Food & Drink: Chilango, George Street, Croydon

BY PALOMA LACY

Fast food is widely considered a scourge on society – and not without foundation, but there is a new breed of restaurant, offering quick and healthy food on the go, which goes to prove that fast food needn’t mean bad food.

One of those paving the way is Mexican cuisine, but please don’t confuse it with the Tex-Mex hybrid London has played host to for the past 30 years. We’re not talking loaded potato skins or towering plates of nachos drenched in a range of highly calorific toppings and sauces, but dishes brought from Mexico’s streets to ours.

And topping that list is the burrito: the ultimate meal, with every food group required for healthy living present.~

I popped along to Chilango at BoxPark Croydon to see how they do it.

So you start with a flour tortilla, although the super health conscious can dispense with this skin and tuck into the fillings, otherwise known as a naked burrito. I don’t do naked.

The complete package is a delight to behold and certainly not to be missed.

The first few times I ate a burrito, I watched in wonder at the obviously well-practiced art of folding one. Sides first, bottom section into the middle and then flip the whole thing again, into the top section.

Confused? It’ll take a few goes to master the knack and until then a Chilango menu will stand you in good stead.

I’m rather boring when it comes to my filling, having found my perfect filling combo and I’m sticking with it.

Chargrilled chicken marinated with mango and chilli is a pretty good start and I’m a fan of a drier protein, than say chilli con carne, as the last thing you want is for your burrito to spring a leak.

Next to go on is a serving spoonful of coriander and lime rice – yes, the Mexicans throw lime at everything – black beans, which I prefer to the sludge that is re-fried beans, fiery salsa verde, sour cream, grated cheese and guacamole.

I was not quite woman enough for Chilango’s hottest salsa, not my usual pick, and even the coolness of the avocado failed to take the extreme heat away. I wouldn’t say it was unenjoyable, but next time I’ll go for a slightly milder one.

Asada promises a medium heat so that’s perhaps the one to go for. A burrito will set you back around £7, or why not try a healthier version of what you know to be nachos or tacos.

There’s also a rather tasty range of home-made drinks to try, including lemonade.

Chilango is quick, fun and nutritious: fast food at its best

Paloma was a guest of Chilango, 99 George Street, Croydon CR0 1LD. Tel: 020 3242 0880.
Open noon-9pm.

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