What can you tell us about Santo Remedio?
Santo Remedio serves up Mexican food that, in our experience, offers one of the most authentic interpretations of Mexican cuisine that we've come across in London. So while you can get your taco fix here, those are elevated and there's much more to the menu.
This new opening seems familiar...
That's because it's actually the second Santo Remedio, following the original which opened to rave reviews last year in Shoreditch only to close down months later due to issues with the building.
And where are they now?
Owners Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes have relocated the restaurant to Bermondsey, in a space that's about a five-minute walk from London Bridge Station. And this time they've got a location that many a restaurateur would envy - a lovely corner site with windows on three sides. It's therefore a much brighter restaurant than the original.
Where should we meet for a drink first?
You're very close to Borough Market, so that's certainly an option, as is a swift drink with a view at The Shard. Alternatively, if you're coming from the Tower Bridge direction, there are a few places at One Tower Bridge to check out.
And - of course - there's the bar at the restaurant. At first glance, it doesn't look like there is one - but once you head upstairs, there's a big section at the front of the restaurant with its own bar and plenty of places to perch with a Margarita.
And talking of drink?
Indeed - you should absolutely be playing close attention to the drinks menu. The cocktails are between £8.50 and £11.50 and both that we tried were excellent. The Pina al Carbon (mezcal del Maguey Vida, pineapple al carbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger syrup) was wonderful but we're reserving particular praise for one of the specials, the hibiscus margarita. We could have drunk those all night long before wobbling off into the night.
Otherwise, there's a great selection of Mexican wines on the list - so it's well worth trying something new there.
And Mezcal, of course?
Mezcal and Tequila are much in evidence on the drinks list if that's your tipple of choice. And if you really fancy pushing the boat out, you'll want to wander over and take a look at their wall of wonder - an alcove stuffed with rare bottlels of mezcal to go with your meal.
So about the menu - how much has carried over from the original restaurant?
Some of the key dishes are present and intact. So you can still order the Octopus - now served with achiote and pineapple pico de gallo (£15) and the much-loved ox tongue with Pipian Rojo from the original menu also makes an appearance. You can find out more about those on our original Test Drive.
And, of course, there is the guacamole, which remains one of the top guac dishes we've ever had in London. And you can still add the grasshoppers (although we just couldn't - yep, lightweights).
And what about the new dishes?
The kitchen at the new restaurant is much larger than the original - so Edson has had more opportunity to create more varied dishes for the menu. The full list was in place for the first time when we visited and from that list - we would head straight for:
- Chile relleno - ancho stuffed with hibiscus flowerrs and queso fresco (£14) - a dish the chef's grandmother used to cook and something we're told takes significant preparation in the kitchen, but we think it's worth it. A stuffed chile with hibiscus flowers to give it some crunch
- The short rib with mole Oaxaqueno, plantains, tortillas (£5.50 per 100g) - a HUGE short rib dish that's elevated by wonderful mole. A must-order.
- Scallop Aquachile - cured with red jalapeno, fennel and pomegranate (£8 each) - fresh and lovely
- Chicken enchiladas suizas - tomatillo, crema, Chiuiuaua cheese (£15) - perfect if you're searching for something a little less fiery
And what about dessert?
Obviously you should leave as much room as possible for the churros. And here they normally come with a dulche de leche dip - which would have been absolutely fine, but we had the dip substituted for tomatillo jam, which worked wonders. We think this should absolutely be an option - and would urge you to ask for it.
We were instant fans of the original Santo Remedio, which opened our eyes to what was possible with Mexican food. Things have only improved at their new location and if you're after some of the best Mexican food in town - this should be top of your list.
Hot Dinners were invited to Santo Remedio. Prices are correct at the time of writing.
Where is it? 152 Tooley St, London SE1 2TU
How to book: On their website