Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes’s Mexican restaurant, bar and taqueria — Santo Remedio — will open in early September on the former Magdalen site, at 152 Tooley Street near London Bridge.
When Santo Remedio opened in Shoreditch early last year it was the first of a series of Mexican openings in London. After battling with licensing issues early on, the restaurant eventually closed — in September — “for reasons outside of [Diaz-Fuentes’s] control.”
The 90-cover ‘cantina and comedor’ is significantly bigger than their original site and is set over two floors. The interiors reflect their “heritage and include a number of design features hand-picked from recent trips to Mexico City, Merida and Oaxaca,” they said.
The ground floor cantina, a traditional Mexican bar, will focus on tequila and mezcal cocktails alongside a range of tacos and snacks, including the restaurant’s signature guacamole with grasshoppers with tortilla chips. Served from a custom built bar designed to imitate the cantinas of Mexico City, cocktails will be created using varieties of Mexico’s artisanal 100% agave mezcals and tequilas.
In the upstairs comedor, a traditional Mexican dining room, reservations can be made for lunch and dinner. Edson will continue to serve up his authentic tacos, alongside the regional Mexican specialties he gained his reputation for. These include sharing dishes such as fish al pastor, gorditas de chicharron prensado, Chiles Rellenos — which he says is “one of Mexico's most iconic festive dishes,” prawn aguachile rojo, short rib with mole negro and plantain puree and pork chop with mole rosa. Edson has a much larger kitchen in the new space will “allow me to create more than I was able to at the original site,” he told Eater London.
Before last year’s spate of openings — spearheaded by Santo Remedio — which included El Pastor, Bad Sports, Curazon and Del 74 Tacos, Mexican food in London was scarce. Few of the openings have drawn the likes of praise for its authenticity as Santo Remedio. Edson works with specialist importers and producers, such as Promega and Gringa Dairy to bring comparatively unknown flavours and ingredients to the London market.
The team will be working with consultant and writer Zeren Wilson of Bitten & Written on the wine list. Mexican wine from Baja California will be well represented (primarily by L.A. Cetto, said to be one of the oldest and most renowned in Mexico) and La Lomita and Vena Cava. There will also be a frequently changing short selection of wines from the rest of the world, beginning with iconic wineries from California and Spain.
The two owners have been working with Adam Hyman of CODE Hospitality since last autumn, who supported the fundraising effort for the new site via Kickstarter (raising £4,266 more than their £40,000 target), and who has financially invested in the business. Santo Remedio will continue to work closely with Hyman and with CODE. Hyman told Eater London this morning: "I met Edson and Natalie at the original Santo Remedio in Shoreditch last year and was not only enamoured by their passion for hospitality but also the Mexican food that Edson was cooking — this is exactly the reason why we are working with them."
About the new opening, Natalie said: “After so much love and support from everyone over the past year and throughout our Kickstarter campaign, we are incredibly excited that we will be throwing open the doors to our new cantina and comedor very soon and look forward to sharing the very best of Mexican food, drinks and hospitality with everyone who visits us.”
Santo Remedio Cantina e Comidor opens at 152 Tooley Street, London Bridge, SE1 2TU in the second week of September.
Look out for a first look inside the restaurant next week.