Street food is the new slow food, which was the new organic, which was the new nouveau cuisine. Or, to put it simply, street food is the new buzz word – and like the rest of the foodie fads, it’s utterly delicious and utterly everywhere.
Chiquito, the UK chain of Mexican restaurants that have been with us since 1989, has caught onto the fad, with delicious results. The Street Food menu has a choice of 16 different items, and is priced at 3 for £12.95 or 6 for £23.95. I was invited to review the range by Chiquitos, so I gathered up a posse and rode into town.
There’s no denying this is a beautiful spread – each dish is colourful, bright and fresh, just as you would expect from a Mexican street food range. Served in trios on wooden boards, each dish is presented on a colourful terracotta plate.
Before we tucked in, though, we enjoyed a couple of Woo Woos, and a plate of nachos – along with the complimentary spicy popcorn…
I really liked the fact that the Street Food range covered all the bases, from your basic, standard offerings like chicken and sweetcorn empanadas, tacos, mini burritos (which were all fairly tasty, but not mind blowing), through to more adventurous items like the fiesta salad, the fried halloumi and the whipped feta and honey dip. In fact, these items were by far and away our favourites, and come highly recommended!
This creamy dip was savoury and sweet at the same time, and combined the salty, creamy feta with a dash of honey and some mint, creating an irresitable combination – and it’s easy to share, too! (Although, ours was missing the pomegranate seeds…)
The fiesta salad was equally delicious – a combination of cucumber, chilli, beetroot, pineapple, pomegranate, coriander and orange, it was spicy and refreshing (and we’ve got plans to replicate this at home for BBQs!). It was a great counterpoint to the rich, oily, meaty panfried chorizo, which is a simple yet always welcome addition to the menu.
Another excellent dish was the fried halloumi, which came with a cranberry sauce on the top – spongy, squeaky, salty cheese, with a crispy, crunchy exterior, and that sweet-sour sauce… A winning combination!
One dish that everyone picked as their favourite was the meatballs – it seemed like a no-brainer choice, but I’ve been to many tapas places where the meatballs were the worst thing on the menu. Here, they’re not an afterthought, and the rich and juicy beef patties are perfectly complimented by the piquant chilli tomato dressing.
I also have to give a shoutout to the beef chilli tortilla stack, which was really good, and the Mexican frittata, which was very salty but still delicious.
I asked my group to recommend a trio of plates each. Omar recommended the meatballs, feta whip and fiesta salad. Rachel suggested the meatballs, halloumi and beef chilli stack, and Michael went for the meatballs, the chicken tacos, and the sweet chorizo croquettes. My choice would be the meatballs, fried chorizo and fiesta salad.
All in all, we all really enjoyed the menu – and because the portion sizes aren’t large, we had enough room for a dessert too! In fact, that would be my only criticism of the menu as a whole – we ordered 15 plates between us, which came to just over three plates each, but you’d probably need four or five plates to feel full. Six plates would definitely be a good meal, and you wouldn’t need to order a starter to go along with it, thanks to the great variety of dishes on offer!
Find your local Chiquito at chiquito.co.uk, and book or view the menu online!
Disclaimer: I was offered a £60 voucher to review the menu, and all my opinions are my own.