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Benito’s Hat: Riding the Mexican wave of success
May 30th 2016 | Written by Baldwin Ho

Benito’s Hat: Riding the Mexican wave of success

If there is a market on the London food scene that is over-saturated, it surely must be the burrito restaurants that populate all corners of our city. We went to check out Benito’s Hat in Covent Garden to discover why they are always one step ahead of the competition.

Quality of produce and food innovations have been key to their success. When you enter the restaurant, you will see signs about their head chef, Felipe Fuentes Cruz’s latest creations: whether it is his ranchera salsa, his beef barbacoa prime pulled brisket or making extremely hard to find, tamales. You get a sense that this is a place dedicated to offering the best of Mexican food culture but also a restaurant that is keen to innovate and improve.

Unlike other burrito restaurants, it doesn’t feel just like a fast food venue; here they have a funky bar space, that is welcoming and relaxed and you can just as easily come with a group of friends to enjoy margaritas and tequila shots rather than having a meal. On our visit, they were offering a very unusual avocado margarita for their cocktail of the month. The only minor negative feedback was the tables in their bar seating corner was far too low for actually eating any food but perfectly comfortable for cocktail enjoyment with friends.

Benitos bar

The tamales we tried was very filling as a starter which are bundles of corn dough with delicious fillings and with melted jack on top. At £2.50, it is very much a bargain, although it is only a temporary special when we visited; hopefully they might consider bringing it back.

Their core business is however their burritos and tacos. The burrito is pillowy and comforting along with their black beans and rice; it is also a healthy option with liberal doses of tomatoes and lettuce as well as chilled guacamole.Benitos Hat burritoIf you don’t want to be filled with rice and beans, then their tacos option is for you, which is similar to burritos minus those 2 items. Note they offer the traditional tacos which are not crispy. Although you should eat it with your hands, they have so much fillings inside, it was unsurprising that I had to resort to using a knife and fork to avoid creating an environmental disaster on the dining table.Benitos Hat tacosThe key selling point here are the fillings you choose to go with your burrito or taco. All the meats are beautifully marinated using Felipe’s recipes: the succulent chicken meat is marinated with chipotles, the tasty pork has black pepper and balsamic vinegar, whilst the grilled steak is flavoursomely marinated with garlic and smoky chipotles. They are few places in London that offer more well-seasoned fillings for their burritos and tacos than at Benito’s hat. If you are looking for fresh, simple and innovative Mexican food, then you must visit Benito’s hat to try Felipe Fuentes Cruz’s brilliant offerings.Benitos hat fillinfs

baldwin@townfish.com

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