Pinche Pinche


After our California trip this summer, we got a real taste for mexican food. of course when you’re back in the UK, the first thing you do is try and recreate the feel good food of your holiday. Hands up who’s come back from a sun drenched week in Spain or Italy eating sun soaked tomatoes, artisan cheeses, amazing cured meats and spankingly fresh bread? And what happens when you try and recreate this in our country – you know the rest, it fails.

So we were interested to hear about a new Mexican restaurant that’s opened in Chapel Allerton in Leeds. Chapel A (as it’s known locally) is a real up and coming part of Leeds and in the past year or so has become home to some of the cooler and more interesting places to eat in the city.

Pinche Pinche is one of them.

Housed in a row of shops on the main Harrogate Road, this small, cool and well put together restaurant is cooking up some of the brightest and freshest flavours I’ve tasted for a while. Mexican fell out of favour I think in recent times and some local old school gaffs didn’t do the cuisine any favours. It seems now is a good time to be launching a Mexican food ‘offering’.

The service is laid back and informative, the interior cool Mexicana with day of the dead-esque graphics and not a cactus in sight (except on my plate, but more of that later). The menus were stapled photocopies stapled together (yes, the place is that new) but that was fine and we took the advice of our waiter and ordered lamb and king prawn tacos to kick off and beef enchilada and fish burrito for mains. Sides were plantain and cactus tostada on the advice of our on the money waiter.

Julie has been quite taken with the Tomasina Myers mexican TV show on Channel recently and we have been through the gears on mexican cuisine somewhat over the past weeks. The flavours are simple, fresh and bright and some might say, a little bit samey. Granted, the holy trinity of chilli, coriander and red onion feature heavily all over the menu but I have to say it was spot on – a little of what you fancy and all that. The tacos were hoovered up in record time and special mention goes to the Mango salsa with the king prawns. Julie’s beef enchilada was a plateful of heat and richness and although my fish burrito was the size of a small house brick, it packed plenty of fishy loveliness.

No room for Churros with chocolate (next time) and all of this was washed down with the obligatory mexican beer or two. Food prices are very cheap – starters around £4 and mains between £8-£10. As usual, the more booze you consume the higher the bill. Worth point pointing out that there is a shelf or two of some rather fantastic looking Tequila and if that’s you’r snifter, I recommend an evening there and a taxi.

All in all, this place deserves to do well and delivering great tasting food at good prices in a vibrant atmosphere it should be a huge success.