One thing I have always wanted to try is tamales. This is a traditional Mesoamerican (this is a term used to describe the historical region extending from central Mexico to parts of Central America) dish that consists of meat or vegetable stuffed corn dough, steamed in banana leaves or corn husks. I can't explain why, but ever since I discovered what they were, I have been enthralled by them. Unfortunately, I am hardly ever in a restaurant that serves them. Until recently.
The Jalisco restaurant is far from pretentious. Colourful furniture is dotted all over it and the space is full of allusions to Mexico.
My friend and I were seated upstairs at my request. The area was surprisingly empty. Yay!
As I had spent pretty much the whole day eating, I wasn't in the mood for anything too large, so I just ordered the Tamales Vegetarianos. Unfortunately when my plate arrived, the filling looked too much like meat and when I brought it to the waiter's attention, my suspicions were confirmed. It was swiftly replaced with what I actually wanted and I was given a generous bowl of sweet potato fries to make up for the mistake.
Fries will be fries, yes, but as I ate them, I must talk about them. The fries held their uprightness when picked up and had a light, crunchy coating on them that I enjoyed. However, they were a tinchy bit harder than I would have liked them to be in the middle. Perfect portion, though.
The presentation of the tamale gave me a homely vibe. I would have preferred for the tamale to have come closed as part of the fun when eating wrapped food is opening it to see the treasure inside.
Normally, I don't eat avocado anything from anywhere outside my house, but for some reason, I couldn't say no. Maybe because it was already there on my plate and it was too late to substitute it. It was deliciously smooth, though, with some simple, fresh salad on the side to complement it.
The steamed dough wasn't insipid, although it wasn't wildly flavoursome either. It reminded me very much of the starchy sides used to eat soups in Nigerian cuisine. The filling was simple and consisted of vegetables that I could not identify. The combination of indistinguishable vegetables (I do feel that there were some aubergines in there) was okay but not exciting. I would have enjoyed a more daring spicy concoction as I felt that the tamale dough was so mild in flavour and required something more ballsy to work against it. If this is actually what veggie tamales are supposed to taste like, then it is what it is. These just weren't entirely to my taste. Perhaps I would have preferred the taste of what was brought to me first. I'm happy I've finally tried a tamale though!
Would you like to try a tamale too? Visit Jalisco: https://www.jaliscobrixton.com/