REVIEW: Tamalada Kitchen, Quorn

When it comes to choosing a hot location for a new restaurant, you wouldn’t think that a village would be top of the list but then again not every village is like Quorn, located just off the A6 beside the northwest Leicestershire University town of Loughborough.  Regarded very much as a destination location thanks to its main street filled with gastropubs, contemporary bars and restaurants, the fresh Latin American inspired cuisine of newcomer Tamalada should prove a welcome addition.

Open just ten days before the first lockdown, the interior of Tamalada Kitchen is a tranquil, wood lined space adorned with simple terracotta vases and the occasional Aztec patterned cushion. The vibe is cool, calm and collected with a focus on quality and minimalist elegance.

We started our meal with a deep dive into the cocktail menu and, with it being a hot summer’s day, opted for classic Mojito’s which arrived promptly, served in short tumblers rather than the long drink we expected. They were, however, delicious if a little strong.

Sipping our drinks we familiarised ourselves with the menu, much of which is made up well-known tacos, quesadillas and empanadas you expect in a Latin American eatery alongside some more unusual Peruvian & Brazilian style stews as well as smaller plates to build a tapas style dining experience.

We decided to start with a selection of smaller plates alongside a portion of Tamales, the traditional Latin dish from which the restaurant gets its name. Tamales, if you are unfamiliar, consists of chicken marinated in a Peruvian Aji Marisol Sauce, served with blended corn and served in a corn leaf parcel. We found this quite a bland dish to be honest and would have appreciated much more of the accompanying salsa which added pep to the plate. Our other choices of Peruvian style Corn Cake and Brazilian Cheese Skewers faired much better despite the latter being griddled halloumi and not Brazilian Cheese Skewers. The accompanying chilli jam, however, was lovely.

On to mains and the winning dish of the evening, XinXin. A Brazilian classic of chicken, crayfish, peanut, lime, lightly spiced rice and shredded greens. The sauce was delicious with warmth from the spices, tang from the lime and depth from the peanut and sweetness from the toasted coconut and side of plantain. My dining partners opted for a huge portion of Chicken Fatija’s which were smoky in their seasoning and presented with a multitude of toppings to create your perfect parcel whilst the other guest opted for the Gaucho Steak; an 8oz sirloin with charred corn and sweet potato fries and chimichurri.

Side orders were the always satisfying Patatas Bravas and Stuffed Jalapenos which hit the spot before we rounded off our Latin American experience with some delicious Churros with dulce de leche and chocolate sauces to dip.

Tamalada Kitchen offers a stylish dining experience in this destination village and is sure to be a big hit with locals and visitors alike.

Check out their website or book a table on 01509 458358
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