As some locals will know, the award-winning Mexican streetfood dons Luardos have chosen fun neighbourhood boozer Gipsy Queen in west Kentish Town for their first ever boozer pop-up.
The quality showed in the first three dishes we shared on a surprisingly busy weekday night (read more about that here): a cheesy quesadilla, a whopping 12-inch burrito and a side of delicious cassava fries.
But it was the more delicate – and interesting – very fresh tacos that really won us over on our second visit, as we perched at the counter overlooking the hectic open kitchen. Better still, on Tuesdays they’re a snip at £2 each (rather than £7 or £8 for two). Yep, roughly half price.
Of the five we tried, top marks go to the tender chargrilled chicken thigh with the sweet hit of onions, and the medium-rare steak strewn with spicy salsa and guac; a meat-free sweet potato with salty-sour queso fresca was just slightly less impressive (as a vegetarian taco was at Casa Pastor the other day.)
But the biggest joy? Textbook beer-battered fish – its outside crisp, flesh just-opaque – with tangy mango and the smokey heat of chipotle mayo. It’s deservedly won an award or two in the annual Taco Wars. And if you’re in the mood for a fiery side, order the plantain with scotch bonnet.
To wash it down? As you’d expect, there’s a comprehensive rundown of local London craft beers, but if you want wine, you might be underwhelmed: we tasted two that were ordinary at best, although when we pointed this out, the friendly manager explained a new list was coming soon.
In the meantime this is instantly – we reckon – the best Mexican scran in NW5.