Peyotito, Notting Hill

When I was invited to review a Mexican restaurant in Notting Hill, I, like many others no doubt, immediately imagined a large rustic meal consisting of salty, spicy and fattening tacos accompanied by mariachi music or even a live band...

But Peyotito, the younger brother of Mayfair’s Mediterranean restaurant Peyote, has no need to rely on tired stereotypes. Describing itself as a ‘modern Mexican’, Peyotito runs with its own rules: catering to a hipper, younger crowd who value delicate flavour over contentment in high fat-content.

Located on Kensington Park Road, the interiors of Peyotito are industrial-chic with distressed concrete as well as exposed brick walls and grey hardwood floors enhanced by a very minimalistic hint of terracotta. Not a sombrero in sight, the stripped-down but nevertheless high-end, distinctly Latin American look, is warmed up somewhat by a friendly grid of verdant green ivy mapping the ceiling.

Their signature, and somewhat infamous, Peyotito Margaritas promptly arrive with many smiles from the highly attentive and knowledgable waiter. These margaritas have certainly earned their reputation and are satisfyingly lethal! Tajin-rimmed, fierce and refreshing, the drink is beautifully presented with a tiny corked glass bottle of Mezcal sporting the restaurant’s logo happily bobbing atop the ice. A fantastic enlivener and senses sharpener ahead of what would turn out to be surprisingly fabulous meal!

Interestingly their menu is curated by up and coming Mexican chef Adriana Solis Cavita, whom I was honoured to meet, and world-renowned top Mexican chef Eduardo García who founded Máximo Bistrot in Mexico. García’s background, having previously partnered with a Japanese restaurant, can be felt in the menu which fuses high-grade sashimi imported from Japan with light Mexican salsas and vegetables imported from Mexico in an unbelievable marriage of flavours and freshness. Cavita explains that traditionally one finds the highest quality seafood in the north of Mexico due to an influx of Japanese immigrants in the area.

Favourites from the menu include the Blanco: two decadent scallops served with a fresh coconut milk, cucumber, plum tomato and serrano chile beautifully pooled in a stylish shell. The Tostada De Atun (yellowfin tuna and guacamole) is a big hit with my guest who eagerly sweeps up the dollops of green and brown guacamole with her sashimi. Also notable is the Laminado De Hamachi which partners top-grade yellowtail with the stronger juicier Mexican flavours of serrano chile, ginger vinaigrette and huitlacoche corn mushroom.

Taco-seekers can get their fix with Peytotito’s take on beef, pork, and chicken tacos. My personal favourite was the Tacos De Barbacoa which consists of two servings of simply the most succulent and tenuous 24-hour-braised lamb which is a true delight for the palate and satisfaction for the stomach. A big surprise was the Tacos De Pescado, a subtly spiced and grilled sea bream who’s startlingly white fleshy insides would stimulate the imagination of the proudest pescatarian.

As for pudding, the Mascapone Cheesecake was absolutely unmissable. Imagine two large scoops of the most deliciously creamy mascarpone cream framing the finest vanilla ice cream on top of a dark brown biscuit crumble. Sprinkled with blueberries and raspberries, this delicious dessert is divine beyond divine and well worth coming back for.

The London Journalist