Mammacita’s - a brand new Mexican cantina - is the latest addition in the St Andrew’s restaurant scene.
It used to be known as the Grill House, a fairly popular eating hole that was part of the G1 group in town.
Anyone familiar with the shabby chic tone of the building will be surprised at how the decor has changed – gone are the wacky colours to be replaced by a successful fusion of low-fi industrial chic meets Mexican rustic.
Moreover, the rooms appear somehow bigger – and a new tequila and mezcal bar takes centre stage.
Now, although this is a food review, tequila can’t be ignored.
The restaurant prides itself on the 25 plus varieties of tequilas it has on offer – from the unaged blanco to the muskier, fruitier Anejo varieties which come thanks to a year ageing in barrels. Since the choice seemed overwhelming, I opted for the classic margarita (No doubt a popuiar choice) as a litmus test.
Delighted to report it was a sneaky scrumptious number; fantastic, perfectly sweet, zingy and sour – and probably the best I’ve ever tasted.
A welcome stripped down menu is tapas orientated, designed for all budgets and is the perfect accompaniment to tequila.
When you place your order all the meals come when cooked in no particular order, meaning the table fills up quickly to create a Mexican pick-a-mix sharing smorgasbord.
We tried the ceviche, a plate of salmon cured in lime, amarillo chile and coriander and green chile crema, a tasty and fresh combination which pleased all palates.
We were also pleasantly surprised by the Street Corn – sweetcorn kernal lollipops covered in a thin layer of crema, feta cheese and ancho chile, taking humble sweetcorn to an entirely new level.
A six stack of Chipotle honey chicken wings didn’t disappoint - far from it - sticky, finger licking sauce and perfectly well cooked.
Those used to generic ‘Mexican’ food served up in franchise chains (which I’ll not name) need to experience the authenticity served up here.
The flavours were particularly robust, the food fresh, and made with good quality ingredients.
The Scottish chef , we later found out had earned her spurs in Mexico - and it shows.
Bear in mind portions are starter-sized, but equally important to note is that nothing on the menu costs more than £6 .50 and we found that 2-3 choices per person was adequate to fill most appetites.
On the whole, I’d thoroughly recommend a visit to Mammacita’s - not only for the food but the booze.
If you’re not a fan of tequila this joint has the power to change your mind.
Mammacita’s does a deal on margaritas for just £3.50 from Monday to Wednesday.
Seriously, what are you waiting for?