It’s shocking how good the south-of-the-border food is at Club Mexicana, the new kitchen resident at Dalston’s ever-buzzing Pamela. Shocking not just because, until very recently, most of London’s Mexican restaurants were given the sombrero-and-nacho treatment — but also because everything on the menu here is vegan.
For non-practitioners, veganism tends to imply all things joyless and quinoa-based. But not here. The Baja-style “fish” taco is, according to the menu, made with tofu, but sink your teeth into it and the difference is indistinguishable. Club Mexicana also makes clever use of zeitgeisty jackfruit, whose texture curiously resembles pulled pork. Served atop a masa pancake with pumpkin seed puree, it’s stellar. Even the menu’s seitan-based “chicken” wings, all crunchy batter and juicy interior, are exceptional.
Club Mexicana achieves that rare distinction, then: its vegan food truly is carnivore-friendly. But if that all sounds just a bit too wholesome, don’t fret: Pamela’s accompanying menu of tequila- and mescal-based cocktails is far from virginal.