By Tom Wilkinson
Just north of both Covent Garden and Leicester Square is the Mexican restaurant Cantina Laredo. The restaurant has two large rooms with their own bars as well as several rooms available for group bookings. And, perhaps best of all, they have just launched a new guacamole and tequila bar offering eight different guacamoles made fresh right in front of you.
The Guacamole Clásico is precisely what you’d expect from a traditional guacamole. Made with avocados freshly crushed while you watch before they mix in the tomatoes and chillis, served with warm tortilla chips and a selection of different salsa, it is an excellent choice for the guacamole traditionalist.
If you are looking for something spicier head straight to the Guacamole con Chile Habanero. Not only is it made with roasted yellow habaneros but it comes with yellow habanero salsa so you can really lay on the spice.
If you’re in the mood for something different but aren’t quite up for the fire of the habaneros, look no further than the Guacamole de Poblano y Maiz. Featuring the milder Poblano chilli and epazote, this guacamole has a distinct, aromatic flavour that doesn’t overpower the senses with spice.
The rest of the menu has also undergone a refresh and I was given an opportunity to try a range of items from the menu:
- The Tostadas de Cangrejoare is an aperitif for anyone who enjoys seafood. The crab mixed with chipolte mayo is incredibly more-ish yet doesn’t obliterate the delicate crab flavour.
- The Filete de res con Chimichurri de Cilantro is superb. It was served rare with plenty of chimichurri on the side. This is a delicious, melt-in-the-mouth steak.
- The Churros are an excellent end to the evening. Even better if paired with a cocktail to round out your afternoon.
Cantina Laredo has a wide range of tequilas on offer. When I attended, though, the toast of the evening was Casamigos tequila. As our jovial hosts kept pointing out, this is the brand co-owned by George Clooney. Three varieties were available to taste: the Blanco, the Reposado and the Añejo.
The Blanco is what most people consider tequila to be: a simple clear spirit. This one, however, is very smooth without the kick that you might expect. Our hosts claim it won’t give you a hangover in the morning either, a testament to its purity.
The Reposado is richer than the Blanco with a more golden colour. And the fact it’s aged for seven months in oak whisky casks adds hints of caramel without overpowering the underlying tequila.
The Añejo is my choice of the bunch. Aged for 14 months you can really taste the whisky flavour imparted to the tequila. Perhaps this isn’t the choice for a tequila purist but as a fan of whisky the initial taste of tequila with a lingering aftertaste of bourbon really hits the spot.
And let’s not forget the cocktails. The Ice Ice Baby Margarita, served frozen, would be perfect in the height of summer, but I’d also settle for one to put out the fire of a spicy guacamole. Few cocktails out there have the possibility to give you brain freeze, but taking this one slowly and savouring the tequila is definitely the way to drink it.
Cantina Laredo’s new guacamole and tequila bar is now open so make sure to drop in and try some fresh guac with your favourite tequila!
For more info, visit their website at http://www.cantinalaredo.co.uk/
Contributor Tom Wilkinson is a programmer by day and podcaster by night. He podcasts about quality alcohol at https://drwilko.org and discusses random topics drawn from a hat with his friend Mike at http://hatofmanythings.com