Review of 'Cantina Mexican Bar & Kitchen'

Cantina is a small place that you could be forgiven for missing on the Chiswick High Road/King Street. Formerly a tea salon the Cantina is a bit of a welcome bit of delicious, unpretentious Mexican home cooking. Passing by on the way on an errand today we decided to stop by for a bit of a brunch and were not disappointed.

The small interior is long and skinny with seating for likely only about 30 people with a few tables on the pavement (in good weather) as well as tables in a small sky-lit area out in the back past the bar area. The interior is rustic with wooden floor and mismatched chairs adding to the air of eating in someone's house or a bit of a “dive” bar in Mexico itself. The menu is similarly basic with only three sections: “Little Plates”, “Mains” and “Breakfast & Brunch” each containing only a few items. The drinks menu is also fairly basic with the unusual suspects of tequilas, single options of various wines (white, rosé, prosecco and cava), beers (several), soft drinks, smoothies as well as a couple of cocktails.

Interior

We decided to go with a brunch option given it was Sunday and about noon but we started with “Tortilla Chips & Dip” (£3.50) which was the bargain of the meal and delicious to boot (our preferred starter, the “Cornbread” at £3 “with chilli & lime butter” was not available). Three dipping sauces: Sour cream; A mild and very basic tomato salsa; and an understated, incredibly creamy guacamole. The modest portion of tortillas were extra crunchy, served hot with a dash of spices on top. Quite tasty. There is a “Loaded Tortilla” option at £5.50 that I might be tempted to try in future if I wanted to significantly increase my risk of heart attack (“with melted cheese, jalapeños, guacamole, salsa & sour cream”, and, if you want “add: Chilli beef, Pulled Pork, Lime Chicken, Bacon, Halloumi” for another £1.50).

Tortilla Chips & Dip

My companion tried the “Smashed Avocado” (£8.50; “Griddled sourdough, poached eggs, lemon, coriander, chilli, sour cream”) which was deliciously creamy and a good sized portion. Not exactly a flavour sensation but warm and comforting.

Smashed Avocado

I went for my old standby of “Huevos Rancheros” (£8.50; “Eggs cooked on black beans or diced potato, squash with tostada, guacamole”, ignoring the options of cheese for an extra £1 or bacon for another £1.50), choosing the black bean option (obvs) which was quite good but made better with their home-made smoky “hot sauce” (made with chipotle peppers). Again, not a flavour hit but warm and comforting, prepared wonderfully. The beans which a bit of a surprise with their slightly sweet flavour. The eggs were overcooked (preferred runny, please) and the “tostada” was actually a few tortilla chips around the outside.

Huevos Rancheros

The young man serving us was very helpful and friendly chatting to us about upcoming travel. A very pleasant meal. At £26 for the two of us, it was moderately priced for what we received (no tip is included, a tip jar is available on the bar; they accept cards).

The food is not earth-shattering, but basic, honest Mexican food that you might imagine you would find there. Sadly, even with this I found the flavours bland and the dishes unimaginative. Very quickly you will exhaust the small menu but Cantina could helps with any Mexican cravings you might have and don't want to go to a big chain (Wahaca, I'm talking about you). They are open into the evenings on most days but I would suggest to visit during the day for something light.

This place could be ideal for a bit of a quite place to take some time to have a few home-made Mexican nibbles, grab a drink from the bar and watch the world go by on King Street…

Rating:

Review Date: 2018-08-19


Cuisine: Mexican

Address: 387 King Street, London W6 9NJ ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Hammersmith

Location: London (England) - Chiswick

Map:

 

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Telephone: +44 (0) 2030 924 411

URL: http://cantinauk.com/