July 16, 2019
Ella Canta: Authentically Modern Mexican Food in the heart of Mayfair
Bringing authentically modern Mexican food to Park Lane since 2017, Ella Canta has built a reputation for being the best Mexican restaurant in London, and for all the right reasons.
Ella Canta is the creation of Martha Ortiz, the chef behind Mexico City’s Dulce Patria (which was awarded multiple times as one of Latin America’s Best Restaurants). Her inspiration coming from the iconic culture and history, and the natural products of her native country.
I had the honour of being invited on behalf of Luxuria Lifestyle to review the bottomless brunch.
As soon as you walk in through the doors, you’re transported to the warm embrace of Mexico. With interiors and colours that evoke the emotional architecture of the likes of Luis Barragan and Alejandro Zohn, as well as the evident influence from Martha Ortiz’s favourite artist Frida Khalo.
The tables are beautiful in their simplicity, with marble and wood being protagonists and adorned with a simple agave plant, very common plant in Mexico and the base ingredient of tequila (agave tequilana) in the region of Jalisco.
We sat right by the window where window designs filter the natural light coming from the outside, to create a beautiful shadowy effect and with subtle music coming from the DJ booth it created the perfect chilled atmosphere.
We received the menus, and our waiter explained the various options for the bottomless brunch as well as giving us more information about the different dishes on offer.
We started the meal with two flavourful seafood dishes, Pulpo in Adobo Tostada and Agua Chile.
The Pulpo (octopus) was incredibly tasty with its smoky, chilli texture. The Shrimp Agua Chile (literally ‘Chilli water), served with green mango and cucumber, was really refreshing and delicious.
We then had Barbecoa de Condero (Lamb) with chickpeas and avocado, accompanied by blue corn tortilla and Huevos con Mole Negro (one of the highlights of the meal).
The legend of Mole’s creations sets back in the 16th Century. A group of nuns from a convent in Puebla, upon hearing the Bishop was going to visit them had to put together a quick meal with the little resources they had. This included chilli peppers, spices, nuts, day-old bread and a little chocolate, which they used to make a quick sauce to serve on slow-cooked lamb.
Mole is now considered one of the most distinctive National dishes in Mexico, and there are different varieties of the recipe. Martha Ortiz set on the Mole Negro for her menu, which made with ingredients from Oaxaca, such as black chillies, spices and chocolate, all roasted and grounded. A process that can take up to a day, but that makes this special sauce a showstopper for Ella Canta’s Menu.
The brunch included bottomless Margaritas which came in different flavours including Grapefruit and Pineapple, Lavander and Sea Salt (my personal favourite), Hibiscus and Pistachio. All very delicious and refreshing in the Summer heat.
Our waiter was also very kind in requesting for us a tasting of the various agua frescas, the non-alcoholic option of the bottomless brunch. Flavours were Coconut & Lychee, Hibiscus and Lime and Chia. All very flavourful and definitely a fantastic option if you’d rather skip on the tequila.
We concluded the meal with churros with caramel, and chocolate and Arroz con leche, helado de pasas y rom (Rice pudding with rum and raisins ice-cream).
The churros were melting in your mouth, and the combination with the saltiness of the caramel and the bitter after-taste of chocolate was perfect.
The rice pudding was probably one of my favourite dishes of the day, with a perfect balance of textures and flavours, which made this dessert outstanding.
After our meal, we took the time to talk to our hosts about upcoming events for the restaurant, and they mentioned a fantastic upcoming themed brunch that I would recommend to all our readers.
Ella Canta is hosting their last Tulum brunch for this season on Saturday 20th July. Martha Ortiz created a special menu for this event, which includes dishes and cocktails inspired by the Mexican coastal paradise, in kaleidoscopic colours and flavours.
Guests of the typically vibrant and chic venue will be transported to a paradisal scene, with traditional hand-woven dream-catchers, expansive greenery and delicate flower crowns. With exclusive performances lined up throughout the day, beautiful cuisine and well-crafted Margaritas (bottomless for 90 minutes), guests can expect an unforgettable afternoon.
We had a fantastic afternoon with outstanding food and service, and I wish Martha Ortiz and her team the best of luck with the last series of their Tulum brunches.
A: One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London W1J 7QY
T: 020 7318 8715
W: Ella Canta
Written by Marta Fabiani for Luxuria Lifestyle International