Tepito (CLOSED)

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
291 Fumin Lu

This venue has closed.

Cantina Agave on Fumin Lu was starting to look a little sad towards the end of last year. And despite an outdoor furniture facelift, when we saw owners Kelley Lee, Raffe Ibrahamian and Chloe Xiang had decided to renovate the space and update the menu, the change felt overdue. The revamp has reinvigorated this corner of Changle and Fumin Lus, with hordes of people flocking to try the new menu; it wasn’t easy to get a seat during the opening weeks.

When we managed to get a booking, we started with Margaritas – always a big draw at Cantina Agave. Newcomer Tepito’s version on the rocks (70RMB) is classic and delicious. Shaking up Corralejo Tequila Blanco (and plenty of it) with Grand Marnier, agave and lime, it’s refreshing and strong – something that you might not realise as it slides on past the addictive spiced sea salt rim.

Also worthy of a sip is the smooth and balanced Pisco Sour (70RMB), well-shaken with lime, egg white and finished with a swirl of Angostura bitters. The Holy Mole (80RMB) is a heavier and sweeter drink with mole-infused plantation dark rum mixed with cinnamon syrup and chocolate mole bitters. Served with a cinnamon quill, this drink almost takes like a dessert. We also recommend eating here, not just to stop yourself from getting too boozed, but because the food is damn tasty. With Mexico-City native Chef Edgar Hernandez behind the burners in the semi-open kitchen, dishes are authentic and well-prepared.

A good place to start is with the Chicharron (50RMB). Dishing up a huge pile of chilli-powdered crispy pork rinds with a bowl of uber-fresh and perfectly seasoned guacamole, this offering is high fat and errs on the heavy side, especially if only sharing between two, but it’s satisfying and teams perfectly with the aforementioned Margarita.

A somewhat lighter place to start is with the Esquites (48RMB). Labelled as ‘Elote for lazy people’, this mix of hulled white corn, lime, chili, mayonnaise, crema and queso fresco is great for those who don’t like munching off the cob. It also allows for a greater amount of delicious corn to be consumed at a quicker pace – another win.

Ceviche de Mariscos (88RMB) is also a highlight: the fragrant mix of raw marinated sea bass, shrimp and octopus is fresh, has good zing from the accompanying citrus and chilli, and is topped off with a few slivers of soothing avocado.

The Pescadillas con Mayonesa (68RMB) are equally delicious, serving up three crispy tortilla shells stuffed with succulent sea bass. Accompanied by olives, almonds and capers, the dish manages to be simultaneously crunchy, flavourful and delicate; and although the ash mayonnaise isn’t especially discernable, it nevertheless contributes to the overall success.

Given its location, quality drinks and affordable food, Tepito (it’ll probably be called ‘the new Cantina’ for a few months) looks set to be as busy as its predecessor a long while to come.

By Victoria Brownlee

Venue name: Tepito (CLOSED)
Opening hours: 11am-11pm daily
Metro: Shaanxi Nan Lu
English address: A Mansion, 291 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu, Xuhui district
Chinese address: 徐汇区富民路291号, 近长乐路