A fun social eating experience by a passionate team of Mexican food enthusiasts
Let it be known that Mexican food is one of my obsessions – the spicy heat, fresh herbs, slow cooked meat and sharing element. Cielo Blanco located in the middle of Exmouth Market delivers a vibrant take on Mexican with staff as friendly as the menu.
You can tell the Cielo team have done their research, regular (tequila fueled) trips out to Mexico have created an authentic menu in the kind of relaxed social setting that Mexican culture is all about – eat, drink, be with friends, oh and the cocktails!
The restaurant itself is informal, bright colours, Mexican artifacts, bunting zig zagging. We were shown to our table and ordered some drinks, the fragrant Basil and Pineapple Margarita (£7.95) Don Julio blanco shaken with fresh basil, lime and pineapple, the Avacadorita (£8.50) fresh avocado blended with el Jamador reposado, triple sec, lime, agace and coriander, finished off with pumpkin seeds (hello – seriously) and the Pisco Punch (£7.95) South American brandy shaken with sweet citrus flavours and topped up with some bubbles.
There were three of us for dinner and we were hungry! Menu poured over we decided on the beer battered fish tacos (£5) light, fresh and smothered in Mexican relish, smoky chicken quesadillas (£4.95) slow cooked succulent delights and black bean tostadas with fresh tomoato and avocado £4.50), equally comforting and light. For main we went for the free range slow cooked barbacoa chicken (£12.95), served with cornhusk-steamed tamale, Mexico City corn on the cob and fire licked spring onions. Just to make sure we got the full-on experience we added sweet potato fries with jalapeno alioli (£3.45) and crunchy slaw with chipolte mayonnaise (£2.95).
It’s was a feast to enjoy slowly, tear apart, devour until we had to finally surrender. The flavours were full, prepared with love, this eatery is definitely passionate about what they do.
After dinner we headed downstairs to the lower lit, more lounge like basement bar.
From the same team behind London’s award-winning PortobelloStar, Portobello Road Gin and ‘The Ginstitute’ Gin Museum, Cielo Blanco they serve an impressive 150 types of fine Tequila and Mescal. Drinks curator Nick Fox has carefully selected each agave spirit on offer to include a varied range of rare and interesting choices. A menu of incredible Tequila and Mescal cocktails inspired by Nick’s visits to Mexico and it’s artisan agave farmers will also be served at the restaurant.
Founder Ged Feltham said “Naturally, our drinks offering will be just as important as the food. So it great that we will have a basement bar for people to come and relax and join us in our obsession and absolute love of the finest agave spirits.”
The drinks here are more serious, the menu itself a work of art – it’s definitely one you should add to your EC1 hang outs. All in all a very good, easy night, everything in one place, maybe they should open a club too….then a hotel, then an airline, ha no but you should definitely go and check this little gem out.
Address: 55-57 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QL
Opening Hours: 11am till late, food served from 11:30am till 11pm
Telephone: 0203 034 0066