Brummell Recommends: Ixchel Mexican restaurant

Ixchel brings a taste of Tulum to London’s King’s Road with its relaxed and refined take on Mexican cuisine

Food and Drink 4 Mar 2024

The background

Chelsea’s famous King’s Road has no shortage of dining options covering almost every international possibility. Yet its latest addition, Ixchel, has arrived at this diverse gastronomic destination in style with its elevated take on Mexican cuisine. Taking inspiration from the flavours of the Yucatan region of the country, Mexican-born head chef Ximena Gayosso Gonzalez draws from both her own heritage and impressive experience at top restaurants in London and beyond. These include the Michelin-starred Brat in Shoreditch, Ella Canta in Mayfair and Madera at Treehouse London, as well as Dulce Patria in Mexico City where she worked under renowned chef Martha Ortiz.

Ixchel King's Road London

The space

This sense of sophistication is balanced with a welcoming, convivial atmosphere befitting both the sharing-style nature of the food, and the hustle and bustle of Ixchel’s location. Interiors are as fun and vibrant as the flavours, as diners are immediately transported to sunnier climes with the airy interiors packed with quirky design details. Ixchel is named after the Mayan goddess of the moon and textiles, this symbolism brought to life with an eye-catching reeded ceiling and contemporary macrame decorations. Colourful murals, rich foliage and earthy, terracotta tones all add to the immersive atmosphere. 

Step downstairs and it gets a little more sultry and cosy. Here you’ll find the tequila bar, featuring one of the largest collections of agave-based liquor in Europe. Using spirits sourced directly from artisanal distilleries in Mexico, the drinks have been curated by bar manager Manuel Lema, previously of Cavita and La Bodega Negra. 

Ixchel King's Road London

The food

The relaxed setting is reflected in the set-up of the menu, split into small and large plates, tacos and quesadillas, along with a number of sides, salads and salsas to round off the meal. Here the only way to go is to share with the table, with the knowledgeable serving staff on hand to guide you depending on your appetite (tip: bring a big one). 

The pork belly tacos, served with salsa verde and refried beans, were fresh and light. They made excellent small bites to start the meal, alongside a selection of vibrant dishes including the stand-out yellowfin tuna sashimi paired with hints of chilli, apple and avocado. It left space for the star of the show, a generous portion of short rib that melted off the bone, which came with its own ‘build your own burrito’ station. Delightfully casual yet indulgent, it came with a selection of salsa and sauces, as well as a basket of mini tortillas generously topped up throughout. 

Meanwhile, the dessert selection showed just as much thought, whether you fancied something light to end the meal, or still had space for a more decadent option. Sweet and savoury were brought together intriguingly with delicately sliced mango paired with hints of fruity spice, paired with a lime sorbet. Visually, however, the showstopper of the night was the buñuelo, a fried doughnut-like snack coated in spiced sugar and served with roasted corn ice cream. 

Ixchel King's Road London

The bill

A meal for two, including dessert and a glass of wine, is around £140.

The verdict

Refined yet relaxed, Ixchel brings a sophisticated taste of Tulum to the King’s Road with vibrant and moreish dishes, with a fun and dynamic atmosphere to match. 

Ixchel, 33H King’s Rd, London SW3 4LX,