Saturday 14th September saw Mexican Independence Day descend on Tooting Broadway. The Pop Up in question was Santo Remedio’s Mexican Independence Day Party, who you may have seen Pop Up on this very website over the last couple of weeks. We’d already tried some of the food during our interview, but we needed to see the Pop Up for ourselves before giving any kind of review.
The setting was Tooting Market, which at first we weren’t 100% convinced by, but once we saw it full of people, it all started to make sense. The atmosphere was quite literally buzzing as we arrived, with the band in blue boiler suits in full swing. So with our Tequila cocktail in hand we sat down and soaked up the atmosphere.
Quite quickly we realised that we were here for the evening, this was a good thing as we’d not planned to go anywhere else. It was also good to be able to watch Edson, the Head Chef and his assistants get to work, it gave you an idea of how much work being put into these dishes from the open kitchen behind us.
While there was the Tequila cocktail to start with, we’d already spotted the tiny treasure trove of Bindlesticks wine bar. The three red wines they had chosen for the evening complemented the food very well, which of course we sampled to ensure this was the case, it was good to see they actually put some thought into it rather than just pulling up the shutters. With the wine and Tequila cocktails flowing we settled down for the evening, chatting the evening away and enjoying the rather energetic dancing DJ, who was almost worth the entrance fee in her own right.
With over 70 at the event there was bound to be the odd issue, this was always a very ambitious Pop Up, in the most part we didn’t mind, but admittedly the dessert did come out very late and our friends who’d traveled from the depths of north London left just before it was served, but not before managing to fit in one last Tequila cocktail. So while they ended the evening how they started it, the rest of us ‘Southerners’ finished the evening with a rather nice spicy ice cream dessert.
Was it a success? Yes very much so, the grasshoppers and the pork broth being our tables favourite dishes. Was it perfect? No, but we never wanted it to be. Pop Ups to us should be about being part of a journey with the people that had the vision and the passion to put it on in the first place and we very much felt that. We left with smiles on our faces and I even took a minute to have a little dance with the people who were still there, after all we couldn’t let the DJ have all the fun. So would we do it again and was it worth the £35. Without the entertainment perhaps it would have been a bit steep but with the band and the DJ, plus a goodie bag at the end, it made the whole night seem like a steal.
Quite frankly we wish it was Mexican Independence day more often and hopefully they won’t need to find a reason to do another one very soon. As for Tooting Market, we very much hope that it wasn’t just a one off for this unique venue full of character and potential.
For those of you who’d like to read more you can read our Interview with Head Chef Edson Diaz-Fuentes