabi, who cooks the best Mexican food I’ve had in London, said that it is the only one that was half decent.
The space is fun and cool, lively and buzzy and the DJ is a nice touch, but on the other hand, the food and the drinks disappoint. How can
the basics like margaritas not be amazing?
What we ate:
Spicy passion fruit margarita: such an average rendition of my absolute favourite cocktail! We were at Soho House the prior evening and they do a much better job at a spicy chili margarita than Peyote’s which was watered down and barely had a kick to it, and had no passion fruit taste apart from the half actual fruit decorating the rinks on top.
Guacamole: no better way to start the meal than guac! And I wish I had read the menu and seen that they serve it with gluten free tostadas instead of chips. When it got to the table, we were all confused and unhappy with the tostadas which were a mix of a cracker and pita instead of a typically delicious Mexican tortilla chip. It made me immediately question the authenticity of the restaurant’s Mexican food that we were about to get.
Quinoa: my friend Sabrina suggested this and we all supported it, despite sounding too healthy for a Saturday night. The quinoa (very 2014 as supposedly there are some other grains that are now more fashionable and have more superpowers) was tossed with small cubes of jicama and red onion salsa and it was dry and boring.
Tostada jurel: yellowtail with poblano salsa on a mini crisp tortilla that should have been served with our guacamole instead of those awful gluten free tostadas. It was so tiny that I could barely taste it, but it did have a nice citrus bite to it.
Tinga de pollo: the menu offers several types of soft tacos that can be ordered either in a corn tortilla or in lettuce cups. We ended up trying all of them in their various forms. The chicken was shredded after cooking with a red and green tomato and chili sauce, topped with some sour cream (I think) and shaved radishes. Light, creamy and good.
Costillas corta: beef short rib in a poblano tortilla. This was a very heavy chunk of meat and barely had any sauce or toppings so it wasn’t very successful.
Taco de pescado: adobo tortilla with grilled fish (you can opt for fried). Nice piece of well spiced white flaky fish enveloped in lettuce and served with a nice green tomatillo sauce.
Cochinita pibil: just like the short ribs, the slow-roasted pork was too heavy and was less interesting than the chicken tinga or the tacos de pescado.
Chuleton borracha: rib-eye steak with a blackened aubergine salsa. Our original intention was for each of us to order our own mains but as we kept ordering sharing dishes, we changed our plans and decided to just order one steak and a few sides instead. The steak comes sliced which made it easy to share and it was well cooked, but the aubergine sauce was too dark in colour, which was odd and visually it made the plate ugly… on top of that it didn’t really add much flavour. The steak was decent on its own, but nothing compared to the beef at Kitty Fishers or Lurra.
Sides: patatas bravas, grilled asparagus and broccoli with lime salt and toasted almonds. All the sides were ok but not special. The asparagus was my favourite but it could have been removed from the grill a bit faster as it was a touch overcooked.
We tried to order the churros but they had run out! How could they run out when they kicked us out at 11pm because they still had another seating to arrive? I actually ran into a friend the next day who had been to Peyote the day before we were there. She said they had run out when she was there too……..tragic! So we had to settle for…
Chocolate mousse: which they definitely should rename as it was better than a mousse and was more of a molten cake, warm and gooey and with some mystery ice cream flavour that they did not explain (and wasn’t mentioned on the menu).
Tres leches cake: moist and decent but tres leches is not my usual go to and this one didn’t convert me.
Mango, coconut and lime sorbet: its sorbet, so can it ever be really special? Not in my book at least…
In sum: I will continue my search for good Mexican in London. All signs point to Metizo, as my friend Gabi who is Mexican said it was good when she was there and people keep suggesting we go there every time we file on our search…
Peyote has a DJ, a fun décor and a nice vibe, but the food could be better. They are owned by the same group as Coya, but I like the food at Coya better.
Peyote Restaurant London http://peyoterestaurant.com/