Comensal, a new Mexican in Clapham

Now, you may have worked out, I am a BIG fan of the lovely Abbeville Road, nothing as yet quite compares within its vicinity. More recently a surge of new rather snazzy restaurants have opened up. Comensal is one of these newbies, and fits the bill perfectly.

Ran by a charming ‘his and her’ team. She, from Mexico. He, (you guessed it) from... Bonnie Scotland. It’s a vibrant little bar and restaurant which was bustling with walk-ins on night two of its grand opening. In place of what was a rather dingy dark restaurant the walls are fresh and colourful. Which, will soon be adorned with photos of their time in Mexico creating a more welcoming and adding a personal touch, the place is refreshing without trying too hard. There’s also a fantastic ‘tequila’ bar up front made with gorgeous hand painted tiles (imported from Mexico) great for a quick bite to eat with a drink mid week.

Miss K and I booked to go for its soft opening week. Being warned that there has already been noted of a few ‘minor’ glitches which are in hand we settled in well and instantly ordered two of their (bloomin' fantastic) margaritas.  

We decided against ordering the mains off the menu and instead opted to share lots of the street food snacks and sharers.

First up is what I imagine will become their signature dish, guacamole… nothing special eh? Well… it gets made up at your table from scratch. Leaving you with a huge mortar full of the stuff, along with home made tortillas to scoop it up with.

From then on our food arrived in quick succession filling the table completely…

Taquitos Dorados, five little rolled up tacos filled with chicken breast then fried to give a crisp shell. These are then topped with cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream. A great concept just needed a little bit of seasoning/kick for them to be perfect, it just needed a bit more flavour.

Pastor Taco, pork marinated in chilli spices, served with cilantro (coriander), onion and pineapple. This was our favourite by far however it just needed that extra chilli kick. I certainly could have taken more spice and Miss K being a well-travelled Mexican-er (?!) said spice would be more apparent in the original dishes – maybe some sauce on the table would be good to suit all?

Taco Tulum, another favourite of mine for the evening and I recommend you trying this. Soft tortilla, with crispy cod pieces, house made crunchy slaw (lots of!), chilli and coriander mayo and lime salsa. The only issue with this is that the top tortilla gets all the flavour from the sauce which has now seeped into it, therefore making it a hard fair-sharing dish. The fish was fresh and crisp and the vast (maybe too much?) amount of coleslaw was certainly very crunchy and gorgeous in colour!

Ceviche de 3 pescados. The three types of fish, salmon, cod and tilapia were very, very fresh and a joy to eat. It simply needed a little more zing and punch to it, however, this could be a matter of taste. For ceviche I like mine really sharp-tasting. So, a little more lime would have been perfection to me. A good dollop of guacamole and a chipotle infused oil – yum! Served with tostadas for scooping which delivered a good mix of texture.

Comensal is a great, fun fixture for Clapham’s hungry villagers. The food was good, the cocktails, even better – try their tequila, pop in for a nibble or a full on meal and enjoy! My only gripe was that they could be braver with the bold and punchy flavours that I associate with Mexican foods. It’s opening week, therefore expect a few mishaps (these will always be ironed out by second visit) and enjoy the atmosphere and wonderful smiley staff.

A: 32 Abbeville Road, Clapham, London SW4 9NG
T: 0208 673 7272

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