In most cultures, dining is very much a social bonding and sharing experience, none more so than when you enjoy Mexican cuisine. At Cielo Blanco at Exmouth Market, they embrace that concept to the full with their street food offerings as well as their sharing board options.
Vibrant colours seem to be the norm for Mexican restaurants launching in London. Cielo Blanco is no exception with welcoming sky blue as the predominant colour for their exterior along with a few terrace seating (unfortunately without the matching Mexican weather).
Whilst they have a fantastic selection of tequila and mezcal, they also focus on healthy options such as super juices and aguas frescas. We tried the aptly name refresher, which used melon, coconut water and lime and the vibrant, pick me up, which had the very unusual combination of blackberry, pear, kale and honey. Of course they have superfood salads on the menu to be paired with these drinks.
For starters, we tried the queso fundido, chilango street corn and fresh guacamole, which were all great for dipping with tortilla chips. By far the most irresistible option was the first one with melted cheese with crispy chorizo; it was one of those snacks once you start eating it, you will be on a mission to completely clean out the whole bowl.
Main course was a tough decision between ordering a selection of small sharing dishes and they had a great offer of £13.50 per person for 6 dishes to share or a sharing board feast for 2. We opted for the chargrilled rump steak sharing board and this wasn’t just about a steak: it included an endless array of other side dishes such as 12-hour Oaxacan beef mole, house-salt beef sopes and chipotle-marinated mushrooms, red rice, tortillas and many others. It was a slightly hit and miss affair with the steak having a smoky chargrilled taste but it was rather dry and it was difficult to taste any chipotle in the mushrooms; however the beef sopes were hearty, tasty morsels of deliciousness and the beef mole were well marinated and were ideally complemented with the red rice.
Dessert options aren’t plentiful: churros dipped in chocolate sauce or dulce de leche cake. We opted for the churros, which were fresh, warm and crispy, but it was the kind of dessert that you need to share the calories around with other people rather than taking in all the damage personally. Cielo Blanco is another vibrant welcome addition to the already busy food scene at Exmouth Market and definitely an option to consider if you are looking for modern sharing style Mexican cuisine.