THIS has to be the most breathtakingly fashionable place serving up Mexican food. Ironic really, given that it’s the kind of fair that usually leaves you with greasy, sauce-daubed face and hands.
But potential punters don’t seem to be put off. On the weekday night we dropped in every table in Neon Cactus was full and most of the occupants were ordering food. Most of it smelt and looked fantastic too.
The menu is glorious, divided up into the four main elements: enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas and burritos. Alongside that are the usual array of snacks, nachos, taco selections and some great seafood too.
The size of the Call Lane bar - particularly the size of their minuscule open plan kitchen - belies the variety and quantity of food they’re clearly able to deliver. There’s well over 30 different dishes - from nibbles to feast menus.
We went for the shredded duck burrito with orange marmalade, spring onion and cucumber, which, despite containing such comparatively benign ingredients had a really good kick to it, but that didn’t prepare Little Oliver for the sizzler that was the smokey mezcal and lime chicken breast served with warm tortillas, green and red rice with some hearty splodges of guacamole, sour cream and fresh salsa.
Seriously, it was all really delicious stuff and supplied the necessary spice to make this worthy of being called Mexican food. With a drink, the final bill came to just over £20, which was reasonable given that we’d enjoyed a main course each and were pretty full too.
The quality of the product at Neon Cactus is obvious. The chicken breast, for example, was a reasonable size but was the most tender meat imaginable with just the right amount of coating. And everything else tasted freshly prepared and homemade too.
Given how de rigeur a place this is, we expected the food to be a bit token – not a bit of it. In fact, they vie with some of the other top food providers on Call Lane, proving it’s just as good a place to eat as it is to drink.
The only slight issue is that it does still feel like you’re eating in a bar – nothing wrong with that, if that’s your bag, but if you want somewhere more formal to eat Mexican then this isn’t your best bet. Aside from that Neon Cactus is flawless.