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Kol's Santiago Lastra to open Mexican restaurant Fonda in Mayfair

Kol's Santiago Lastra is opening Mexican restaurant Fonda in Mayfair

10/7/24 - updated with full details about the launch. 

With the Michelin-starred Kol getting praise from all quarters (not to mention a place on the World's 50 Best list), it was only a matter of time before chef Santiago Lastra got ready to open another place. For that second restaurant, he's chosen Heddon Street, where he'll be launching Fonda. 

Not actually named after an acting dynasty, a fonda is instead a name for a Mexican family-owned restaurant and this will be his interpretation of those transported to London. Essentially that means drawing on family recipes and the dishes of his childhood as well as the influence of his own travels around Mexico. 

As you'd expect from someone like Lastra, a lot of care has gone into the preparation and much like Kol, that includes the work that will go into their tortillas. Those will be made from heirloom corn, milled in-house and sourced by Mexican social enterprise Tamoa, which has a focus on supporting farmers and biodiversity. Sauces will also be a big thing, with every table featuring house-made salsa verde with courgette and gooseberries, salsa roja and salsa macha with Cascabel chillies, sunflower seeds and honey.

And on the menu itself, you can expect dishes like:

  • Sikil Pak, a toasted pumpkin seed ‘guacamole’ with pine oil, will be served with fried totopos
  • Chalk stream trout ceviche topped with thinly sliced squash aguachile and tostadas
  • Costras, a traditional taqueria staple of ribeye topped with a layer of melted Swaledale cheese on a flour tortilla
  • Baja tacos with a cucumber, pistachio and mint sauce, chipotle and sourdough
  • Tostada with baked beetroot, seaweed oil, marigold and elderflower vinegar

There will be regularly changing specials too, kicking off with dishes like Duo de callo - confit whole scallops on a gooseberry, sesame and burnt habanero salsa. As for dessert, the aim is to showcase traditional dishes with British ingredients, much like he's done with Kol. That translates into dishes like a steamed sweet tamal with dates, walnuts and butterscotch and a chocolate sorbet with rare Pasilla Mixe chilli oil.

As with Kol, the cocktails at Fonda are a big part of it and given how very much on trend they are at the moment, the dedicated Paloma section here seems like a very good shout. Those include a Champagne Paloma served by the bottle. They'll also have a heirloom tomato michelada, a pineapple weed negroni and a corn husk old fashioned.

The restaurant is opening in the space that recently held a temporary David Bowie shop, just opposite Sabor and the new JKS opening Ambassador's Clubhouse. We have high hopes for the design of the place, with renowned Mexican designer Fernando Laposse working with London design agency A_nrd to manage the look, which will feature regularly changing art from emerging artists. 

Kol was pretty much an instant hit and we expect this to be just as popular, as well as being at a slightly more approachable price point. 

Kol's Santiago Lastra is opening Mexican restaurant Fonda in Mayfair

 

More about Fonda

Where is it? Heddon Street, Mayfair W1

When does it open? September 2024

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @fondarestaurant.

 

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