A ‘Modern Mexican’ in W11
Words Pendle Harte
My American friend is initially skeptical. Her experience of Mexican food in London is mixed at best. But Peyotito, the ‘modern Mexican’, opened in Kensington Park Road not long ago and has been busy ever since: my friend, with her high standards, approves.
It’s big on atmosphere, filled with beautiful people drinking fierce Mescal concoctions and buzzing with the sounds of laughing and cocktails shaking. This is not the place for a quiet meal – it’s a vibrant, busy place. We order Margaritas straight off, which come in chilli-rimmed glasses with tiny vials of extra Mezcal for the brave.
The menu is small and manageable, with dinky dishes designed for sharing, and our feast is full of clean, fresh flavours and lots of heat. There’s a scallop ceviche with coconut, tomato and Serrano chilli, served prettily in a shell and laced with bursts of heat. King prawns with avocado puree, olive and chilli has a burn that goes down like tequila with a brief shot of adrenalin; a quesadilla with mushrooms and subtle cheesiness is crisp and light, while chicken mole is rich and exotic, not cloying or sweet. A salty fennel and apple salad with goats cheese is simple but surprisingly memorable, and a dish of pork belly with beans, queso fresco, cactus plant and guacamole is faultless. My American friend is more than impressed and after a sweet and quickly demolished portion of chocolatey churros we head home with fire in our bellies.