Tel: +44 (0)20 7749 9670
Address: 51 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA
Cuisine Type: Mexican
Shoreditch High Street (LONDON OVERGROUND), Bethnal Green (CENTRAL)
Green & Red is the only Mexican restaurant that I have come across (and I’ve been to many) outside of Mexico that actually serves cuisine that tastes authentic. And my Mexican companion can vouch for every word.
We arrived a little earlier than our 10pm booking, so we headed to the bar downstairs to quench our thirst and naturally, went straight for the tequila. Before I could murmur so much as a word, a shot of Gran Centenario was thrust into my hand. The liquid gold slid down my throat with ease. They have an extremely impressive tequila menu and all the national beers you would expect to find. Half way through a Modelo, and it was time to eat.
Starters were priced reasonably from £4.50 to £7.50. The simple, fresh flavours of the Ceviche (raw fish marinated in citrus juice) together with pomegranate were constructed with effortless precision. The chargrilled steak tacos were real, served with real soft corn tortillas, hand-pressed, and real salsas of chipotle and avocado, all in typical earthenware.
Main courses were an absolute delight and range from £9.50 to £14.50. Granny won’t need her dentures for the birria, – slow braised lamb shank cooked with beer, cloves and ancho chillies. Goodness that oozes out the sides of a tortilla, with lamb that melts in your mouth. Equally amazing were the carnitas – slow roasted pork belly with pasilla chilli and orange salt, served with ribs that you can tear apart like a piece of paper, while you munch on a sizeable piece of crackling.
We had come this far, so I suppose we couldn’t refuse dessert. Our waiter encouraged us to try the churros (similar to a donut) with chocolate. As I dipped my hot and crunchy churro into the thick-spiced chocolate I was intoxicated with nostalgia. The chocolate, a speciality of the Oaxacan region, was absolutely indulgent.
The service was unforgettable. Our waiter’s knowledge and very passion for Mexican cuisine was unmistakable. Whether the conversation was regarding the food, the drinks, or upcoming restaurants, in either English or Spanish, we were engaged. His devotion stretched even further when he wrote down our emails so we could be informed of future restaurant openings.
When your amigo shouts, ‘I feel like I’m in Mexico, hell, this is better than Mexico!’ – you know these guys are onto something. The food literally flung me onto cloud nine and took us high above the streets of Mexico. With every mouthful came pure enjoyment – at last, real Mexican cuisine, not that Tex-Mex crap Californians swear by. Just when I was about to call off the search party, I found this gem. Viva Green & Red.