La Piñata

Restaurants, Mexican Hackney
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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La Piñata

Please note, La Piñata is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink editors, April 2016.

Calling your Mexican restaurant ‘La Piñata’ is akin to a gastropub calling itself ‘Egg and Spoon’. Beating a piñata – a fragile, treat-filled parcel – until it gives up its treasure is a traditional Mexican party game. The signal this sends is ‘Don’t take us too seriously’, and yet this Hackney newcomer – in spite of its heavily themed decor (sombreros, flags), has a menu full of authentic intent.

Sure, there are crowd-pleasers (burritos, fajitas and the like), but there’s also a passion for proper ingredients, some of which have been imported especially. We were thrilled to find huitlacoche (fat, fungal growths, not unlike mushrooms, that grow on sheaths of corn, and considered a delicacy) on the menu – their full, almost meaty flavour the perfect filling for a quesadilla. Mixiote de cordero, the lamb version of a typical Pueblan dish, was a shank cooked with fresh chilli and cactus paddles (nopales) inside a banana-leaf wrapper, but our meat was a little dry.

Other dishes – soft, open tacos of slow-cooked pork (carnitas), say – had similar failings: plenty of flavour, but not enough moisture. Happily, a classic tres leches pudding (a cake and puddle of sauce made, as the name suggests, with three milks – including the sweetened, condensed kind), lifted our spirits. Now, if we’d have been given a stick to beat the piñatas hanging above us before leaving, then we’d really have been smiling.


By: Tania Ballantine


Venue name: La Piñata
Address: The Arthaus
199 Richmond Road
E8 3NJ
Opening hours: Open 5-11pm Mon-Fri; 1-11pm Sat; 1-10pm Sun.
Transport: Rail: Hackney Central Overground or London Fields rail
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £60.
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
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1 person listening

great place to be nice clean five star service great food to.

fast line mini cab service 0208 5332727

Adriana Torres

I went to La Pinata on a Saturday night and it was buzzing!! It was a great fun atmosphere with a mariachi singer with his guitar... The food was just like back home. We had POZOLE Rojo a traditional Mexican stew featuring chiles and hominy maiz. served with all the trimmings! We also tried the Chicken mixiote which it was nice and tasty with nopales (cactus). The fresh water of Jamaica (hibiscus flower) and Horchata (rice water) were just perfect with our meal and the Chilli mango margarita was delicious too!! As a Mexican I felt like in a little town restaurant with the decor, the mariachi and singing along to most of the songs. My English boyfriend was delighted with the place and as he previously lived in Mexico he too was though it was stepping into a place in Mexico... like they say "A little Mexican corner in Hackney" We would definitely be back again and again to try all the different dishes from the menu! The staff was very friendly and full of energy and always smiling.