Comensal is a new modern Mexican bar and restaurant, recently opened on Clapham’s Abbeville Road by John Sim and Cati Bego, boasting a menu of contemporary Mexican food, including enchiladas, ceviche, taquitos, homemade mole and guacamole.
Small, but bright and welcoming, we arrived at Comensal to find the restaurant buzzing. Comensal has a neighbourhood feel to it; strangers on separate tables were leaning over each other to enquire as to which taquito the other table had chosen, and people wandering past stopped for a chat with their friends, who they had spotted sat on the outdoor terrace. The queue forming outside suggested that word of Comensal had spread fast, and from the happy customers sat around us it was easy to see why.
We kicked off proceedings with a couple of Comensal’s Cocteles de la Casa (House Cocktails to those who’s GCSE Spanish escapes them), the Paloma and the Comensal. The Paloma, a classic Mexican cocktail mixing tequila, lime, grapefruit and soda with a salted rim was refreshing but a little disappointing; however the Comensal was a delicious mix of sweet and heat, teaming Reposado Tequila with Agave Syrup, mint, lime and red chilli
From the ‘to share’ section of the menu we opted for the Guacamole, which arrived in a pleasingly massive bowel, requiring a second order of tortilla chips from the friendly (but seemingly rushed off his feet) waiter. Next we moved on to the ‘Mexican Street Food Corner’ section of the menu, which offered a selection of taquitos and sharing plates. Opting for the Papas a la Diabla (friend potatoes with chipotle mayonnaise) and Carnitas Tacos (Pork braised in a delicious mix of herbs and spices, served with spicy salsa) these dishes were by far the best out of those we tried at Comensal. The potatoes were crispy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside, with the chipotle mayonnaise offering a welcome kick, whilst the Carnitas Tacos were a delicious mix of juicy pork, fresh & spicy salsa, all brought together in the soft tortilla.
Tempted by the ‘signature dish’ label, we ordered the Mole De Mi Mama Con Pollo from the ‘mains’ section of the menu, chicken breast served with homemade Mole and Mexican red rice, as well Filete de Pescado, fillet of sea bass marinated with a Chintextle sauce. Compared to the fantastic tacos and spicy potatoes, which offered a mix of exciting flavours, these two dishes were somewhat underwhelming.
From a quick glance around the restaurant, we saw the other tables picking and choosing from several of the taquitos and sharing plates, and it seemed that this is exactly what the locals love Comensal for; a wonderful local restaurant atmosphere, with some tasty cocktails and sharing plates, somewhere to head with a few friends to sample as much of the menu as possible, rather than a place to stick to one main course. If you’re looking for a summer spot to enjoy a few drinks and to share some authentic Mexican dishes with friends, Comensal is ideal.
32 Abbeville Road,
Tel. 020 8673 7272
Comensal is open for lunch and dinner six days a week, brunch on weekends.
Tue – Fri: 12.30pm – Midnight
Weekends: 9.30am – Midnight