22nd November sees the launch of Ixchel, the Mexican restaurant and Tequila bar opening in the heart of Chelsea from Fairbairn Capital. Diners and drinkers will be transported to the exotic Yucatan peninsula as Ixchel brings a taste of Tulum to the iconic Kings Road.
The menu is designed by Mexican-born Head Chef, Ximena Gayosso Gonzalez, and consists of an all-day tapas style offering, boasting a diverse range of intoxicating flavours and aromas. Chef Gonzalez has previously worked at Michelin star restaurant, Brat in Shoreditch, Mexican restaurant, Ella Canta in Mayfair, Dulce Patria in Mexico City under renowned Chef Martha Ortiz and most recently Madera at Treehouse London.
Carefully crafted using locally sourced ingredients, the food brings the freshest flavours from Mexico with a twist on known and loved traditional plates of ceviches, tacos and tostadas.
Ideal for groups, sharing dishes take centre stage which include: Sauteed prawn quesadilla, refried beans, pickled red onions and Morita chilli, succulent and delicious Albacore tuna sashimi with Ponzu toreada sauce, Granny Smith apple with avocado on corn tostadas alongside baby pork ribs slow cooked on banana leaf with a pasilla chilli glaze.
Larger platters come in the form of Platos Fuertes, all made on the Robata grill. Achiote charcoal boneless chicken thigh with watercress leaves and a chilli sauce, Aged ribeye with a chilmole sauce reduction or Roasted celeriac pastor with charred pineapple, coriander and red onion salad- to name but a few. Interesting side dishes compliment the mains such as Lentil stew with plantain chips or Huitaloche creamy rice.
To complement the culinary delights, the hidden Tequila bar is set to have one of the largest collections of agave-based liquor in Europe, with a vast list of both premium Tequilas and Mezcals, sourced directly from artisanal distilleries in Mexico. With expert mixologists at the helm, guests can expect a wide array of innovative cocktail creations, meticulously crafted with the essence of the Yucatan in mind.
The drinks have been curated by Bar Manager, Manuel Lema, previously of Cavita and Le Bodegra Negra. He brings years of experience with unparalleled expertise in the hospitality industry.
Ixchel is named after the Mayan goddess of the moon and textiles, with the design team taking inspiration from this, the symbol of the moon can be seen highlighted throughout the venue in beautiful brass handles and bespoke tiling around the bars, and the reeded ceiling and huge contemporary macrame paying homage to her weaving.
As guests step through the entrance, they are welcomed by a magnificent mural by Mexican-based artist Rafael Uriegas, whose unique style blends ancient mythology with contemporary Mexican art. Walking further into the room, terracotta and stone tables are softened by luscious foliage and glazed planters, all leading the eye towards the Moon Bar. Here, the phases of the moon delicately glow whilst below the bar the movement of a giant raw snake can be seen wrapped around the base.
The venue is a contemporary and brutalist space designed by the talented team at Behind the Door Designs. These three women are the designers behind the award-winning Little Door Bars spread through West London, and they are bringing their fresh perspective and love of texture and bold choices to this exciting project.
Playing with the Mexican theme the designers have curated a collection of stunning hand-woven artworks, contemporary sculpture and lighting by local Mexican artists and artisans. These works bring traditional craftsmanship to the contemporary and brutalist setting. Whilst the ground floor is a bright light space with floor-to-ceiling windows, a secondary downstairs space and bar boasts a moody and sexy setting that brings the timeless warm raw energy that Mexican culture evokes.
Multiple large tables both upstairs and downstairs mean that groups from 8 -12 can book for lunch or a night of mezcal-fueled fun. Cosy inbuilt tables with soft cushions for two make Ixchel a perfect date spot on both floors, with low sofa seating and inviting space for more casual dining whilst sipping a delicious cocktail or two with friends. Bang & Olufson are the sound system partners decking out the restaurant with their sleek high-end speakers ensuring the musical offering is spot on throughout the space.
Fraser Carruthers, Founder & Managing Director of Fairbairn Capital says: “I think King’s Road has been missing something like this, so when the opportunity arose to open Ixchel, I leapt at the chance as I have had my eye on the site for a while. Keeping the vibe high, serving amazing food, and great drinks with incredible music is what we are about. With elements that we know people love, adding modern Mexican flavours and flair into the mix is really exciting and I cannot wait for people to experience Ixchel.”