Santana Grill

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santana grill

At Santana Grill we have crafted a rare London market stall: a vibrant affordable spot that serves exciting contemporary Mexican cuisine.

We blend care and authenticity with the creative urban flourishes that distinguish the food of my native Mexico.

At Santana's food is made with the highest quality produce.

Our version of Pork Pibil, the legendary sauces made from dozens of ingredients, would impress any grandmother in Mexico, while modern dishes like beef brisket in chipotle, maple bourbon would make you cry or our braised chicken tucked between tortillas lavished with habanero-spiked tomato salsa, keep jaded Londoners coming back for more since 2009.

Reviews and related sites

Cheese and Biscuits: La Bodega Negra, Soho

Review analysis
food   value  

I always have the same thing - the pork pibil tacos, with guacamole and habanero salsa, and they are perfectly decent - not amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but just about worth £6 and tasty in a vaguely sterile, proto-chain kind of way.

La Bodega Negra serves very similar food to Adobo.

Of course being a "restaurant" and not a fast food bar, the menu is bigger; you can have prawns in your tacos as well as the usual pork, chicken and beef options, and there are a few larger menu items like steaks and roast sea bream (why is the token fish dish in any given restaurant always bream?)

The only substantial difference between the two, in fact, is that while Adobo just about sits on the right side of value for money, La Bodega Negra has an attitude to portion size and pricing that is arrogant bordering on insulting.

Feeble little things, each containing two or three pencil-thin shavings of spiced beef (my requested pork pibil wasn't available, and you can't mix and match - all three tacos must contain the same filling), some of that bland tomato salsa and a bit of chopped coriander.

Gingle lists everything: Mangal 1 Ocakbasi, 26th October

Review analysis

The bread was warm and soft and tasty on its own but both Stephen and I thought it was a bit of a travesty that we didn't have anything to scoop up with it.

At Mangal, our mixed grill consisted of a lamb chop, some lamb morsels, a chicken wing, adana kebab (I think) and some rolled belly meat (again, we think).

My chicken wing was less a wing and more like a wishbone with a few scraps of meat on it which was a bit disappointing, and I thought my lamb chop was a bit too big (I know, pernickety much?

Overall I think Cirrik gets my first vote - I preferred their bread, and the lamb ribs that came with the mixed grill were amazing.

The tiny chicken wing and slightly dry chop, and only one piece of bread (yes, I know I didn't even finish it all, but there's always room for more bread) let the side down a little for Mangal, which is why I'm giving Cirrik the edge here.

Santana Grill (burritos) • London Street Foodie

Review analysis

The grub: Mexican street food like quesadillas topped with cheese, humungous burritos made with 6-hour slow cooked beef (barbacoa), and soft tacos made with fresh corn tortillas and stuffed with whatever is on the specials list that day.

Also worth a try: stuffed chillis (chile relleno) and burritos with slow cooked pork (carnitas).

Brightly coloured street stall with queues stretching out so make sure you’re in the right line.

Tip: if you’re lucky, you might even get a glimpse of smoke coming out of the owner’s ears as he dashes around the kitchen wrapping and talking as he goes… The story: Rury Fischelt (he’s Dutch-Mexican) says his purpose is to “provide happiness to the people of this beautiful land” and so far he’s doing well.

Having cooked for the last five years at an annual charity event and sold out every time, people started saying he should do something more permanent.

Santana Grill Brings Flavours of Mexico to the #FBC14 strEAT Party ...

Review analysis

Nowadays I apply all that to what I cook and source with just one thing in mind – to cook the best regional Mexican food.

I think that in a couple of years if not sooner we will open our first Santana Grill joint.

Originality and patience, it take’s time to get a good spot and certain recognition but the most important thing is to be true to yourself What other events do you take part in throughout the year?

No unfortunately i don’t i have an idea but always too busy to write it down like I am a Food Blog,  The Year in Food and London Street Foodie.

They are super delicious, healthy & nutritious and cheap to cook How can a successful restaurant or eatery grow and expand without losing it’s heart and soul and staying true to its food and ethos- any examples of any one who has achieved this?

London's best: burrito | Ross eats

Review analysis

Meat, rice, flour tortilla, cheese and spicy salsa – all things that I enjoy and some of the key ingredients to a good burrito.

My first burrito experience came in 2005 from a fairly dodgy looking ‘burrito shack’ outside of an even dodgier nightclub on the mean streets of Swindon and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

But with all things great there are also disappointments; when I made a special trip back to Swindon for a burrito the shack had closed down and I was left empty handed.

Ever since moving to London I’ve been looking for a burrito, as good as those Swindon ones and I’ll be letting you in on my quest here.

I’ve no idea how long this will take me but I’m sure it’ll be a tasty journey!

pizza pilgrims | London Street Bites

Review analysis

I took a right from Oxford Street, heading down to Berwick Street, to the market beyond where Pizza Pilgrims resides.

Not that I haven’t tried a few on my way back, but it felt uneasy to unwillingly avoid all other gastro-traps along the short walk to the rearmost of the market where the dark green van was enthroned, apart from others.

On my way there, abruptly, I found myself in a fragrant aura of rich tomato sauce steam nourished by the fumes seeping out of the stone oven constructed in the van ahaed of me.

At that very moment, I charged to the van and rapidly browsed the menu board to pick my feed.

I would have picked Margherita of which I believe a ‘pizzaiolo’ can only be rightously evaluated with.

Sam Bowman, Author at Straight Up London

Review analysis
food   value  

Daddy Bao is the new offspring of Peckham’s Mr Bao, both doing much the same as Bao and Flesh and Buns.

The aubergine’s sesame sauce and bits of pomegranate gave it a powerful flavour kick with bursts of sourness, and the pork dumplings’ skin was impressively delicate – impressive to someone used to the cheap, cheerful and chubby dumplings from Silk Road, anyway.

The best was the “Mr Bao Pork Belly” one which had crunchy bits of peanut and lots of coriander and pickles as well as a generous slice of braised pork belly.

Big brash flavours like that go well with the sweet softness of the bun, and make the whole thing feel like a sort of savoury dessert that you’re very naughty to eat as dinner.

All this food was at its best with big flavours, and not trying the sort of boring ‘subtlety’ that turned me off bao at other places.

Straight Up London • Page 2 of 4 •

Breddos, Clerkenwell • Straight Up London

Review analysis
food   busyness  

I’m only aware of one good Mexican place in London, which is Strutton Ground’s Santana Grill (also street food), but after nice reviews from Chris Pople and Marina O’Loughlin I was excited to add to my list.

It just didn’t have much going on – the taco itself was excellent with real bite and a complex corn flavour, but there was no cohesion to what was on top and no real flavour other than pork.

Each one had a big, crispy chunk of chicken deep fried in corn dough, arched like a leaping fish out of its taco.

If there’s one thing that Breddos has made a name for itself with, it’s the fish tacos.

It wasn’t terrible, the fish tacos were impressive, but I left feeling unsatisfied and – even after eating half of my dining companion’s food – underfed.