I’ve come to dread the lunch break – the rudimentary sandwich is just…BORING! – so, any food outlet that wants to inject a bit of life into midday meal has my support. Cue Poncho No 8, bringing Mexican food to St Pauls and Spitalfields. Founded by buddies Frank and Nick around three years ago, the restaurant manages to balance quality grub with speed and convenience.
White walls, wooden decor and urban-inspired design scream modern London; in fact, you probably wouldn’t guess it was a Mexican food outlet. However, the contemporary interior allows the food to take centre stage.
With an ordering process, reminiscent of Subway, you can pick various elements to add to your meal, with burritos, nachos, tacos on offer. As for fillings, there’s three types of rice to choose from, plus various beans and meats including seasoned steak, tender marinated pork as well as a veggie option of chargrilled vegetables, tofu and fresh guacamole.
Named by ES magazine as having one of the best burritos in London, I chose to give the chicken version a test run. Tightly wrapped, and deeply filled with parsley rice, beans, and cheese, I happily received the hefty portion. The chicken had a wonderful grilled flavour plus a bit of chilli kick too, but at £6.10, it could be seen as little pricier than the popular Wahaca version, which also comes with a side of tortilla chips.
The drink selection is limited to four options, starting from £1 (including different flavours of homemade aqua frescas) going up to £4.50 for frozen margaritas. There aren’t any sweet snacks on offer either, but as a quickie lunch hotspot; Poncho No 8 is a pretty decent option. Catering for the hungry and impatient customer, here’s a no-frills yet modern outlet that just prides itself on offering real Mexican food – what more could you want? (Monique Todd)
For more information, visit www.poncho8.com