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Santiago Lastra and MJMK Restaurants are delighted to introduce Fonda, a new restaurant showcasing the evolution of Mexican cuisine, design and craftsmanship, opening in Mayfair in September 2024. Fonda will bring to London the colours and cooking of the restaurants, markets and homes that represent Mexico - all through Santiago’s unique lens.


In Mexico, a fonda is a family-owned eatery, serving traditional dishes in an informal setting, each inspired by personal recipes from the generations that came before. Here, Santiago’s new restaurant will offer a contemporary take on his favourite fondas from Mexico, as well as the typical street foods sold by vendors and cooked in central clay comals (traditional griddles for cooking corn masa) in local markets.

Fonda offers the warm hospitality and comforting food Santiago would most like to experience himself, drawing on the nostalgic dishes of his childhood and opening up his metaphorical home, creating a convivial space for guests to enjoy the fruits of his extensive regional travels.

Split across two floors, Fonda will be punctuated by the vibrant hues of pink, orange, blue and green. The curation of the space will inform the dining experience, enriching the earthy, humble flavours of the food.


Focusing on quality produce, technique and innovation, the À La Carte menu will weave together the disparate regional styles from across Mexico that Santiago has fallen in love with. With the central clay comal as the ‘beating heart’ of the restaurant, elegant dishes will be built around different masa based preparations, highlighting the depth and complexity specific to this cuisine - a testament to the versatility of corn as an ancient grain that formed the basis of Mexican civilisation. Each tortilla will be made from heirloom corn supplied by Tamoa, a social enterprise that promotes diversity and transparency in the food chain, and will be milled and made daily in the kitchen.

For each table, there will be a selection of Santiago’s interpretation of the piquant salsas, oils and sauces fundamental to Mexican dining. Guests will be encouraged to explore the different combinations of condiments to colour each dish, from Salsa Verde with courgette and gooseberries; to the Arbol chilli and tomato-based Salsa Roja; and Salsa Macha - fruity, sweet and spicy with Cascabel chillies, sunflower seeds and honey.

Deceptively simple in style but complex in flavour, smaller dishes are designed to whet the palate. Sikil Pak, a toasted pumpkin seed ‘guacamole’ with pine oil, will be served with fried totopos for scooping; whilst Chalk stream trout will be served as a fresh Ceviche topped with thinly sliced squash aguachile and tostadas. Diners will also be able to choose from a selection of comal dishes, from Costras, a traditional taqueria staple of ribeye topped with a layer of melted Swaledale cheese on a flour tortilla; to Baja tacos with a cucumber, pistachio and mint sauce, chipotle and sourdough; and Tostada with baked beetroot, seaweed oil, marigold and elderflower vinegar.

Regularly changing specials will highlight seasonal produce, with the opening menu including a Crudo of raw tuna with pink mole, tomatoes and pine nuts; and Duo de callo, confit whole scallops on a gooseberry, sesame and burnt habanero salsa, hidden underneath a freshly made, crisp tortilla.

All main courses will be presented in Fonda’s bespoke stoneware by Mexican designers Duplo, marrying food and design through craftsmanship. The tiered service ware will house warm tortillas in a volcanic stone base, stacked atop with fish, meat, vegetables and garnishes, inviting guests to explore the myriad combinations of textures and tastes that comprise Mexican menus. Think Adobado of charred monkfish with potatoes and spiced, kelp butter; and Mole - sticky short rib in a mole poblano, rich with chocolate and chillies.

Dessert will focus on traditional dishes, reinterpreted with British ingredients, from a freshly steamed, sweet Tamal with dates, walnuts and butterscotch; to a Chocolate sorbet with chilli oil made from the Pasilla Mixe variety, one of the rarest in the world.

Agave underpins the cocktail list with a dedicated Paloma section – there will be four varieties of the drink including a Champagne Paloma which can be served by the bottle. Micheladas retain their savoury heritage, from the classic Heirloom Tomato; Lacto-fermented tomatoes and chillies with Fonda’s house lager, to the umami rich Mushroom & Oyster Shell made with stout. Classic cocktails will also be given a contemporary spin with British ingredients replicating Mexican flavours, including a Pineapple Weed Negroni; a Corn Husk Old Fashioned; and of course, a signature Margarita. The wine list features a playful selection of lesser-known regions and grapes, favouring smaller, quality-driven producers using low intervention practices. Lighter, intensely aromatic styles from cooler climates are used to complement the food.


Fonda establishes a synergy between the evolution of Mexican food and the nascent art revolution, currently gaining international recognition, with the help of London design agency A_nrd. Putting colour, materiality and texture at the centre of this endeavour, it will become a showroom for the country’s craftsmanship, from the natural dyeing of textiles using beetle juice, and fabrication of folkloric clay masks in Oaxaca, Hidalgo and Michoacan. A_nrd and Santiago are also working with renowned Mexican designer Fernando Laposse, (whose work has been shown at the V&A), on the artistic curation of the space. Working closely with indigenous communities, Laposse has enlisted his network of emerging artists and designers to collaborate in an ever-changing collection of artwork to furnish the restaurant that champions the power of biodiversity and raw strength of natural and sustainable materials.

For more information please contact

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