Review: David Munro
IN THE year 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue - there must
be more to the jingle than that but if there is, I do no know
What I do know is that in the year 2003 the South Americans,
discovered on that momentous voyage, have counter attacked and
taken up residence in Fulham Broadway with a new ethnic restaurant
- 1492 Latin Fusion - designed to conquer the natives of
Fulham and convert them to South American Cookery and Culture.
Yes, culture, as the forces behind this establishment are dedicated
to propagating South American culture through this restaurant
- presumably relying on the fact that the way to a man's heart
is through his stomach.
Well, I must admit when I ate there the culture was not very
much in evidence, although I was assured that, in the future,
there would be exhibitions of South American art and paintings,
not to mention South American songs to accompany the meal sung
by real South American singers
After all that what about the food? Well it is certainly different;
there is Peruvian Ceviche Tirapito - raw salmon in the Peruvian
style - Salvadorian Oysters Gratinados - rock oysters with cheese
and spinach - Peruvian Prawns Chupe soup with Chilean Humita -
Inca prawn soup with sweet corn tamal - And those are only some
of the starters
For the main course - Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo - old fashioned
chicken paella Latin style - Argentinean Churrasco with Chimichurri
- which is Argentinean steak, not a number dropped from Mary Poppins
and Brazilian Moquecca with Vatapa - fish stew with coconut milk
- as a selection from the list of nine course.
There are also salads with exotic names, and desserts which prove
there is life beyond Tiramasu.
All In all, an interesting and different menu, with a price range
between £4 - £14.50
The wines, as you would expect, are mainly Chilean and Argentinean.
I was surprised not to find Mexican, as I would have expected
this to feature as, in my view, it compares more than favourably
with the other, better-known South American wines. These were
reasonably priced, starting at £11.50 for the house wine
For weekday lunches, there is a set menu at £7.95 comprising
a main course and drink . There is a reasonable choice ranging
between salmon to chicken with burgers and sandwiches in between.
Good value as I found when I tried it; I had a Cangrejo Salad
which is pieces of crab in mayonnaise poured over avocado and
papaya on a bed of leaves, this, together with a glass of house
made a very delectable light lunch for a hot afternoon.
Apart from lunch, I also dined there to sample the main menu.
I had Guacamole with tortilla chips, with the authentic taste
and consistency; not the usual green mush served up in soi-disant
Mexican restaurants, and the chicken paella that tasted delicious
but was perhaps a trifle too spicy for my palate. I did, however,
supplement it with a Palmito salad, which consisted of palm hearts
supplemented with grapes and walnuts in a mild dressing - very
agreeable, and it complemented the paella.
My companion had the Salvadorian rock oysters with spinach and
cheese, which was passed as excellent, although, perhaps, a trifle
pricey - three rock oysters for £7 smacks more of the West
End English fish restaurant than the indigent Salvadorian peasants'
food. This was followed by Tiger Prawns in banana curry with a
side dish of coconut rice, which vanished rapidly accompanied
by little grunts of rapture.
We both had a Mojito fruit salad with rum and mint, which eschewed
the apple, pear and orange so beloved by the makers of restaurant
fruit salad, in favour of the more exotic fruits of the tropics
- and very good it was too.
This meal, together with coffee and wine, came to £77,
including a 12.5 per cent service charge which, if not the cheapest
meal I have had, was certainly one of the more interesting, and
with a menu I shall certainly investigate further at a future
Incidentally, the prices of some of the dishes include a contribution
to South American charities, a novel feature I had not encountered
I tried to find out why Fulham had been selected a testing ground
for this experiment without success as, although the market traders
in the North End Road are a polyglot bunch, I have never observed
any peons or ponchos amongst them.
Perhaps that is yet to come I hope so - as a little more glamour
in the area would not come amiss and 1492 certainly aspires to
that. I therefore wish it well and hope you will do the same.
1492 Latin Infusion, 404 North End Road, Fulham, London SW6.
Tel 020 7381 3810.