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Ixchel Mexican Restaurant

Chelesa, London UK

Say Hola to Ixchel, one of (if not THEE) the prettiest Mexican Restaurants in London. Months before Ixchel opened, I was seduced by its rather clever and swoon-worthy digital marketing campaign. 

Named after the Mayan Goddess of the moon, Ixchel is a 170-cover modern Mexican restaurant and tequila bar on the fabulously fashionable Kings Road in Chelsea.  I had planned to come soon after it opened, but I resisted because I like to think that a restaurant needs time to find its feet.  Plus, I’m too low-effort to be the first through the door. 

So, almost six months after opening,  I will finally find out if one of the prettiest Mexican restaurants in London has food that’s just as swoon-worthy as the decor. 

The Decor

Mexican Restaurant London
Ixchel Interiors
Ixchel Mexican Restaurant London
Light and Airy

This is one stunning Mexican Restaurant in London.  The magnificent mural by Mexican artist Rafael Uriegas is the first thing that captivates your attention when you enter Ixhel. His bold graphic style blends ancient mythology with contemporary Mexican art.  This place is pure escapism from the dreary British weather, with its luscious foliage and succulents in glazed platers—terracotta and stone tables with pale wood chairs upholstered in creamy tones and natural materials. The space is bright and light, with floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights.  

Mexican Restaurant London
The Moon Bar

At the back of the ground floor dining room is the Moon Bar, with the moon’s phases glowing delicately over it.  I loved the chunky sculptural bar stools and the snake motif that winds itself around the bar’s base.   Everywhere I turned, there was a little ‘aha’ moment seeing hand-woven artworks, contemporary sculpture and lighting fixtures that have been made by Mexican artists and artisans.

You descend into a totally different vibe when you venture down the beautifully tiled stairs. We’re talking darker, broodier, and totally sexy. There is a space that can be converted to a private dining room and loads of little nooks to get lost in while sipping a margarita or two with friends. 

The venue was designed by the talented team at Behind the Door Designs (who are behind the iconic designs of the award-winning Little Door Bars

The Food

The menu was created by Mexican-born Head Chef Ximena Gayosso Gonzalez. Ximena comes to Ixchel from Madera at Treehouse London, Brat in Shoreditch & Ella Canta in Mayfair.  It’s a really impressive CV. 

The lunch menu is short and sweet, which I like. It consists of para pics (small plates), Del Comal (Tacos and Quesadillas), a few salads for the healthy folk, and a few sides to round out your meal. 

I started the meal the way any Mexican meal should start: with guacamole and totopos. It was beautifully presented and well-seasoned, and I loved the texture. The totopos were aesthetically stacked, alternating between yellow corn tortillas and blue masa tortillas.  

The crab tostadas made me gasp with joy when they came to the table.   The crips tortillas were covered edge to edge in crab meat that was dressed in macha sauce. It was so flavourful, without being so spicy to overpower the sweet crab. 

I’m a sucker for any crudo on the menu, so ordering the Yellowfin tuna was a bit of a no-brainer.  The toreada sauce had an excellent level of heat that was tempered with the thin slivers of granny smith apple and avocado.  I thought it was a very generous portion for £12. 

Ixchel Crab Tostada
Crab Tostada
Mexican Restaurant London
Yellowfin Tuna

Then, on to the tacos. All can be on corn tortillas, flour tortillas, or lettuce cups (not today, Satan). All come in pairs, except for the fish tacos that fly solo. 

I loved the fish taco: a little nugget of fish in a crispy batter with a zingy pickled carrot on a bed of scotch bonnet crema. I was expecting more heat but was relieved it did not meet that expectation. It was generously sized for a taco; was it £9 sized? Probably not, but I loved it nonetheless. 

The grilled taco was stuffed with chunks of well-seasoned steak under a dollop of smooth avocado cream. A squeeze of lime brought it to life. I would have loved it more if I had a little salsa to dribble on. If I’m eating more than one taco, the ability to change it up with a drop or two of salsa is crucial for me. I only realised when I was finished with the meal, that you can order salsas on the side. 

The short rib taco was mounded high with ultra-tender short rib doused in a smoky adobo and topped with a bright pineapple salsa. This was easily my favourite taco and worth the £7 (£14 for two).

Mexican Restaurant London
Ixchel Fish Taco
Grilled Steak Taco
Mexican Restaurant London
Beef Short Rib Taco

The charred chicken thigh taco was probably the low point of the tacos; It was nice but not on the level with the other tacos . It tasted like an unloved chicken fajita from my childhood; it was unstimulating in texture and just there in my mouth—nothing zingy from the pickled onions. 

I was not a fan of the Rajas con crema, mainly because I (stupidly) assumed it would be more like Elote. It was well seasoned, and had I not thought I was getting an elite-style corn, I would have probably loved it. My dining companion finished every last spoonful, so it was my failure than the dish itself. 

Mexican Restaurant London
Chicken Thigh Taco
Mexican Restaurant London
The Table

The one dish that I knew I would order before setting foot in Ixchel was the Bunelo with roasted corn ice cream. Sadly, they had run out of service. So I finished the meal with Ixchel’s signature Tres Leche cake topped with fresh strawberry compote, cinnamon custard creme, and a shard of meringue that made it look like Godzilla.  

I liked it, but my dining companion’s Mango creme brulee with mango salsa and sorbet stole the show.  It was one joyous bite of exploding mango flavour after another

Ixchel Tres Leche Cake
Ixchel Mexican Restaurant London
Mango Creme Brûlée
Dreamy Mango

The Damage

Lunch for two (with one non-alcoholic drink each) was about £170.  As I mentioned before, I thought the tacos were generous for the price, and we overordered. As much as we loved the desserts, it was a chore to finish them.  A more moderate budget of £100 would get you a feast. I think this is on par with the rest of higher end Mexican Restaurants in London,

The Final Thought

Would I come back? Definitely, if I was in the area and fancied a vibrant lunch and to try THAT Buñuelo coated in spiced sugar and served with roasted corn ice cream.  


The Details

Ixchel London

33H King’s Rd,
London SW3 4LX


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