From the Old World to the New World now… Mexican food! I’d been wanting to try Taqueria in Notting Hill for ages; their initial reviews when they just opened years ago were not promising but it says a lot when the restaurant is still there and is still bringing in the customers. Actually, perhaps that doesn’t say a lot seeing that this can be used to describe many fast food joints…
Anyway, one bright and sunny Saturday afternoon, I met the girls in Notting Hill and we wove our way through the streets, avoiding the market, to Taqueria on the western end of Westbourne Grove. The place was almost full already and we grabbed one of the last remaining tables.
The menu was longish and made for fun reading but difficult decision making. A lunch menu full of platters of this and that added to the confusion. To drink I had yet another flor de jamaica (£1.50) – this version was much darker and punchier than those I’d had in Wahaca and all the better for it. Along with our drinks came a little ramekin of spicy pepitas, pumpkin seeds, for munching.
We all started by splitting a Botana, “refried beans with fresh cheese, guacamole, salsa, pickled jalapenos and totopos” (£8.50). The totopos (tortilla chips) were made of blue corn which made for a striking chip but unfortunately were a mix of hard/stale and perfect/crisp. The refried beans were gorgeous though and the real highlight of the platter.
Then it was time for tacos! I chose the tacos al pastor, described on the menu as “char grilled marinated pork, pineapple, diced onion, coriander on 3 small tortillas, red and green salsa on the side” (£5.50). The pork was tender and flavourful, the pineapple fresh and the salsas a tasty addition (the green was milder than the red).
Rachel had the tacos Camaron, “beer battered prawns, avocado mash, chipotle mayonnaise, Mexican salsa, shredded cabbage, on 2 large tortillas” (£6.50).
Meanwhile, Mirna chose the Pescado, beer battered sustainable fish, avocado mash, chipotle mayonnaise, Mexican salsa, shredded cabbage, on 2 large tortillas (£6.50). Yes, they both had essentially the same tacos but one was with prawns and the other fish. Both were given the thumbs up.
After the disappointment that was Wahaca, I am very happy to have tried Taqueria. Shame about the totopos; if they were all crisp, the meal would’ve been even more enjoyable but overall, the food here isn’t so greasy and it’s delicious and not all one-dimensional in flavour. I like it!
139-143 Westbourne Grove
London W11 2RS