Molé has been serving up innovative tacos, cocktails and ceviche around the corner from Selfridges for just under six months now. What we didn’t know about this Mexican boutique restaurant though, is that 80% of its menu is gluten free. If there was ever a reason for me to abandon the well-meaning carb-lessness of January for a day I may have found it.
Mexican food isn’t the kind of cuisine that screams ‘health’. Flavourful and tasty yes, but the guacamole and sour cream diet is in no danger of taking the reins from the Master Cleanse. Still, Molé taco bar presents this spicy fare with a good dollop of sophistication that skims the guilt off the top, for the wheat intolerant anyway.
Inside there’s kitsch and colourful echoes of its homeland. A mural of Frida Kahlo smoking adorns one wall and flowers are painted along another, while decorated skulls on the shelves and black walls ‘dripping’ in dark paint are nods to the Day of the Dead festival. The cheerful and celebratory side of Mexico is on display, along with its more mystical elements…
The seating itself is quite simple – pale wood tables with a matching bar, fully stocked with tequila of course and lit by overhanging metal lighting. It’s casual, cool and not fussy at all but it’s an inspired backdrop to sharing plates and a tipple or two.
Things to definitely try at a Mexican taco bar called Molé - Tacos and guac. If this isn’t your thing you should have kept walking and gone to the Selfridges Rooftop restaurant. Keeping well on theme, we shared a starter of Yucatan hot wings with habanero sauce – not quite too hot to handle but there’s plenty of side sauces available for those who need to leave a meal exhaling flames. There’s even a traditional chocolatey chilli sauce on offer.
We found that a little Pisco sour (or Guava Pisco sour even…) helps, post-habanero. Veggies can start with the Quesadilla of cremini mushroom with green pepper dipping sauces and a gooey, cheesy centre. Again, a drink may help here if you’ve overdone it with the hot stuff, we recommend the Frida & Diego cocktail of Jose Cuervo blanco, ginger, rose, cucumber and lime.
As for tacos – the classic beef taco is a winner. Chipotle beef short rib is presented on two open tortilla breads, layered with cream, sweet potato hay, radish and jalapeno slices. The Baja fish tacos (originating from Baja California in Mexico), are of lightly battered pollock tempura and served layered with Chipotle mayo, purple cabbage, jalapeno slaw, a dusting of spices and a smattering of greenery. Delicious, authentic and great for sharing. There are also Peruvian skewers (chicken , beef, prawn or pork) and ceviche, but for those who don’t like to share, enjoy one of their principal dishes on your lonesome – Seabass fillet, lamb cutlets, prawns or short rib.
Although I run the risk of over-emphasising the drinks, it needs to be said that the cocktails are pretty damn fantastic. Even if you’re not a fan of the Pisco sour, the tequila and rum selections are extensive – and a perfect accompaniment to anything hot and spicy.
16 Picton Place
Tel. 020 7486 1995
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