Mexican in Kingston Upon Thames – Chez Lalee

I must say the name didn’t inspire me with confidence when my husband suggested Chez Lalee, but I’ll do anything to find a half-decent Mexican place in the UK and I fancied a shopping trip to Kingston. We went on a warm sunny winter’s day at lunch time and found it almost completely empty. I guess the best way to describe it would be ‘uninspiring’. Weasel’s first Mexican restaurant experience would consist mostly of nachos.

The basic were there – a high chair, interesting decor that a toddler could look at, and cool spiral staircase to watch people go up and down. The food was more of the beans & rice with either taco, burrito or enchilada variety, and not great versions. I think I might be missing really dirty, cheap Mexican food from home; the kind of food that comes with a snarl, the smell of stale beer and the Russian roulette style chance you might be getting to know your loo a little better all night long. AH, El Caporal, I miss you. Although their website makes me think they’ve gone all up-market since I left sadly; maybe the health inspectors intervened.

Anyhoo, I digress! We had trouble squeezing the pram near our table (tables too close together rather than too many people, word of warning to big-pram owners), we were seated practically under the stairwell whilst the other few guests were seated upstairs and it would have been near on impossible to change her there given what the loos were like.

It was very difficult to choose something for her to eat, which may say more about the cuisine that has been imported into Britain rather than this particular restaurant. She just ate nachos in the end, which came to an abrupt halt when she discovered a hidden jalapeño.

Verdict: Hoped for better, not really good for toddlers. It may be more of a drunken Saturday night place rather than a young family one.


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