Throughout May, Benito’s Hat are celebrating all things Mexican with their #MakeMayMexican campaign. During May the Mexican restaurant group are hosting a series of events, including quiz nights, culinary masterclasses, weekly giveaways and a special tamale menu, which will be hosted in all of their 6 sites. Well it would be rude not to get involved wouldn't it!
Despite my already killer hangover we were greeted at Benito's Hat in Goodge Street with that Mexican speciality: tequila. I would love to say I downed mine but to be honest I sipped it, cried a bit then drank my beer instead. Alex smashed his down, complete with special salt and lime, claiming the title of best hungover tequila drinker for the day. Many congrats to him.
More importantly we tucked into some delicious grub which incidentally probably did more for my hangover that the aforementioned alcohol. We kicked proceedings off with some gorgeous gauc and chips. Handmade in each store the guacamole is your classic mix of avocado, lime, red onion and tomato. Although the chilli could have been more pronounced it was definitely very tasty and we ordered a second round to polish off the tortilla chips.
Our very kind waitress took over the ordering process and brought us a tamale platter - something I have never heard of before. A tamale is a traditional Mexican dish made from a form of dough steamed in corn husks with a variety of flavours added to it. My tamale was packed with peppers, sweetcorn and salsa verde with melted Monterey Jack cheese whilst Alex;s featured slow-simmered pork and guajillo salsa with more cheese. Both had a smooth, soft textured with a kick of herb or chilli flavour to brighten up proceedings. I wasn't completely enamoured by the masa but it was still an interesting thing to enjoy.
Alongside the tamales was a STUNNING dish of black beans with feta. We later learned that this dish is seasoned with dried avocado leaves which bring a distinct aniseed note to the plate. We were really taken with this little bowl of yumminess and have tried to recreate it at home using the dried avo leaves. We also enjoyed a vibrant and colourful slaw with pomegranate and chipotle. The chipotle was quite overpowering and strong which made it difficult to eat at times, but still tasted really delicious. The fresh salsa of tomatoes, raw onion and coriander finished the platter which gave plenty of fresh veggie goodness.
Overall I really, really loved my visit to Benito's Hat. Alex and I have already planned to go back as soon as uni has finished for a celebratory meal. The location, the food and the overall vibe of the Goodge Street location made us feel like we were on a very happy holiday. I cannot wait to share more experiences with you but for now I give Benito's Hat a very happy final review.
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