Chilango, Mexican Restaurant/Takeaway – Review
Published 7 August 2009
I stumbled across Chilango quite by chance, while I was on a flat-hunting mission in the Angel Station area. Wandering up Upper Street, I spotted this establishment, one of the most reviewed and raved about in the London restaurant scene, with Time Out a particular fan. It is a place that I had read about quite some time ago, and added it to my mental list of places to go where it was soon forgotten about. But as I was feeling hungry for lunch at the time and spotting the opportunity to see what all the fuss was about, I decided to pop in for a quick lunch.
Although the restaurant has ample seating area upstairs, it is more geared towards the fast-moving professional crowd who work or live in the area. Service is very Subway-style; you start at one end of the counter, pick your meat filling, and then your veggies, rice, and sauce, and the whole burrito is wrapped up in aluminum foil. Fast and efficient, perfect for a quick office lunch. In addition to burritos, you can substitute the tortilla wrap for a 3 small tacos topped with your fillings, or a salad (for those on a carb-free diet).
As it was my first time there, I decided to go for the house special, the grilled chicken burrito (£5.40), complete with coriander rice, beans,fresh salsa, cheese, and some veggies. The whole thing was wrapped up in aluminum foil, and I chose an Aqua Fresca drink (£1.60, unlimited refills), a “traditional Mexican fruit cooler”, to go with it.
The burrito was really top quality, with the char-grilled chicken full of flavour. It was also alot bigger than it looks, and was just the right size for a lunch meal. Not too big, not too small either that I would be forced to forage in the afternoon for a snack. The Aqua Fresca drink was a total disaster though. The first taste was just horrible; sour-tasting, but not in a good way, and tasting very processed and chemical-y. The drink was a bright artificial red colour, and I was shocked to see that it had started to stain the insides of the paper cup red. Imagine how many “E numbers” must be in that drink. Totally disappointing for a place trying to promote itself as a higher quality lunch place than say fast food joints such as McDonalds or Burger King.
Verdict: Despite the drink scare, the burrito was really good, and I definitely would not mind going back there again, except for the small issue of price. Despite Chilango trying to make itself more up-market, it really is just a Mexican-style subway or sandwich shop. Its high prices, with Burritos starting from £5.40, just doesn’t offer value; and the aluminum foil wrap is just tacky. In addition, although they offer guacamole, they charge extra for that if you want it in your burrito. And again, avoid the Aqua Fresca at all costs!
Address: 27 Upper Street, Angel, N1 0PN
Tel:020 7704 2123