Sala Piquin, SW9 8LD
- 020 8127 5107
- Unit 9, Market Row, Brixton, SW9 8LB
- Mon: closed; Tue-Fri: noon-11:30pm; Sat: 11am-11:30pm; Sun: 11am-6pm
Mexican taqueria and grocery shop on Market Row in Brixton.
It was previously known as Casa Morita photo, but rebranded to Sala Piquín in early 2020. A staff member told us that it's the same people running it but the focus has changed from Mexico to "Mexico and more", with a few "fusion" dishes added to the menu; they also intend to increase their grocery selection and reconfigure the space to allow them to host events.
It's a small space — a single market unit with seating inside for around 25 (half of it on tall stools) and four more tables out the front in the glass-roofed market row. The floor is unfinished concrete, and the walls are painted in dove grey, complemented by the bright pink and light grey of the folding chairs that provide all the normal-height seating. Cutlery and paper napkins sit in old tomatillo cans on the varnished wooden tables.
itsbruce and Jen first visited in September 2011, just a day after it opened for the first time. Totopos (tortilla chips) were satisfyingly crunchy, and the accompanying creamy, piquant chiptole mayonnaise was very addictive. A glass of hibiscus water was nicely refreshing while not too sweet.
We also had a couple of rounds of tacos (£6 for any three). The tortillas were soft enough to be folded, but with a hint of brittleness so that folding produced a faint crunch. Of the fillings, we thought the mole rojo with chicken was the best, with very tender meat and a rich, complex sauce. The chorizo and guacamole did make a very good combination, though, the creamy avocado a good complement to the dryness of the sausage. The rajas (peppers) with cream filling was the lightest of the three; the peppers weren't overcooked and retained some texture, and their flavour was enhanced by the cream rather than being masked.
On a lunchtime visit in October 2011, itsbruce had a tomato salad (£3) and a vegetarian tostada (£4.50) photo. 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. The tomato salad was fresh, crisp, and lightly but piquantly seasoned.
When Kake visited on a Thursday lunchtime in May 2019, at their opening time of noon I was the first customer of the day, but another arrived shortly afterwards. Upbeat music was playing, not too loud. La torta with queso fresco photo was quite simple-looking, but done very well. The bread was lovely — light without being insubstantial — and the filling of black beans, spinach, tomato, onion, avocado, and queso fresco all went together just right. I'd order it again.
Taco de cochinita pibil (pulled pork with spiced onions) photo of both tacos was perhaps a little too oily, but the pork had a good texture. I liked the inclusion of fat and skin. The filling of the taco de vegetales al chipotle was cooked very soft; it wasn't very spicy, just gently warming, and had a subtle smokiness. As itsbruce notes above, the tortillas were very good, with just the right amount of roughness to the texture, and robust enough to keep in the vegetable juices while remaining soft enough to easily bite through without losing filling through the other end.
Kake visited again with a friend in March 2020, after the rebranding to Sala Piquín. I didn't take detailed notes on the food this time, but the tacos photo were just as good as last time, as was chicken tostadita photo.
On both Kake's visits, service was friendly and helpful, a large swing-top bottle of tap water was placed on the table without me having to ask, and no service charge was added to the bill.
Accessibility: No steps to get in. Toilets are the market toilets, just down the row, cost-free and step-free entry, including an accessible one.
- Photos of the menu as of March 2020: lunch, main, desserts, drinks
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