While wandering through Brixton Village, the word "desayano" caught my attention. It means breakfast in Spanish and immediately brought to mind visions of eggs and rice and beans!! Indeed, a closer look revealed it was a Columbian cafe. Being from the border of Mexico and having spent 6 months in Costa Rica, I love Central American and Mexican breakfast. Although having never had a Columbian one, the brief look at the menu suggested it would be just as satisfying. My companian, Joe, was also willing to give it a try.
The restaurant was called Santafereño...(apparently it is one of several Columbian restaurants in Brixton)
We were seated and I immediately noticed that all the staff and the other diners appeared to be Columbian (a very good sign). Being a bit egg-crazy, I was drawn to the eggs, rice and beans (I was thinking of the Costa Rican Gallo Pinto) but decided at the last moment to order the Chicharron (deep fried pork belly) instead. This came with arepas (corn bread), patacones (fried smashed plantains) and a salad. I loved the arepas. They were made of freshly ground corn and were fried perfectly so that the outside was very crispy with a soft middle and a sprinkling of salt to bring out the flavour. Much different than anything I am familiar with from Mexico or Costa Rica.
Joe ordered Calentado which was a massive breakfast that looked delicious and included grilled steak, rice and red beans, scrambled eggs, arepas and grilled plaintain. I was jealous of his rice and beans, but given his dish was so huge he let me steal some :)
Our meals were served with a lovely salsa made from finely chopped tomato, onion, coriander and avocado.
Once we finished breakfast we had a few minutes to spare before heading to the cinema so we walked around the corner and enjoyed flat whites at Federation Coffee... The cakes here looked delicious, but there was definitely no room ;) I will have to return for another flat white and a cake.
I really enjoyed finding this seemingly authentic Columbian restaurant hidden in London, but it makes me wonder...why is it impossible to find a similarly authentic Mexican restaurant in London?