When I was told that Cheeky Chicos Mexican fusion restaurant were doing a brunch menu at their Clapham Junction location, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would this be a Tex-Mex affair? What does fusion mean in this context? Would there be eggs*? To answer all these questions and more I went down with a friend to check the Cheeky Chicos brunch offering out! Read on to see what I thought.
*yes there are eggs, this is brunch after all!
*Full disclosure, my brunch at Cheeky Chicos was free in return for this honest review. As ever all opinions remain my own*
Cheeky Chicos Mexican brunch in Clapham Junction
Cheeky Chicos Location
Cheeky Chicos has two branches, one in Clapham Junction and one in Blackfriars. We were checking out the Clapham Junction restaurant for brunch. As a North Londoner (shock horror!) I don’t get down South that often. Luckily I have a friend who is a bit closer than me and willing to come be my co-guinea pig.
From Clapham Junction station it’s an 8 minute walk up St John’s hill to find the brightly coloured restaurant. You really can’t miss it! I found it relatively easy to get here, even from Camden Town.
They have obviously put in a lot of thought to the decoration.
It’s kinda Baz Lurman-esque, with bright colours, paintings, trinkets, pottery, plants and even a huge mural on the wall in the backroom:
So basically what I’m saying is I LOVE IT!
Seriously, check out all the details:
But I’m not here to
try and steal things admire the decor, I’m here to try their brunch:
Cheeky Chicos Mexican brunch
What exactly does the Mexican fusion menu mean? Well in the case of Cheeky Chicos, it doesn’t mean Tex-Mex. Instead they have taken a different and unique course of mashing up Mexican and Japanese ingredients to delight your taste buds.
Yes there are eggs on the menu!
You can get smashed avocado and poached eggs, cheeky baked eggs, nduja sausage hash, hot smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.
However we chose to try the Mexican benedict and the soft shell crab royal:
2 perfectly poached eggs sat on top of a sweet potato stack, with spicy nduja sausage and topped with chipotle lime hollandaise sauce.
In one word: AMAZING
The flavour in this dish was great. I liked the heat from the sausage paste, which worked really well with the sweetness from the sweet potato and the smokiness of the chipotle. A very satisfying dish for sure and a great Mexican take on this classic brunch number. Also it turns out this is a gluten free dish as the sweet potato rounds replace any bread.
Soft shell crab royal
The deep fried soft shell crab was served on top of bubble and squeak with a duck egg and nori hollandaise sauce.
The soft-shell crab was crispy with some spice in the batter. Becky thought that there was a bit too much bubble and squeak to balance the rest of the ingredients, which were still lovely, but it needed the sauce to work with the dry potato.
For those of you who
are weird don’t think that eggs ‘make a brunch’ then there are some additional options:
Tres Leches oat pot – oats soaked overnight in Tres Leches. Tres Leches is Spanish for three milks, usually condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk or cream depending on which recipe you follow. This is usually made into a cake in Mexico. I didn’t try this so can’t comment on how rich or sweet it is.
Guacamole with taco chips – we had to get our avocado fix in! The guacamole with taco chips was the perfect savoury starter to our meal. They also do salsa, including a Bloody Mary version!
Other sharing dishes we didn’t try include Padron Peppers, Jalapeno Poppers and Mini Chorizo Bites with truffle orange honey, which I would totally try on a return visit.
We had to check out the house best seller: the fried chicken taco. This comes with black truffle mac and cheee, a superb chili garlic crumb and amazing jalapeno nahm jim sauce.
Basically this was heaven, so I can see why it’s so popular! I did originally wonder how the mac and cheese would work, but it’s the perfect consistency for the corn taco.
The fried chicken on top was like a crispy topping on your mac and cheese. The truffle flavour really did come through and was complemented by the chili and garlic from the chicken crumb and the nahm jim sauce. A truly perfect creation! For £11 you get two generously sized tacos, certainly filling.
The Nam Jim sauce has jalapenos, coriander, shallots, ginger, garlic, soy and sugar in it, and worked really well as a great fusion of Japanese and Mexican flavours.
All the tacos are made with corn, so these are gluten free (as long as you don’t choose the mac and cheese one..) They also have a couple of vegan versions – Red Quinoa & Crunchy Califlower and Pulled Jackfruit.
We were offered Mimosa’s to go with our brunch and Cheeky Chicos does a bottomless Mimosa brunch option.
For £30 you can get 1 item from the main or a taco and unlimited mimosas for 2 hours.
We also tried the coffee which was good.
Sitting where we were next to the coffee machine, smelling the beans, made me think an espresso martini would go down well too…
The verdict on Cheeky Chicos Mexican brunch
I was pleasantly surprised by Cheeky Chicos. I had come expecting something a little stereotypical and done before, but the whole experience was a breath of fresh air.
From the cute decor with so much attention to detail, to the perfect Mexican/Japanese mash ups in the dishes, it all really works. The brunch dish twists are really innovative and the taco was pretty amazing too. The £30 bottomless mimosa brunch option is a great way to get to know this restaurant.
If I lived closer I would totally be coming back here for post work cocktails and snacks or a full dinner with friends. I think Cheeky Chicos is a great addition to the Clapham Junction restaurant scene – go check it out!
Have I tempted you to try Cheeky Chicos Mexican Brunch? Let me know in the comments below!
Find Cheeky Chicos Clapham Junction here: