CLUB MEXICANA IS LIFE
In what has been deemed “The Best thing to happen to East London since forever”, Club Mexicana has taken over the kitchen at Pamela in Haggerston. If that wasn’t exciting enough, they’ve done it with an entirely new menu and everything is made from scratch. I repeat, EVERYTHING IS BEING MADE FROM SCRATCH!
That includes the tacos…which includes popping the kernels of the corn in order to make the tacos!!! A whole lot of love has gone into every item on the menu.
WHO IS PAMELA?
Pamela is a cocktail bar in Haggerston that’s been around since early last year. It’s a wonderful, petite and perfectly formed cocktail bar. The kind that’s grand enough for a special occasion and cosy enough for a quiet weeknight. The atmosphere was super relaxed; it was at full capacity (seriously, you need to book before you go) but it didn’t feel claustrophobic, the music was great without being too loud to hear your mates and everyone in there was truly living their best life. It’s not pretentious at all and the staff are cool, friendly and welcoming.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the decor before we move on to the banging cocktails. The walls are covered with memorabilia from famous Pamela’s, including the Queen Vegan herself, Pam Anderson. It’s very East End Chic, with a lot of Nan and plant vibes. Needless to say, I loved it!
The cocktail menu is adventurous, varied, inventive and it’s VERY HARD to choose from (seriously, you’ll need to sample at least all of them). I went for the Des Barres which is a jalapeno infused Vodka with Kiwi Juice and a giant coconut ice cube. I ordered it because it was going to look great in an Instagram – spoilers, it did. Our awesome Waiter told us it’s their most popular cocktail too. It was spicy, refreshing, unusual and fucking perfect. The rim of the glass was coated in a chilli/lime salt mix that I did not stop myself from licking off and I couldn’t waste the coconut ice cube either so that got chipped into using my straw as a tiny pick axe! Lush but also you literally can’t take me anywhere without me embarrassing myself!
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE NEW MENU WHILST TRYING NOT TO DROOL, YEAH?
MEXICAN STREET CORN
Smothered in Chipotle Mayo, coated in an Ancho Chilli Crumb and dusted with Lime Zest, you will never look at a corn on the cob in the same way again. Seriously, once you’ve had this version, you’ll NEVER be able to look a plain corn on the cob in the eye again.
It’s creamy, it’s delicately spicy and the corn is SO TENDER. 10/10
THE best vegan ‘chicken’ I have ever had! The batter is crunchy and flavourful, the seitan inside is tender and juicy. Would very much like to eat a thousand of these, please. Served with Salsa Verde which I had to sit on my hands to refrain myself from chugging (which I fully regret now).
BAJA TOFISH TACO
Club Mexicana’s famous Tofish (almost entirely indistinguishable from actual fish but not in a gross way), topped with pickled red cabbage, avocado salsa verde and chipotle chilli oil served on a completely homemade taco.
I’ve lost count of how many CM Tofish Tacos I’ve eaten over the last couple of years. They are always incredible and I bloody love them. On the CM stand’s (at Camden and Hawker House) they are topped with lettuce, chillies, chimichurri sauce.
The homemade taco is a little thicker than the version you get from the CM stand’s. It’s entirely hand-made, they are even popping the corn kernels themselves to make them. The Baja version, exclusive to Pamela, is a wonderful addition to the family.
CARNE ASADA TACO
There are no words. I want to eat 50 of these. I want to get the words Carne Asada Taco tattooed on my heart.
Tender, juicy flakes of Seitan with Arbol Chilli Salsa, Refried Pinto Beans, Pink Onions, Radish and Coriander. Pure perfection!
There’s salad and then there’s a Club Mexicana Salad. Lime and Soy marinated Kale with Pico de Gallo and Pumpkin Seeds.
It was salad, Jeff, but not as we know it. If I wasn’t sharing with my gal pals I’d have nabbed the whole darn plate to myself!!
TOFISH CEVICHE TOSTADA
The perfect accompaniment to the Kale Salad was the Tofish Tostada, which basically tasted like Summer.
A crisp tostada topped with lime, coriander, avocado, tomato, radish and jalapenos. Lush!
JACKFRUIT TINGA MASA PANCAKE
Here’s the plan. I’m going to start playing the lottery. Then, I’m going to win the lottery. I’m thinking probably on my second or third go, it can’t be that hard, right? Then I’m going to permanently reserve a table at Pamela’s on a nightly basis and I’m going to buy shares in stretchy leggings. I’ll eat like the King I was born to be.
Jackfruit Tinga Masa Pancake with Pumpkin Seed Puree, Avocada Salsa Verde, Coriander and Radish. This was incredible. Imagine a Mexican-style Jackfruit Curry. Now put that on top of a really thick taco/pancake of delicious and throw in some Pumpkin Seed Puree (which is utterly magical).
This dish was so special and SO Club Mexicana. Genius.
KEY LIME PIE
I’ve had this once before at the Supper Club I went to at the Hornbeam Cafe (read about that trip here) and it was every bit as delicious as I remembered it.
It’s a creamy, limey, biscuity pie of joy and I reckon I could eat AN ENTIRE PIE. If anyone would like to sponsor me to do that, please get in touch immediately.
Fun fact: it’s made by Club Mexicana Staffer Ava <3
At the end of the night, my fellow Club Mexicana enthusiasts and I set ourselves a very difficult challenge. Choosing our Top 3 dishes out of all the things we tried (this was excluding the pudding as pudding is non-negotiable and a ‘must order’ item). After approximately 42 hours of deliberating, we were able to do it. Almost. Not sure any of us were quite ready to laminate our lists or to actually limit ourselves to just 3 things on our next visit but we did it.
I went for, in no particular order, the following:
- Mexican Street Corn
- ‘Chicken’ Wings
- Carne Asada Tacos
Fuck! Even writing that down was hard! I am now sweating and twitching at the thought of being limited to 3 things! I want them ALL!!!
The Club Mexicana menu is ever expanding & evolving and I have noticed at least 3 new dishes since I visited! So I should probably get back there ASAP… Who’s with me!?
Go visit Club Mexicana at Pamela (tell them I sent you, but be cool, yeah?)! Book a table by emailing Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org
PAMELA | 428 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AA | 020 7686 3212
Come read my other Club Mexicana Posts!
- Supper Club Mexicana
- Club Mexicana in Lewisham
- Club Mexicana in Camden
- Club Mexicana Does Oktoberfest at Hawker House