Tacos is ideal celebratory food: oozy, messy and finger-licking stuff. So Clerkenwell’s Breddos Tacos immediately sprung to mind for my birthday dinner. Indeed, its reviews have had critics all over the capital lost for words, or, rather, confirming that their tacos really are something to shout about. Or to photograph: their Instagram is a thing of beauty and testament to the way in which their kitchen elevates street food to an art.
The duo behind Breddos, Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitney, have travelled the well-worn track of just opened London eateries: food-obsessed friends who traded in their jobs to sell taco from a makeshift shack in a car park in Hackney. Selling out earlier and earlier each day made them realise that they had a hit on their hands. An extended menu and street food fame followed with residences and pop-ups all over the shop. Now they’re out into the real world of Clerkenwell at the edge of the City.
The space inside is cute and colourful: lightboxes, hand-painted wall menus, booths and bold prints. It looks like one big fiesta. But an unpretentious one. It’s not plush at all – in keeping with their street food menu – and the service can be a little scatty, though the food generally makes up for it. That, and the beautiful plates on which the tacos are served. They’re the kind of ceramics you dream of crafting in a pottery workshop.
Blue corn tortillas and sauces are served at each table to start. They set the bar for the evening very high: nutty, crisp and light, they were the perfect conveyors for the piquant sauces that came with. These vary from week to week, but our creamy red salsa and a spicy chilli dip – which had a definite kick to it – were smoky, zingy and punchy.
Now onto the starts of the show – the tacos. Breddos’ tacos have become somewhat legendary: each taco is made in-house everyday, soaking, cooking, liming, and washing the corn, and grinding it on a mill made from volcanic stone. These corn bases make the perfect vehicle for electrifying toppings: salsas, creamy avocadoes and smoky seasonings.
Somewhat limited by the few vegetarian options, I went for the Tostada topped with burrata, pea mole, baby courgette and wild fennel, and their Tacos with sweet potato, recado rojo, chamomile and pepitas. The cacophony of taste, flavours and textures was swoon-worthy. Hot, sour, sweet, crisp, gooey and chewy – all at once.
My only gripe is the lack of vegetarian options. The portions were also small: only one tacos/tostada comes per order and compared to, for example, Wahaca which generously packs three into a single dish, you’re left wanting more. Even the salsas and guacamole pots were tiny…
All in all, though, I loved Breddos for its innovation. Menus change frequently: you might find crunchy nut sweetbread tacos one day, and pea mole another. The combinations of flavours here seem to be mad but inventive. This fusion departs from your usual Mexican eatery into what seems to be unchartered territory. Using tacos as a base upon which to test out flavour combos works is a great concept – I’m surprised no one else has experimented in this way before. Indeed, their food is influenced by the hundreds of roadside taquerieas and restaurants they’ve encountered throughout America and Mexico. But it also fuses Mediterranean flavours. Breddos breaks out from the usual rules and brings street-food into a restaurant, whilst maintaining all the fun of the fare.
Breddos Tacos, 82 Goswell Roa,d London EC1