Santo Remedio in Southwark: London finally has again a Mexican restaurant worthy of the name
When sky-high rents pushed Santo Remedio out of Shoreditch last year, there was almost palpable disappointment. Great Mexican food is curiously hard to come by in London; it’s all enjoyable but ultimately chains or burrito peddlers who couldn’t make a decent mole if their lives depended on it. For a city that does almost every cuisine justice, it’s an odd omission.
One crowdfunding campaign later and London once again has a Mexican restaurant worthy of the name. Gone are the hectic, almost chaotic vibes of the old place, replaced with the effortless cool of a new Bermondsey location. Gone are the old bottles of Corona, replaced with great cocktails and locally sourced beers. What remains is the same outstanding food.
An impeccable guacamole, spiky with citrus, gets us off to a great start. Compared to the bland offerings you get elsewhere, it feels like suddenly seeing the world in technicolor, every element that much cleaner, brighter, more vivacious.
Next comes Elote de la Esquina. Ears of perfectly cooked sweetcorn are coated in lime and then dusted generously with pecorino cheese. The sweetness, sticky corn, zing of citrus and hearty umami of the cheese form the perfect flavour triangle, and this simple dish is deceptively addictive. Our waitress tells us it’s one of the most popular dishes, and we can see why.
Baby Potato Flautas are equally delicious. Creamy crushed potatoes are abundantly seasoned with coriander and jalapeno, rolled in tacos and then smothered in an addictive avocado sauce. If we have any complaints, it’s that there isn’t a spare taco on the side, to mop up what remains of said sauce. It pairs well with a dish of Frijoles Negros, deep, rich black beans with little pucks of creamy cheese and well-balanced margaritas from the downstairs bar.
Soft Shell Crab Tacos pair the crunch of Deep Fried Crab with a sharp stab of heat and silky tortilla. It’s a much needed textural contrast in a meal that’s otherwise dominated by soft elements, and we love how simply the crab has been treated here. Rather than being swamped beneath sauces, spice, pickles and condiments of every variety, the ingredient is just allowed to shine for its own merits.
It’s easy to see where that confidence comes from: every dish is simply delicious and robust. It looks like London finally has again a Mexican worthy of the name.★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Daniel Masters/Nick Hopper
To book a table at Santo Remedio, 152 Tooley St London SE1 2TU, call 020 7485 2112 or visit their website here.