Hands down Mexican is my most favourite cuisine. Don’t get me wrong I am open to a little experimental Sushi, Pan-Asian turns me ravenous and I am always down for some Southern Comfort food but Mexican ticks ALL the culinary boxes for me; succulent grilled meats, mouthwatering marinades and sauces, creamy avocado and cheeses topped with chilli and salsa…
I was brought up on the tastes of Mexico having grown up in Latin America for some time. Always a family favourite, the spread my parents used to lay on was nothing short of gut-busting epic!
As London widens its palette more and more we have seemingly absorbed Mexican cuisine into our own tastes and traditions. Just like the Cornish pasty infiltrated the lunch boxes of Mexican silver miners 100 years ago I can’t go to brunch these days without seeing a chorizo, avocado eggs Benedict on the menu.
A modern Mexican feast makes a welcome change from your textbook, quesadillas and nachos affair. This month Selfridges is celebrating everything MODERN in MEXICO and have a calendar full of awesome events I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into. Running 14th April -13th May Selfridges Corner Restaurant is hosting modern Mexican private dinners created by some of the most accomplished Mexican chefs, flown into town specially!
It was a full house and Rich and I had blagged the best table with a view of everyone in the restaurant and bustling Oxford Street over our shoulders. Greeted with tasty Margaritas we wait excitedly as our chef of the night, Javier Plascencia explains the idea behind his Baja-Med cooking style and tonight’s feast. The audience was buzzing!
Javier’s 5 Course Menu
Tuna parfait, avocado and Meyer lemon
Grilled oyster, crispy noodle, green salsa
Arborio risotto and mixed heirloom beans
Braised short rib with figs, squash and cocoa
Carrot bread pudding with ice cream
Me and my housemates 26 and 27 year old women respectively munch, mash and slice our way through 10 avocados a week! We are nothing short of obsessed, which meant I practically inhaled what Javier described as his “savoury, ice-cream sundae-style starter”. Although my boyfriend did ask where the Meringue was…..doh.
Chinese communities exist all around Javier’s Baja California region so with these influences in mind the 2nd course was Grilled Oyster with an oriental twist. This two mouthfull dish was garlicky and juicy with crunchy noodle and some fire from a green slither of chilli with a crunchy Beef “Tortita” nestled inside the shell.
Next came a sexy-luxe version of Latin Americas most humble dish; Rice and Beans. As a tribute to the Italians that live in Baja, Javier cooked it with a risotto rice. We drank it with a red single-grape wine from the region. Truffle oil gave this dish a luxury richness. A creamy, earthy and satisfying dish. The word exquisite was bandied around by my fellow guests between courses!
It’s worth mentioning here that we are never without a glass of wine (all Mexican of course) which comes presented and matched to the dish we are eating at the time.The dish of the night is a 37 ingredient Mole containing a special chilli grown in the Wahacca region. Mole is one of the most unique flavours of Mexico; sweet and smokey this sauce is complex and went down a treat! The Short Rib was dressed in the fig mole, seared to a crunch on the outside and flakey and soft inside. The butternut squash added a creamy note to the dish and crispy flakes of plantain crowned the dish. We drank a complex wine with 6 grapes. Note to those interested this mole took 48 hours to cook!!
The night was amazing! There are some very talented Mexican chefs out there and I am so pleased I got the opportunity to experience it.
There are only a few dates left to experience this unique and once in a lifetime culinary feat! There are several menus on offers which you can check out here. Tickets are very reasonably priced considering you get wine with each of the 5 courses. Not to mention flawless service in a beautiful, London setting. It was also lovely to talk to Javier who stopped by every table that evening to chat.
The Corner Restaurant and Champagne Bar
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