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  • Writer's pictureAbdul Rashidi

HM Visits: El Ta’koy

El Ta'koy offers a chance to escape the winter chill by visiting a warm, tropical beach bar and restaurant. The location is private and peaceful, right beside the elusive Covent Garden square.

El Ta'koy is a fun and friendly experience right as you enter, thanks to the amazing hosts, servers, and kitchen staff. It doesn't take long to notice Chef Luis Pous' influence on the venue's decor and menu. Offering Caribbean music to accompany your meal and transport you to a tropical beach, as well as providing Latin, European, and East Asian-inspired cuisine to add to your diverse experience.

The cocktail menu showcases an eclectic mix of flavours that can be made alcohol-free upon request. The ‘Spiced Mango Hua'ai Daquiris’ was recommended to us, and we are glad it was. The incredible mango and lime combination adds a distinct sweet zing to the drink! This cocktail, which was laced with a very pleasant brown cinnamon, was a fantastic way to start our meal and one that we would recommend.

Trying their signature 'Polynesia's Downfall' cocktail is another refreshing way to start. The minty drink is a Hawaiian twist on a Don the Beachcomber cocktail, with pineapple, agave, and a peach mix - usually served with Tequila. This light cocktail is a must for anyone looking for a less sweet alternative.

The 'Saturn' Tiki classic was created by Filipino bartender, J "Popo" in 1967 which is a strong lemon, orgeat, and passionfruit-filled cocktail. As an addition to the great aesthetic of everything on this menu, this cocktail is for anyone who loves to explore more sour drinks. For us, perhaps less falernum syrup could have made the flavours a little milder.

The 'Seabass Ceviche' is a small starter made with edamame and lime and served with a generous amount of nachos. The mixture is chilled in a bowl surrounded by ice to keep the Seabass cool, and it makes a great topping for nachos with a variety of textures.

For those who enjoy the acquired and salty taste of Caviar, the 'Tuna & Caviar Taquitos' are available. El Ta'koy creates a unique seafood version of the South American dish, where normally the traditional Mexican taquito is filled with beef or chicken with cheese.

Another fantastic snack to try is the Hawaiian fried chicken popcorn. The sweet and spicy Filipino glaze was a fantastic side to dip into, even though we wished for a slightly crispier batter on the outside. If you're in El Ta'koy, get this!

Following that, the El Vegetariano and the Chicken Annato were chosen. On the soft taco, the former offers roasted mushroom with a vegan kimchi topping. Instead, the chicken is marinated in a chipotle agave sauce. Both were interesting but it’s the El Vegatariano that comes out on top, as the mushroom adds a chewy texture to the taco, adding a variety to the already delicate taco.

For our sharing plates, we selected the roasted mushroom and salmon versions of the Kauai Nachos, a bowl of crunchy nachos served with jalapenos, pineapple, coriander, fresh cheese, and lemon cream. At El Ta'koy, the mushroom dishes seem to emerge as the clear winners. By far, this incredible warm nacho dish has the best flavour profile and is well worth trying. The pineapple is produced in a way to experience an incredible dining experience.

With a menu that includes meat, vegetarian, and vegan options, El Ta'koy is a great escape from the sometimes mundane and cold London weather. With its cosy teal seats and dimmed lights layered with tropical plants, it’s a great stop after exploring Covent Garden's cobblestone streets.


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