What as soon as housed St Leonards, and earlier than that Eyre Brothers, has been reinvented as soon as once more and reworked into the trendy Mexican restaurant Zapote. It is the debut of Mexican chef Yahir Gonzalez (who ran Aqua Nueva) and hospitality veteran Tony Geary (who ran Sketch and the Aqua Group in his day).
The format of the restaurant hasn’t modified because the days of St Leonards – there’s nonetheless an ice bar, an open charcoal grill and a horseshoe bar – however the couple have put a recent spin on it. inside, warming it up with terracotta on among the partitions alongside a big mural, strewn cacti, recycled wood chairs, rattan lampshades and wonderful ceramics.
The bar serves snacks — like whitebait & habanero ali-oli and crispy pork pores and skin with pico de gallo — alongside tequila and mezcal cocktails. However the restaurant’s foremost menu is the place Yahir Gonzalez actually places his personal spin on acquainted Mexican dishes, together with making tortillas utilizing native kinds of corn. And what tortillas they’re – actually among the greatest we have ever had.
Fortunately, they make a number of appearances on the menu: folded into a fragile little quesadilla full of smoked wild mushrooms and simply sufficient cheese to carry it collectively, protecting it from turning into an oozing mess; crispy in a tostada topped with spicy chili speckled crab and ruby crimson slices of recent yellowfin tuna; and served on the aspect of an outstanding dry-aged beef rib eye with salsa roja and habanero aioli to make tacos.
We additionally cherished the smoked eggplant, mainly a model of baba ganoush, the place the smoke was amped up with tamarind and chilli; the spiced, charred meat on al pastor skewers accompanied by vibrant citrus guac and crispy pork pores and skin; and the chorizo and potato, adorned with shards of melted melted cheese giving a salty, umami kick.
Once we visited, there have been solely two official puddings, one being the borderline salty espresso mezcal ganache, silky and heat with alcohol, pistachio sponge and corn-shaped corn cake candy, in addition to a number of off-menu choices. Although on the energy of the pecan pie and salted caramel ice cream, which gave the churro and dulce de leche massive vibes, they will not keep that approach for lengthy.
Zapote presents subtle, high quality eating with out veering into tremendous high-end territory, and we won’t wait to return and eat the remainder of the menu. An important addition to the neighborhood.
70 Leonard Road, London EC2A 4QX
#Zapote #Evaluate #Eat #Drink