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Test Driving Santo Remedio - London gets a long awaited authentic Mexican restaurant

What can you tell us about Santo Remedio?

Santo Remedio is a small Mexican restaurant and bar on Rivington Street in Shoreditch. It's run by the very welcoming husband and wife team of Edson (who's had experience in many Mexican restaurants as well as previously being head of menu innovation at Wahaca) and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes who are focusing more on the street food of Mexico. Expect something both familiar (like tacos) and pleasantly unfamiliar in the menu here.   

Where it is?

It's on Rivington Street, just a few doors down from Rivington Grill - just a short walk from Old Street station. 

Who's it suitable for?

Anyone who's been hunting in vain for some authentic Mexican cuisine in London but also anyone looking for something different in Shoreditch. It's ideal for couples and a large sharing table would be fun for groups. If you just fancy tacos and margaritas, the upstairs bar looks like a great late night spot. 

Where should we meet for a drink first?

If you don't fancy starting at the upstairs bar, nearby options worth mentioning are Portside Parlour rum bar just across the road or the lobby bar at the nearby Hoxton hotel. 

And what should we order?

Essentially you should just work your way through as much of the menu as you can - we don't think you'll regret it. As for our choices, the top were:

  • The Pork Carnitas Tacos (3 for £8) - pork confit, caramalised with orange juice and Coke, with pink pickled onion and coriander. One of the best tacos we've had in a while. Who knew you could use Coke for this?
  • The octopus with yerba santa and Kalapeno mojo with roasted carrots in ancho dressing (£15) - beautifuly-cooked octopus in a striking looking dish that did not disappoint.
  • The braised and grilled ox tongue with Pipian Rojo, a sauce made of Pasilia chiIies (£11) - not something we'd automatically go for on the menu but highly recommended. 

There's a healthy specials list too - which makes repeat visits well worth it. We were tempted by the pig's ear tacos (but went for the aforementioned pork ones) but the confit pigs cheek on pureed potatoes was absolutely excellent. 

The hibiscus flower quesadillas stood out too - the restaurant had used the flowers for their hibiscus cordial and thought that, when cooked, they'd make a great addition to the standard quesadillas. They were right - a lovely and different dish that should be on the menu full time. 

It should go without saying that you must leave room for the churros and dulce de leche dipping sauce. But just in case you want to over order - bear these amazing churros in mind.

How about drinks?

As were were there at lunch, we went light on the drinks but they do have a good selection of Mexican beers - the Ocho Reales dark Mexican ale (£5.50) being a favourite - and they serve a mighty margarita too. There are only two bottles of wine on the menu at the moment (£22 each) as they only just got the drinks licence - but expect that to change in the near future. Make sure you have the coffee at the end - it's their own Mexican blend roasted specially for them and served with an orange and cinnamon reduction.

Overall thoughts?

We've had some great Mexican food in America, but in the UK it's never quite reached the same heights. It feels that's changed with Santo Remedio - a great leap forward for the cuisine in London. It does the basics like tacos very well indeed, and adds some unique dishes that really show what the cooking is capable of. AND there's a great looking bar upstairs if you fancy just popping in for drinks and snacks. There was a gap and this has filled it very nicely.

Santo Remedio is at 22 Rivington St, London EC2A 3DY. Find out more about Santo Remedio. 

Hot Dinners were invited to Santo Remedio - prices were correct at the time of writing.  

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