Are you a bustling Shoreditch type? Trendily clad in black with a mac under one arm and a bag made from recycled bottle tops swinging from the other?
Are you rushing from meeting to meeting only to end up trash-talking in the night air on Shoreditch House terrace? If so, do I have a spot for you.
Taco Taco (so good they named it twice) has sprung up on Commercial Street, seating 20 people, as long as those people are very small.
My first thought was ‘Ah, another gourmet takeaway for the cock-eyed masses of one of London’s numerous party centres.’
But no, the 9pm closing time cut down that theory. Although I guess you might be able to grab a snack after sinking a couple with work pals on your way to your last train home.
Next, I thought, ‘Lunch, LUNCH, my dear friend. Gone are the days of a Pret meatball wrap. Shoreditch deserves more and more it shall get.’
In fact, what it will get is a takeaway with a motto, and not a motto like ‘Don’t throw up outside the door.’ No, an ‘Anything can taco’ kind of motto.
Inside, away from the Chipotle-like menu sign, four or five small orange tables sit, surrounded by leather. Neon branding and perky, accordion folk music create a Leon or Paul feeling.
Unsurprisingly, the menu is all tacos, apart from mini breakfast potatoes (truffled spuds for brekkie seems a little intense, but fill your boots gurl).
The breakfast taco is a mozzarella, eggs, pico de gallo and avocado monstrosity that would be perfect for mopping up the most vicious of hangovers.
One highlight is the prawn star (imagine ordering that next to quiet Sally from finance). Smoked shrimpies, mango and lime mayo, and ancho chilli sauce. God its good. Seafood, but saccharine and a little spicey. A sloppy sensation.
The fish options are the leaders, with a salmon poke that is genuinely unusual. Teriyaki, pickled cucumber, with a crown of white sesame seeds – a fishy delishy, almost buttery wrap.
The Peruvian chicken has anticucho for winter solace, and a flame kiss that is normally reserved for red meats.
The prime time’s chipotle pulled beef, pickled jalapeños, and coriander give a fresh and very tongue-roasting combination.
Order with a drink, though be warned they don’t do booze. Only dry business lunches here.
Magic mushroom with aged vegan cheeze, huitlacoche (famously fungus-infected corn), more pico de gallo, plus freshening sweetcorn does well in comparison to its murder-based counterparts – an option if you want something lighter.
A Mayan veggie bite has miso aubergine, achiote red cabbage, and finally, that leads me to the duck.
Oh, the duck. It prompts an odd Google search to see if they have ducks in Mexico. They do, incidentally, and it’s imaginatively named the Mexican Duck, though I’m not sure what species is at play here. Donald the? Onions, sultanas, and gochujang sauce do an entertaining dance, with flashes of Korean tang and chilli paste bang. A treat on a cold afternoon.
Finish, if you’re feeling decadent, with alfajores, which are having a moment right now. These are dusted little cookies with dulce de leche stuffed in the centre. Move over pastel de nata?
You could also choose a Happy Ending: a corn tortilla filled with mascarpone, vanilla mousse, and roasted banana. It looks intimidatingly sweet, but I would imagine tastes unregretfully scrumptious.
Stimulating and high-quality ingredients set Taco Taco apart from other fast food joints, and although the sit-down area isn’t quite at the same level, this venue has a good role to play in the area.
Pop along for a treat and to take advantage of their very reasonable £10 lunch deal with a drink.
Alternatively, if you are feeling wild, customise your own taco. Who cares about the decades of culinary history, I’m sure you’ll do a better job anyway!