As my companion (EB) and I have a shared love of Mexican foods (who wouldn’t really?!), were playing with the idea of a trip to Mexico itself (hello Tulum!), and had recently frequented the somewhat disappointing Breddos Tacos, we were both keen on trying out Corazón, another eatery in line for the title of London’s best tacqueria in what’s become a fiercely stiff competition. Though dreading the thought of a potential queue, we secured a spot (or rather two) at the bar in a matter of minutes – very unexpected at this well-reputed Soho spot on a July hump day. And it turns out we really lucked out given the top quality of the food (and service) here…
Corazón taqueria is the project of Laura Sheffield (formerly GM of The Riding House Café and Corbin & King’s Fischer’s) and chef Paul Daniel (head chef at The Riding House Café and executive chef for the whole Village London group). Their passion really shines through in this simple but inviting space. We were so impressed to meet Laura on the restaurant floor itself, dressed in a groovy pair of pastel pink trainers and chatting about her Barry’s bootcamp discipline and her partner busy in the kitchen downstairs. It’s great that they’re both actively involved in the day-to-day running of this place. It feels like a well-oiled machine and is proof that a husband and wife time can work well!
The look is plain, simple and sincere – the walls are unfussingly whitewashed – and the mood is happy and relaxed. I love the fact that this spot is quite unasumming: it’s not terribly fancy as the real focus is on the tacos.
As we chatted and perused the menu, we couldn’t resist nibbling on the Totopos and Guacamole (£5.50) – we had come for Mexican after all and no Mexican fiesta would feel complete without some avocado action. The nachos were served with probably the best duo of accompanying salsas I’ve ever come across in a tacqueria: a smokey arbol chile salsa, and a zesty, zingy and punchy xni pec made with fresh habanero peppers, tomatoes, onions and plenty of lime juice that wacks you sharp in the face. So moreish and flavoursome, it was almost too good to share! Indeed, it was so tasty that I reserved the chile salsa that was remaining for the tacos to come.
Given that there was so much for us to try, we shared accompaniments of Esquites (£5.00), which are grilled sweetcorn, stripped from the cob, and served with guajillo chile powder, epazote mayo, lime and the creamiest yet crumbliest crows milk cheese I’ve tasted, as well as the Camotes ( – it was only £3.25 after all). These are grilled sweet potato chunks adorned with a jalapeno mojo and queso fresco. It was cheesy, smokey and moriesh. These sides are unmissable.
And of course we got a tacos each. Debating between the two vege options – the beautifully named Farm to Taco, made with seasonal grilled asparagus, and the Horacio (£8.50) – I went for the latter. This corn tortilla (sadly not blue unlike some of the other tacos options) was made with roast butternut squash, wild mushrooms, huitlacoche (a bizarre corn fungus that’s actually a Mexican delicacy), crispy chestnuts and more qeuso fresco. The flavours and textures were sensational: it was so well-seasoned and the squash was beautifully pureed. The chestnuts also lent an unusual twist. The flavours of each individual ingredient shone through. Though the tacos were generously topped, this kind of messiness is just what you crave when it comes to Mexican food.
And let’s not forget the quality of the underlying tortillas themselves – exceptional. Thin yet sturdy, they were a joy to handle! The gentle nuttiness of the corn also lent a welcome depth.
Hands down, Corazón is the best tacquiera I’ve come across. For well-priced food, friendly service and a real depth of flavours, head here. Sorry Wahaca! Though if it were a tacos Tuesday kinda day, I’d still probably go for an excellent value plantain tacos at this old joint!
Corazon, 29 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 8QR
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