21 November 2017

Ella Canta

Back in September, we went to the opening weekend of Ella Canta (Spanish for ‘she sings’), the new modern Mexican restaurant in the Intercontinental Park Lane, for a wonderful Sunday lunch.  The internationally-acclaimed chef Martha Ortiz has brought her celebrated gastronomy from Mexico City's award-winning Dulce Patria to London with a creative take on authentic, signature dishes.  It was the best Mexican food I've had in the UK.

Interiors at Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

First things first: the decor.  Designed by renowned interior architects David Collins Studio, this is one seriously good-looking restaurant: sun-bleached dusty pink walls, mid-century wooden furniture, a huge 70s-inspired hand-carved walnut room divider, textured glass windows, brass accents - including cool sombrero-style wall lights - and an abundance of plants.  Even the toilets are filled with cactus plants, hammered metal mirrors and hurricane votives.  The beautiful aesthetic extends to the glamorous waitresses in vibrant red, orange and teal jumpsuits with floral Frida Kahlo-esque headpieces and bold earrings, and tableware with rustic colourful plates and bevelled glassware.  It's all oh-so-'grammable.

Moet Champagne at Ella Canta restaurant, London - UK lifestyle blog

Ella Canta, Mexican food at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Ella Canta Mexican Restaurant in London - UK lifestyle blog

We sat down with a glass of Moët & Chandon champagne for me, an old fashioned for Julien, and the brunch menus.  The menu is devised for sharing - my favourite, so you get to try a little of lots of dishes - kicking off with six starters: guacamole, ricotta cheese, and pomegranate topped with a crunchy golden grasshopper, fried pork crackling with a fresh tomato salsa for dipping, razor clam ceviche served with passion fruit, mango, and habanero pepper, oyster with tomatillo granite, traditional maize memela with beef tongue, and multicoloured quesadillas stuffed with wahaca and chihuahua cheese, with wild mushrooms, huitlacoche, chile poblano, and beef and adobo.

Drinks at Ella Canta, Mexican Restaurant in London - UK lifestyle blog

Mexican Restaurant Ella Canta at the Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Wine at Mexican Restaurant Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

We browsed the south American wines on the list and opted for a glass of the Lomita Discreto Encanto Tinto-Shiraz from Mexico for him, and a glass of the crisp, fruity Firesteed Pinot Gris from Oregon for me.  For mains, we shared the grilled aged beef served with spring onion and arbol salsa, and the lobster tail and black bean chorizo flour tortillas - which were hands down the best tortillas I've ever had - along with grilled cabbage sprinkled with nuts and seeds, and a Nopal cactus salad as sides.

Mexican food at Ella Canta, in London - UK lifestyle blog

Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Ella Canta Restaurant, Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

For desserts we shared some super-tasty, sugared churros with caramel and single-origin chocolate, a milk cake with strawberries and a small selection of Mexican-inspired ice creams and sorbets.  Shortly after our plates were cleared, we were asked if we'd like to sample one of the rare mezcals.  Oh go on then...  Next came coffees, and we finished with an extravagant cocktail at the raised-level bar at the back, bedecked in glossy cherry wood and Chinese red marble, which was also excellent.  Creative cuisine, exotic ingredients, theatrical cocktails, passionate staff and a beautiful space: oh my goodness, you MUST go.

Ella Canta, One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London W1J 7QY

Ella Canta restaurant decor, London - UK lifestyle blog

Ella Canta, Mexican Restaurant, Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Red wine at Mexican Restaurant Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Fine Mexican cuisine at Ella Canta, Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Seats at Mexican Restaurant Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Mezcal at Mexican Restaurant Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Desserts at Mexican Restaurant Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Coffee at Mexican Restaurant Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Ella Canta Mexican Restaurant bar in London - UK lifestyle blog

Waitresses at Mexican Restaurant Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Cocktail bar at Mexican Restaurant Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog

Plants at Mexican Restaurant Ella Canta at Park Lane Intercontinental, London - UK lifestyle blog
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