You probably already know spiced cheese quesadillas but how about a cactus & smoky hibiscus quesadilla?
Despite a brief encounter with snow in some parts of South East England, this week spring is slowly coming. And with that the bottomless brunch season is blossoming.
I was invited to the bright and colourful Santo Remedio – Cocina Mexicana for their own bottomless brunch with house margaritas and Mexican dishes. The venue has two spots. One in London Bridge – restaurant and another in Shoreditch – a cafe.
We headed to Shoreditch to check out the cafe. Although the venue is fairly small, it’s packed with character and vibrancy. The natural timber seating and live green plants create a warm tropical vibe, while the walls are decorated with bright modern Mexican art pieces and craftwork.
When we arrived, the cafe was already buzzing with brunch goers enjoying the house margaritas, laughs and tapas, and quite frankly I couldn’t blame them. The food and drinks looked amazing.
Santo Remedio’s menu is inspired by dishes found in markets, taquerias and at celebrations in Mexico. And, as our waiter explained to us, the dishes are prepared using traditional cooking.
The two restaurants were opened by the owners to share the unique and amazing flavours of Mexico with Londoners. In fact, the flavours of Mexican dishes are so unique with their depth of flavours, the cuisine has been declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Without further ado we started ordering, firstly the cocktails list. It is mezcal and tequila based cocktails. After seeing so many house margaritas (Margarita de la Casa) pass us by naturally that became my first choice.
I am a bit of a margarita connoisseur. I love them balanced, not too sweet or sour. It must contain fresh lime juice, slight bitterness and with a good tequila kick, not to mention salt on the rim.
Margarita de la Casa ticked all the boxes. It was served with only half of spiced rim, which is always a bonus to avoid the salt Joker smile look.
Later when the dishes started flowing in we also sampled coconut and hibiscus margaritas, which were both delightful. I really cannot fault any of them. The Hibiscus margarita has sweeter and fruity notes. Made with homemade hibiscus flower cordial it is perfect as a first drink or even as a light dessert. It is shaken, which gives it that froth feel too.
While the coconut margarita is a dessert on its own really although, also a light one.
Normally, I am not a fan of pudding-like or cream-based cocktail’s but this was different.
The sweetness and creaminess was balanced and made for easy drinking. I loved it so much I (maybe) even had two.
We paired our amazing cocktails with Classic Guacamole served with blue and yellow corn tortilla and guacamole in a three-legged black stone mortar. Is it just me or does it have a bit of an Aztec vibe with its square shape?
Then came the Tuna Tostados and Pork Belly Tacos looking colorful and healthy like a summer garden. Pork belly tacos were soft with crisp pork chicharron and creamy avocado.
While sashimi grade tuna were served on crispy tostados, a little fiddly to eat or cut to be honest, but a dish well worth the hassle even if you are on a date and trying to stick with neat dishes.
We were also recommended Chilaquiles Verdes, which is a blue and yellow corn tortilla served with green salsa, black beans, crema and feta topped with free range egg. It is basically a nicer version of nachos, which is the way all nachos should be really.
Santo Remedio has a few variations of the chilaquiles, each with their unique differences including one with a red salsa. Chilaquiles Verdes changed my view on nachos.
The flavours, creamy sauces and crunchy tortillas bonded well together creating something exceptional. I definitely don’t disagree with the UNESCO title after that.
Our final dish contained very intriguing ingredients. It was a cactus and smoky hibiscus quesadilla with manchego. I have never tried a cactus before so I was rather curious.
On the outside they looked like ordinary quesadillas, but on the inside the filling was dark pink in color. A little bit like a cooked red onion. The texture was meaty, a little sweet with sour notes. It was very good.
We concluded our visit with a light fruity mango pot topped with a passion fruit jelly. All in all, a very worthwhile visit providing a great holy remedy too. Did I mention Santo Remedio is a popular Mexican expression meaning Holy Remedy?
55 Great Eastern Street,
Bottomless brunch is available Saturday & Sunday 11-4pm. Book here