Published on September 17th, 2014 | by Lumy George0
Benito’s Hat, Covent Garden
Summary: Create your own burrito is a great option
Taste of Mexico
If you’ve ever wondered around the centre of London, perhaps on a day’s shopping or socialising with friends. As you walk, you find yourself being drawn into one particular establishment. With a bold vibrant feel combined with exciting décor, you’d be forgiven for questioning yourself and wondering if somewhere along the trip you were transported to Mexico City. Fear not my intrepid adventurer; you’ve actually stumbled into Benito’s Hat.
Named after the late 19th century Mexican ‘people’ politician Benito Juarez (who naturally had a penchant for bizarre hats), the restaurant offers simple, fresh food that is both authentic and modern. Its aim is to bring to Londoners the flavour and experience of Mexican food and drink.
Unlike the hapless adventure I mentioned earlier, my trip to Benito’s was not by chance. That being said, there must be something said for the feeling one gets when entering. With its open plan, wrap round order/prep station and casual seating, it feels like a cross between a high end fast food chain and restaurant. This is an unusual yet well executed balance offering diners the relaxed pop in for lunch and evening meal experience.
After being seated by the manger Stephano, he explained what the restaurant was all about and how best to sample the menu. Drinks and food were ordered and we sat back taking the transportation all in.
Starters soon arrived, a grand looking large board of various snack sized Mexican delights. At a very reasonable price, if new to Mexican food, this is a great way for two to try a bit of everything. The standout treat were the pulled pork with salsa brava mini burritos. The pork was slow braised so offered a wonderful rich flavour combined with a soft melt in your mouth texture.
Mains arrived and to my pleasant surprise we’re served in individual bowls allowing for a complete self-build experience. I’m able to construct my burrito exactly how I like it. If you’re anything like myself and a little picky when it comes to food, this will be right up your alley. With pulled pork, grilled chicken, black beans with chorizo, esquites (oregano sweet corn), rice, salad, salsa, cheese and last but not least….hot sauce. I think that from the listed items, we created 5 or 6 really interesting burritos and there was a heated debate between my partner and I as to who had created the best one. However, seeing as it is my review, I have no option but to crown myself the winner.
The winning entry featured grilled chipotle chicken with a spiced up tomato salsa, cheese, lettuce for a refreshing crunch and a small sprinkle of rice (just because I could). In fairness all the burritos we made were delicious, the key being the great components provided. Each element allowed you to take your creation to a different level, invariably one as the creator you know you’ll enjoy.
Whilst this type of spread and set up wont suit every diner, the open prep station replicates the create your own/ customisation experience. Whilst dining, I saw lots of customers who simple came in for their very own ‘grab and go’ custom spec burrito.
With one burrito still left, I made the decision to throw in the towel on the advice from Stephano regarding dessert. He brought over a slice of Tres Leches cake, whilst this was something new to me; the enthusiasm by the staff had me intrigued. As cakes go, it was rather nice. The moist and light texture offered a welcome differentiation from the main. The sponge seemed as if it’d been soaked in vanilla custard which provided depth in flavour.
Dinner (or should I say any meal) at Benito’s Hat will tick any foodies box. It’s exciting, different, and most importantly full of interesting flavours. The create your own concept adds personalisation and lifts the fast food look and feel. The menu is well designed and allows those sharing to have a bit of everything in a fun style. Whilst this wouldn’t quite be suitable for a romantic meal, it more than does what it endeavours to do, bring a taste of Mexico to London.
Benito’s Hat, 19 New Row, WC2N 4LAShare This Post