Mexican Dinner @ Santo, Portbello

The air last night was so chilly (>.<)
I went out with just a blouse & a leather jacket and found myself desperately wanting a jumper & a scarf to top them up! I tell you that our teeth were chattering when Letizia & I were quick-marching from the restaurant to the station. Autumn is definitely here…

Letizia & I attended Portbello Film Festival 2012 last night.
Under the overpass of West Way, off Portbello Road, was turned into a temporary cinema…


And we were treated with the film titled “Spirit of Portbello 2012”.
The film was constructed with interviews in which the locals describe the charm & the vice of Portbello…


As anyone who has visited Portbello will agree, Portbello is a mixed community, ethnically and fiscally.
Portbello Road is teeming with market traders. Comparing with more sanitized & somehow boring Kensington High Street or Kings Road, the street is definitely more alive and closer to its serving community…


In my opinion, the range of interviewees was too limited. The film focused on a particular section of the locals. Why so many so-called artists? More from local business establishments next time, perhaps?

By the end of the film, we were starving and cold! After all, the venue was virtually outside.
So we headed to Santo, the Mexican restaurant nearby.


With a glass of Mexican wine, we caught up with each other’s life since last Sunday, nibbling Totopos & salsa  – tortilla chips & hot salsa.


My knowledge of Mexican cuisine was so limited.
The knowledge ended with American Tex-Mex style or worse, Taco Bell (how embarrassing).
So, we followed our attentive waitress advice and ordered Birriab – Lamb stew with chile New Mexico, served with onion, coriander, radish & chile de arbol salsa.


And Tiras Albañil – Strips of chicken, pan-fried with bacon, onion & chile verde.
The dishes were accompanied with a basket of warm flour tortillas.


We also ordered Guacamole with tortilla chips.
I must admit the Guacamole I had at Santo was a full of flavour of the fresh ingredients (avocado, tomato, onion, coriander, green chile & lime). It was the best I ever had.


Especially, Birriab was very tasty. The spiciness of the stew was just about right when it was eaten with tortilla. About Tiras Albañil, the taste was a tad too bland? To be fair, lamb had more distinctive flavour as meat, comparing with chicken’s, especially the breast which was more delicate and if not neutral. Therefore, Birriab was more memorable than Tiras Albañil for me.

For dessert, we polished off a piece of chocolate cake with a glass of wine…


On our way home, it was soooooo cold!
I wished if I had an enough wisdom to pack pashmina in my tote bag…

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