Food

Restaurant Review: Casa Negra

Jul 10th, 2013

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My most predominant memory from my travels to Mexico is undoubtedly the food.  Apart from the giant roasted guinea pigs, I absolutely loved the food: the rice with the chips and the slabs of meat, the rice with the chips and oh did I mention the rice? It’s no wonder that I rolled through the arrival gates at Heathrow greeted by my mother saying: ‘No Deli Belly then?’ So when a few years on and a few pounds lighter I received an invitation to Casa Negra, I was there faster than you could say Frida Kahlo.

 

There is nothing better than tacos and fresh guacamole with a ice cold margarita after a hard day’s work. At Casa Negra, this perfect delight is further improved (amazing, I know) with a small glass of straight tequila reposado, to be sipped slowly throughout your mouth-watering courses. We’re not talking tequila taken with salt and lime followed by a grimace and a swig of a nearby liquid. This tequila smells like vanilla and toffee and warms your throat as it travels down to meet the tacos and ceviche below. Brad McDonald, the New York chef in charge, has got it so right. Every single type of Mexican dish is covered on the menu and each one, as far as I could see from my neighbour’s gasps of delight, were just as good as my grilled skirt steak with habanero sauce that and melted in my mouth. Dinner was rounded off with a pumpkin seed ice cream, a delightful blend of sweet and savory paired with vanilla and dulce de leche cookies that added the perfect crunch and texture to the end of my evening.

 

Casa Negra is more laid back, friendlier and generally more East, not only geographically, but in atmosphere, than its older Soho sister, La Bodega Negra. The interior is a mixture of a Mexican beach side eatery and a bar on Isla de Mujeres. Wooden tables painted in a jaunty mint green, collapsible deck chairs and a rather bright bar advertising Sol beer complete with corrugated iron roof. If you’re not careful, one too many ‘Day of the Dead’ cocktails and you could think you’re at the seaside before heading in to the ‘Casa Playroom’ downstairs… I didn’t stay down there long, not because I didn’t like it but because I was so full I needed to lie down! From looking at the number of drinks being served though, those dangling piñatas weren’t going to be staying intact for very long…

 

Casa Negra is fun. There is no two ways about it; it’s the kind of place you want to go and celebrate a birthday – every Friday night. The food is reasonably priced, the drinks are strong and it stays open till 2am. Take a mate, take a date, take a whole group of people, they will all be impressed.

 

Tacos: £5.50 – £8.00

Main: £14.00 – £19.50

Desert: £6.00

 

Casa Negra

54-56 Great Eastern st

EC2A 3QR

reservations@casanegra.co.uk
T 0207 033 7360

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