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Boho Mexica – 151-153 Commercial Street, London
When I heard of Boho Mexica, I’ll be honest, I was a little bit sceptical. Over the past few years, Mexican food has slowly become more and more popular, which should have been a good thing. Unfortunately, in my view, that’s not the case. We now have quite a few chains offering, what I think, is quite bland Mexican food that leaves me quite underwhelmed. I don’t even think a mariachi band singing “Don’t You Want Me Baby” could bring any excitement to these “restaurants”. And it’s not just the food that depresses me, oh no. I find the service in these chains is also something left to be desired. There’s no warmth, no charm and no personality. This is odd in a Mexican restaurant, as these are qualities that Mexicans ooze. Because of this, I wasn’t holding out too much hope for Boho Mexica.
I arrived at Boho Mexica with my date (our first date I’d like to add) after a few stunning cocktails at Lounge Bohemia (always start a first date there, it makes you look really cool). My date, Steve, chose the bar (OK, it made him look really cool) and I chose the restaurant, so I had a lot riding on this meal. And by a lot I mean will I finally get a boyfriend after 8 years of being single, or am I destined to wander the world (Soho) alone.
The exterior of the restaurant is nice and simple. There are no ghastly bright, loud colours that after looking at for more than 5 seconds give you a headache, so straight away I started to feel a bit more comfortable with the choice. We were shown to our table by this charming, smiling young waitress who was more than happy to chat and share a joke with us. The interior of the restaurant is nicely lit with a real classy Mexican vibe about it. There were no sombreros or cartoons of cactuses to be found anywhere, just stunning old posters and the odd sketch here and there.
Seeing as we had started off with a few cocktails earlier, we both decided to have something a bit lighter. He went for a margarita and I had a cucumber margarita (ok, so not that much lighter). Here they have seemed to have mastered the art of making a margarita. They were the perfect balance of sweet and sour, with a gentle kick of tequila at the end.
Going through the menu, there was a great selection of dishes to choose from, and better still, NO BURRITOS! I started to realise that my date was actually impressed with my choice of restaurant.
We decided to share a starter (which is a big deal as I don’t like to share my food) and opted for the Botana De Brisket. All the starters sounded fantastic, but this one caught our eye:
“Painfully Slow cooked beef brisket in a special sauce of chillies and spices, shredded and mixed with a bit of rice & coriander. Served with fresh tortilla chips (Brings back childhood memories, at least for Moi)”
It was the “painfully slow cooked” bit which won us over. We just had images of the chef crying out back preparing this dish (Yes I’m that kind of person). To my surprise though, the dish only took 5 minutes to come out of the kitchen. Not that painfully slow cooked at all it seems, but incredibly delicious. The brisket was melt-in-your-mouth tender and beautifully seasoned. A subtle hint of chilli gave it a nice bite which was cooled down with the rice and coriander. Portion size was really good, especially as it’s served with tortilla chips on the side. I could have (and should have) eaten one of those on my own, and leave satisfied. But there was more to come.
For mains, I had ordered the Flautas de Barbacoa and Steve went for the Enchiladas Suizas. My dish was 2 corn tortillas, filled with shredded lamb and topped with a roast tomato and chilli salsa and sour cream, served with salad and frijoles charros (Mexican bean stew with chorizo and bacon). I have never had lamb in a Mexican restaurant before, so I was quite excited about this, especially as lamb is my favourite meat. This dish itself was pretty good. The salsa was lovely and the frijoles were fantastically smoky, but the lamb was lost in all the herbs and spices. It was a shame after such a great starter.
I still enjoyed the dish, but I wouldn’t order it again. Steve’s enchiladas on the other hand were just outstanding. What was really nice about these is that you can order them with a mild, yet aromatic salsa verde (Steve’s choice) or a more robust and slightly spicier salsa roja. I must admit, I did get a bit of food envy. Luckily for me though, Steve was more than happy to share (he later told me it’s because he wants me to be the “fat one” in our relationship).
We decided not to have a dessert (I decided), mainly because we had both had one too many and were at that stage where we just wanted more cocktails. But there was one dessert which caught my eye, Las 2 Fridas – Hibiscus Flower & Chocolate Cake with Coconut Foam and Pineapple Jelly. Yes, I know.
In all, I have to say that we both had a pretty great night. The service was warm, welcoming and friendly. The food was pretty good, but not great. Would I return again? Absolutely! And not just for the Las 2 Fridas, but to also sample their taco bar (3 soft flour tortillas with a choice of 7 fillings) and to work through the rest of their flavoured margaritas (I like a drink).
I went to Boho Mexica not really expecting much, but ended up leaving with a renewed excitement for Mexican Food. I’m still not a fan of the soulless chains, but I’m more than happy to go and find the independent Mexican restaurant now and experience their Mexico
Final Bill = £58 inc service