Mayan moon rises over Chelsea

A new Mexican restaurant opening in Chelsea next week will focus on the flavours of Tulum on the Yucatan peninsular – with no hint of ‘Tex Mex’ cooking.

Ixchel, named after the Mayan moon goddess, will offer an all-day tapas-style menu of dishes created by Mexican-born chef Ximena Gayosso Gonzalez (pictured), who has worked at Brat and Ella Canta in London and at Martha Ortiz’s Dulce Patria in Mexico City.

The King’s Road restaurant will incorporate a ‘hidden’ tequila bar stocked with premium tequila and mezcal sourced directly from artisanal distilleries in Mexico; it promises to have one of the biggest selections in Europe.

Ximena says: “Authentic Mexican cuisine is such a passion of mine and I am very excited to be able to work with such fantastic ingredients, cooking with fire and creating the fresh coastal flavours that I love.

Founder Fraser Carruthers of Fairbairn Capital says the venture has been in the pipeline for a while. “Our ethos is to have fantastic authentic food and delicious cocktails alongside a beautiful design.

Ixchel has been a project really close to my heart as I’ve always loved Mexico as a country. We’ve been conceptually building Ixchel for over two years now… As a lover of Mexican cuisine I had become disenchanted and underwhelmed with what London had to offer and felt there was a massive gap in the market. You will not find any hint of Tex Mex at Ixchel.”

The restaurant’s interior has been designed with bespoke tiling, a reeded ceiling and a “huge contemporary macrame” paying homage to Ixchel, who is also the goddess of weaving, along with a mural by Mexican artist Rafael Uriegas.

Ixchel opens at 33 King’s Road next Wednesday, 22 November.

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