Pamela is one of Dalston’s most popular drinking dens, always packed with hipsters sampling the cocktails and craft beers. It is a friendly bar which, in their own words, should even appeal to ‘people who don’t like cocktail bars’. I visited to try the new food offering, a long-term residency from Club Mexicana.
Club Mexicana started life as a food trader at street markets and festival fields. The team serve up vegan Mexican cuisine which is full of flavour and flare.
The menu features ‘small plates’, ‘tacos and more’ and ‘sweet’ options. After a round of strong, tropical drinks, we chose a few plates from each section. Mexican sweet corn with chipotle mayo, ancho chilli crumb and lime zest was very satisfying to gnaw at, with a lovely crunch from the crumb and a citrus kick from the lime. Annato glazed aubergine with sour cream and coriander was a total wonder… soft marinated chunks of aubergine were marinated with a delicious sauce and topped with vibrant fresh coriander.
The tacos were amazing too, and I was amazed at how little I noticed the absence of fish, meat and dairy. Baja to-fish taco was my favourite, an inventive fish substitute managed to recreate the exact same texture, served with pickled red cabbage, avocado salsa verde and chipotle chilli oil. I also loved the Carne Asada Taco with refried pinto beans, but found it a little too spicy.
The vegan desserts were the least successful… Margarita Key Lime Pie was a bit sloppy with whipped coconut cream that had split to give a very strange texture. The special for the day was chocolate cheesecake with orange and salted caramel, a nicer dish with shards of dark chocolate and a sticky sweet sauce.
All in all I was mightily impressed with Club Mexicana’s menu at Pamela and would urge anyone drinking in the area this weekend to substitute their usual comfort food with this brilliant vegan option.
More information on Club Mexicana’s residency at Pamela here.