Ixchel, the Mexican restaurant and Tequila bar everyone’s been buzzing about, has just landed in the heart of Chelsea. It’s like a slice of Tulum right on the Kings Road, injecting new life into the Mexican dining scene of the area. The name is a nod to the Mayan goddess of the moon and textiles, and you’ll notice the celestial influence all over – from gorgeous brass handles to custom-made bar tiles and that stunning reeded ceiling.
Stepping inside from the chilly streets, you’re hit with a striking mural by Mexican artist Rafael Uriegas. His style blends old myths with modern Mexican art, setting the tone for what’s inside. The design dream team behind the restaurant is the same talent who delivered the award-winning Little Door Bars dotted across the capital.
Upstairs, there are terracotta and stone tables softened by greenery and planters, all leading to the Moon Bar, a tip of the hat to Ixchel herself. The designers have fully embraced the Mexican theme, decking the venue with hand-woven artworks and contemporary sculptures by local Mexican talents. The perfect touch of tradition in a cool, modern setting.
Downstairs is where things get moody and seductive, channeling that timeless warmth of Mexican culture. Think cosy alcove seating and plush sofas – upstairs is where you bring your spouse, and downstairs, well, that’s your little secret.
The highlight – sin lugar a dudas – is the menu, brainchild of Mexican-born Head Chef Ximena Gayosso Gonzalez. It’s a rollercoaster of flavours and aromas, available all day. And no surprises here – it’s absolutely incredible.
Chef Gonzalez has done stints at big-time spots like Michelin-starred Brat in Shoreditch, Ella Canta in Mayfair, Dulce Patria in Mexico City with Chef Martha Ortiz, and most recently, Madera at Treehouse London. Her resume speaks for itself.
The menu consists of small plates with treasures like hand-dived scallops aguachile and crab macha tostada, plus sautéed prawn flour quesadillas and pork belly tacos. The big hitters are the Platos Fuertes, all cooked up on the Robata grill.
The achiote charcoal boneless chicken thigh with watercress leaves and chili sauce? Heavenly. And the short rib with pineapple salsa? Enough to silence the table. Don’t sleep on the sides either – lentil stew with plantain chips and Huitaloche creamy rice might just make you a little emotional.
To compliment the exquisite food, there’s a hidden Tequila bar that’s set to impress with one of the biggest collections of agave-based spirits around. They’ve got premium Tequilas and Mezcals sourced straight from Mexican craft distilleries. Kendall Jenner’s 818 is there, along with Casamigos Mezcal and Don Julio.
And the drinks? Take your pick from six margaritas, eight house cocktails, and five Tequila & Mezcal flights. The star of the show – a Mezcalita with Casamigos mezcal, lime juice, triple sec, verjus extra sour, and natural agave – deserves a special mention. Trust me, it tastes like an excuse not to go to work the next day.
33H King’s Rd, London SW3 4LX