Historical version 15 of Casa Morita, SW9 8LB
- 020 8127 5107
- Unit 9, Market Row, Brixton, SW9 8LB
- Mon: closed; Tue-Fri: noon-11:30pm; Sat: 11am-11:30pm; Sun: 11am-10:30pm
Good-quality and fun Mexican taqueria on Market Row in Brixton.
Casa Morita had only been open for a day when itsbruce and Jen visited; the decor and menu were initially both quite basic but the proprietors have already significantly improved both.
In the opening week, free totopos and chipotle mayonnaise were provided at the tables (no longer the case). The totopos were satisfyingly crunchy and the creamy, piquant mayonnaise very addictive. There were three kinds of taco filling on offer; three of any combination could be had for £6. This was the only option on the food menuphoto. The gluten-free tacos are soft enough to be folded but with a hint of brittleness so that there is a faint crunch when you do so. Of the fillings, itsbruce and Jen thought the mole rojo with chicken was the best, with very tender meat and a rich, complex sauce. The chorizo and guacamole does make a very good combination, though, the creamy avocado a good complement to the dryness of the sausage. The rajas (peppers) with cream filling is the lightest of the three; the peppers are not overcooked and retain some texture and their flavour is enhanced by the cream rather than being masked.
Since the first week, the menu has been expanded, changes regularly and has become much more vegetarian-friendlyphoto of page 1 photo of page 2, usually with several extras on the Specials menu. Tacos are now £2.25 each or three for £6; on most days there is an extra, vegetarian taco filling available on the Specials section. There is also now a brunch menu, usually offering huevos rancheros, heuvos revueltos and huevos divorciados, each of which is £7 for the vegetarian version or £8 with added chorizo.
On a September visit in the opening week, itsbruce and Jen both had one of each taco filling and a glass of hibiscus water (which was nicely refreshing while not too sweet). Service was very quick, which was not surprising given that tacos were the only thing on the menu but which does speak well of their level of organisation. Because of the swift service, high quality of the food and small portions, they then had the same again. The final bill was £30, service not included.
On an October lunchtime visit, itsbruce had a chance to sample the expanded menu, ordering a tomato salad (£3) and a vegetarian tostada (£4.50 photo). The salad was fresh, crisp and lightly but piquantly seasoned. The tostada was possibly the best dish itsbruce has ever been served in a Mexican restaurant in London; the tortilla base was crisp and firm without being brittle, so that it could be cut into smaller sections with a knife but those pieces could then be lifted to the mouth with a hand and not collapse. A thin layer of black bean paste was spread across the tortilla, on top of which was a mixture of lettuce and goats cheese, coated in a creamy guacamole. The whole dish was absolutely delicious. With the addition of a bottle of Ossies ginger beer (which can be found in many of the Market Row and Brixton Village cafes and restaurants, £2.20 at Casa Morita), the final bill was £9.70. Service was still very fast, despite the larger menu and confirmed popularity of the venue.
There is seating for 20 people and it is possible to stand and eat at the bar when they are full (this taqueria has become deservedly popular, with short queues often forming at the busiest parts of the day). They also offer a takeaway service (tacos and burritos only) and have begun to sell a small range of Mexican groceries (e.g. chipotle chillis in adobe sauce, corn tortillas).
itsbruce's verdict: This is Mexican cuisine, not at all Tex-Mex, and among the best to be found in London. The combination of high quality food and fast service make this a great stopping point on a night out in Brixton.