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What do you get when you cross the pan-pacific pairing of Japanese elegance and Mexican spirit? The answer is Los Mochis restaurant in London’s Notting Hill. Los Mochis restaurant is this unlikely yet successful combination of the two, from award-winning restaurateur Markus Thesleff. We at Vada originally found out about this restaurant which was originally planned to open in November 2020, but delayed until this year because of lockdown. So we were keen to visit for ourselves when Los Mochis finally did open in May. The Los Mochis team kindly let us drop in to taste their menu and explore the concept.
Set on the corner of Farmer Street, one could at first glance pass Los Mochis assuming it is one of the many successful neighbourhood restaurants in Notting Hill. But take another look (and do book ahead) and you’ll see that both staff and customers are very well dressed. Just like Ru Paul’s Drag Race, no H&M in here. This is something a little more elevated.
The overall design of both the ground floor dining room and the first-floor lounge is saturated with elements of rustic authentic Mexican culture (note the Día de Muertos style artworks) balanced against elegant wood tables, not to mention the Japanese crockery. Los Mochis also works as a date night dinner location with ceiling covered in soft-glow lights and ivy, bringing an element of intimacy.
The menu features various types of tacos, guacamole options, ceviche, Maki rolls, sashimi and salads. Almost every item on the menu manages to draw on both Japanese and Mexican cultural influences, for example the Maki rolls served with a Jalapeño Salsa Verde.
We sampled across the menu and some of our favourites included:
- Seabass ceviche (£11) with a sauce containing soy, yuzu, shallots and mint cress – such a clean and fresh plate
- Trailer Park Chicken tacos (£13) with fried chicken, guacamole, Jalapeño BBQ sauce, Habanero Gochujang, sesame and parsnip crisp – we loved these not just for the name, but for the moreish flavours and irresistible texture contrasts
- Prawn Kushiyaki tacos (£15) with grilled tiger prawns, guacamole, lettuce, yuzu aioli, pico de Gallo, and coriander cress – the well cooked succulent prawn meat balanced so well with the sweet, spice and umami
- Carne Asada tacos (£14) with flank steak, guacamole, Jalapeño Pico De Gallo and fried leeks – for the moreish flavours and irresistible texture contrasts like the trailer park chicken.
Of the three desserts on the menu, between two we shared the Matcha Blondie (£9.50) and Chocolate Fondant (£8.50) with a Dulce de Leche centre. As a chocoholic, the chocolate fondant is hands-down (after you’ve licked the plate clean) the best dessert on the menu. Food porn for the eyes and taste buds.
The drinks menu mentions only a couple of cocktails, but we suggest (very strongly) that you ask for a Margarita, which is rimmed with something much better than salt, Tajin – a spice blend of chilli, limi and salt combined. This has been a favourite addition of ours to Margaritas for over a year, and we are thrilled to find another venue in London that uses Tajin. In fact Los Mochis goes one step further, by creating their own special blend of Tajin, giving the Margaritas an even bigger punch. This will be the best rim you’ve ever had, on a Margarita.
For those averse to a powerful rim or just to Tequila, try the Los Mochis twist on a classic, the Late-Night Martini (made with Ocho Blanco, lychees, vanilla, lemongrass, lime, and jalapeños).
Bringing a Japanese element to the bar, the drinks menu features a number of sakes, ask whether you would like it served chilled, at room temperature or heated. What is not on the menu, but very much present at the bar, is the wide selection of Tequilas and Mezcals representing the Mexican element. The bar staff are more than happy to talk you through a few options or set up a tequila or mezcal tasting flight.
Bringing to life the restaurant concept, we were blessed with well-dressed, cheeky, handsome, flirtatious wait-staff bringing both Mexican and Japanese heritage to Los Mochis. Although the hosts on arrival were somewhat cold, once we were inside the restaurant, the bar staff and waiters were all very friendly, all were more than happy to tolerate our chat – including a long discussion about the aforementioned Tajin, and happy to flirt back with us too.
The restaurant runs its “Los Mochis Gives Back” project, which will see the Los Mochis working with local charities to provide a meal for the less fortunate and vulnerable for every one meal purchased by diners.
Los Mochis walks a fine line between casual and fine-dining, though we recommend dressing for the latter. We were genuinely impressed by the quality, presentation and creativeness of all the dishes we ate, and were won over by the fabulous and flirtatious service. This does of course come at a price, both in terms of £s and calories. The only thing missing were more queer diners, and possibly a drag queen.
Location: 2 Farmer Street, London W8 7SN
For more information and to book (essential), visit: losmochis.co.uk