Monday, 24 November 2014

Hats Off to Benito’s Hat - A Festive Evening at Benito's Hat

A few weeks ago I walked past a branch of Benito’s Hat, a small (but expanding) chain of six Mexican restaurants and thought to myself; “I must try them out one of these days”.  Three days later I got invited to review their new Mix-n-Match sharing platters created and prepared by Executive Chef and partner Felipe Fuentes Cruz!

Felipe met Ben who would become his business partner in 2007 and their story began. they work tirelesly to spread the word that good, authentic Mexican food can be found in London along with a cookbook and cooking classes.

The name Benito's Hat is a reference to Benito Juarez, the first indigenous president of Mexico who would often be seen wearing an extravagant hat.

On arrival I went upstairs to the President’s Bar and was immediately offered a Margarita. Good plan I thought!
The salt Benito's Hat uses to rim the glasses of Margarets comes from Mexico and is mined in Peubla by Felipe's mother!

Felipe welcomed guests and invited us to come behind the counter and try our hands at making the flour tortillas using, as he said “the latest technology from Mexico” which was in fact a simple press made of two boards to slightly flatten the balls of prepared dough, ready to pop into the pan and become the carriers for all the lovely treats we had coming.
On the table was a bowl of tortilla chips, sour cream, a mild chilli and coriander sauce and an innocuous looking red sauce.  I was right to be afraid of the red sauce, one tip of the tortilla chip dipped tentatively in and an explosion of flavour and heat exploded in my mouth!! It did taste good but was just too hot for me.
As we got settled at our tables, and I shared with a lovely blogging couple, we were given Benito’s Hat sharing appetiser platter.  Sharing platters are all the rage at them moment and I really enjoy them. I love to pick at bits and pieces without having to commit to one starter.
Our main sharing platter was loads of little bowls filled with such treats as pulled pork, pulled chicken, tomato and onion salsa, rice, grated cheese, re-fried beans with chorizo slices, a creamy and crunchy sweet corn salsa and my favourite of all, the beef mole. This came with a straw basket of warm tortillas that we had all been making beforehand.
The mole, a rich beef stew with a secret ingredient of chocolate and animal crackers, was my favourite.  I really must give this recipe a try.  Only a North American would know about animal crackers but apparently broken rich tea biscuits would work too.
The menu is simple, very Mexican and reasonably priced with special holiday celebration specials like Felipe's Festive Taco Tray or Rompope a Mexican eggnog served over ice.

If you are around Kings Cross, Oxford Circus, Covent Garden, Goodge Street, Farringdon or the one I went to Leadenhall pop in for some authentic Mexican food that will thrill your taste buds and Margaritas to make your day!
I was not paid to attend the menu reveal and as usual all opinions and photos are my own!


  1. I just love Mexican food, what a lovely experience and the food looks great.

    1. Their food is really good, I will be eating there again soon!

  2. love Mexican food. Sounds like you had fun!

    1. It was a nice event and I met some really lovely bloggers there too! And the food was great.