— My brother lives in Mexico City and when I’m there we eat like absolute kings. His girlfriend’s mum served up a spicy green tomatillo salsa — so delicious that I asked her for the recipe and added it to the menu when my restaurant opened. When I was last there, I booked myself into Distrito Capital Hotel in the Santa Fe district, in the west of the city. The interiors are minimal and there were elements that inspired me when designing Cornerstone.
— If you’re looking for a good breakfast joint, El Cardenal is the place to go. A favourite of mine is their chilaquiles (fried tortilla strips simmered in red or green salsa) with arrachera beef, or skirt steak. An essential when visiting Mexico City is the Mercado de San Juan. It has absolutely everything — from Mexican spices to countless exotic foods — and it’s full of chefs wandering around in their whites carrying bags full of ingredients. My brother says he once ate a “scorpion burger” there.
— For lunch, don’t miss Fishers, a seafood restaurant chain and oyster bar that serves amazing shrimp tacos. Everything is just so fresh. The tacos are homemade and I could eat bowls of the guacamole. But be careful — it’s extremely spicy.
— Pujol serves mind-blowing Mexican food in a fine dining environment, with everything from ants to suckling pig on the menu. It sits at No 13 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants rankings. Every dish is unique and super-fresh. For after-dinner drinks, head to Aurora. This bar has delicious cocktails and a great atmosphere. They bring the gin cart to your table and mix your drink in front of you. Book in advance.
Tom Brown is chef-proprietor of Cornerstone in Hackney Wick
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