Abbeville Road is niiice. Situated in a kind of apex between Clapham and Brixton, the hubbub and noise of both is a distant memory – you can hear yourself think as opposed to the deafening roar of the 37 bus. At the top of this rather peaceful and attractive residential road sits a nice pub, a couple of estate agents (one can dream), a Ginger Pig butcher and some vibrant little shops and restaurants.
Comensal is the youngest addition to this lovely cluster. Romantic, chilled out and warm, it’s the sort of place you can happily while away several hours of a summer evening in the city. The restaurant is the vision of John Sim and Cati Bego – a Scottish man who went travelling and fell in love with a Mexican woman – and their passion and attention to detail is evident. The walls are awash with colour; elegant hand-painted Mexican tiles adorn the bar and even the cushion covers are individually crafted with decorative patterns. It’s all about having a good time and welcoming Mexican hospitality – mi casa es su casa! You can also dine al fresco on the terrace – perfecto!
The Head Chef Eduardo Santiago is a native of Mexico City, so safe to say this guy knows what he’s doing! Featuring an appetising mix of sharing platters, street food tapas plates, salads and mains, the menu offers a contemporary take on Mexican favourites. The guacamole is made fresh at the table by your waiter – zesty and vibrant, it’s served with tortilla chips so get dipping and sharing.
Playful fusion twists come in the form of the Pastor Taco (pork shoulder with pineapple), Suadero Taco (marinated Scottish brisket) and Torta de Hamburguesa (Mexican-style burger made from Scottish beef). Sure, you can have ceviche, enchiladas and tacos but why not try the Chuletas de Cordero Bañadas en Salsa (pistachio-crusted lamb chops served on polenta) to really treat your taste buds. The Mole De Mi Mama Con Pollo is just as Cati’s mama used to make it, with home-made mole (a spicy sauce made chiefly from chilli peppers and chocolate), chicken and Mexican rice. Did you know that the Cesar Salad was invented in the Northern Mexico town of Tijuana by an Italian immigrant? Me neither, but you’ll find one of the best Cesar salads in town right here.
Picture this: Friday evening. You and your date have both had a long day at the office. Quick post-work debrief drink with colleagues. Hop on tube or bus to Clapham Common where you make your rendezvous at the clock by the station. Kiss like they do in the movies. Walk pleasantly arm in arm to the restaurant – just far enough away to work up an appetite. That lovely hour before dusk. A table on the terrace for two. A ‘Comensal’ cocktail to start – Reposado tequila, agave syrup, lime, mint, red chilli… Your shoulders start to relax. You dangle your shoe from your foot. Conversation is gathering pace. The rest is up to you…
Pisco sour, Cuba Libre, Caipiriña, Mojito, Whisky Sour, Pacifico beer, Cornish Pilsner on draught, Michelada, red and white wines, a list of tequila as long as your arm….the burden of choice!
3. Three words: Tequila. Cocktail. Kick.