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Sunday, 2 March 2008

Saturday Night chimichanga

108 Essex Road
London, N1 8LX
020 7226 5551

Lately I've been making a big effort to eat out locally. Mainly because it's kinda nice to be able to stroll home with a full tummy, rather than hop onto a bendy bus and find a clear space to stand amongst the chicken bones and Mc Donald's refuse. Most places in the vicinity of N1 are all show and no go, but in such a huge area I know there has to be at least a few gems.

I'd been past this South American restaurant on Essex Rd hundreds of times, and never gave the place a second thought because its glass frontage just looked a little uninviting. After reading a few good reviews, we decided to check it out.
(At this point I should warn you that I have an obsession with the word chimichanga. Chimichanga, chimichanga, chimichanga.)
OK, now I've got that out of my system I can confidently say that these guys make the best chimichangas I've ever had. Full flavoured black eyed beans and mushrooms with a hint of cheese encased in light, crispy filo served with a spicy salsa. Fantastic. We also had the quinoa fritters and the terrine - also top notch. Another highlight were the Yuca fritas, perfectly deep-fried batons of cassava that put spuds to shame.

Epileptics and people who share Bono's sensitivity to light, beware: eating in this establishment may cause discomfort. There are not one, not two but SEVEN disco balls hanging from the ceiling. It's like prom night without the frocks and cheek to cheek dancing. Despite all this, the food managed to outshine the disco balls, and after a few excellent cocktails from the bar, you'd barely notice they were there.
The dessert menu also looked a treat but I was stuffed to the gills and unable to partake, so if you go, make sure you save some room.

Yay! They have a cloakroom so your coats/scarves/hats won't get in the way of your delicious meal
Boo! Some tables are very close together, which is fine...until you get seated next to a flamboyant man who likes talking to strangers and wears hats indoors (a pet peeve of Carters)
Cost: starters, mains and cocktails for two - around £40
Veg friendly: 3.5/5
Service: 4.5/5

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