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El Camion & The Pink Chihuahua (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of El Camion & The Pink Chihuahua in Soho, London

25-27 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1F 0RR
Cuisine: Mexican Average Price: £15 - 20
Tel: 020 7734 7711 | Email to El Camion & The Pink Chihuahua | Transport: Piccadilly Circus | Write review

El Camion & The Pink Chihuahua Review

El Camion & The Pink Chihuahua is featured in these Guides:

Best for: cheesy, meaty Mexican cuisine.

Great: late night Soho basement bar with killer tunes and tequila cocktails.

“Now, I want you to go in that bag and find my wallet.”

“Which one is it?”

“It’s the one that says ‘bad mother f*cker’.”

Samuel L Jackson spoke these words in Pulp Fiction. He was talking to Tim Roth who was sat opposite, at the hurty end of Jackson’s gun. Roth has just stolen his wallet.

As far as I’m aware, Tim Roth has never tried to steal anything from me, not recently anyway. My wallet, though, does share similarities with Jackson’s. Mine, you’ll be surprised to learn, has a slightly less aggressive statement of machismo; it reads ‘It’s all in the quiff’.

Tonight, I’m sporting the same manly ginger quiff. And a 4-day ginger stubble. And my blackest pair of ginger jeans. If you’re picturing a mutant Johnny Cash spliced with Fry from Futurama, you’re not far off.

This is my persona tonight, and I’m right at home at El Camion in Soho. I’m sucked in by this vibrant booths-and-hot-sauce vibe, this Talking Heads playlist on repeat, and this microcosm of casually dressed hookers, hoodlums and gangsters. One chap in the corner is even wearing a hat indoors (flat cap, not cowboy).

My partner on the El Camion job is a Kiwi; no quiff. He normally resides in Australia, but is currently en route to France and Switzerland. If that combination doesn’t spell ‘Mexican restaurant catch up’ then I don’t what does.

“Shall we order the Royale with cheese?” I ask, stupidly.

“You mean the Yucatan beef nachos?” he retorts.

“Shiiiiit yeh, fool,” I exclaim, as my friend raises an embarrassed eyebrow.

In the interim between now and nachos, a friendly grin delivers a plate of refreshingly mild, chargrilled padron pimentos. We eschew cutlery and get stuck right in with our fingers instead. Yeh, we’re dangerous.

The confusing menu is too complex for its own good and trips us both out. Everything seems to come with a flour-based receptacle of some kind, plus varying degrees of beans, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, lime, cheese and avocado; which, to be fair, is never a bad thing, unless you like variety.

A fully loaded, kaleidoscopic paint gun of Mexican food and colour gets medieval on our asses. It systematically shoots satisfyingly filling gloop right in to our faces for a full two hours; the red snapper and the pork carnitas bitch-slapping us just the way we like it.

The moreish temptations of the greasy puffed scratchings require a tasty beverage to wash them down, so Negra Bodela beers and Corralejo Reposado tequila (with its deliciously potent whiskey after burner) make several appearances.

El Camion is playing Russian roulette with a multitude of hot sauces, each plucked from the hundreds of bottles menacingly decorating one spicy wall of pain, the purpose of which is to reign down upon us with great vengeance and furious anger. Take care of the Mexican fruit, for example, or it will take care of you. That bowl of red powder that is served with the dessert should be approached with caution.

And so, Talking Heads segues into Red Hot Chilli Peppers - which we can only assume is a joke - and we decide that upstairs El Camion is, overall, yapping at the heels of big dog Wahaca, but dishing out a mighty bite nonetheless. It’s not a restaurant for romantic dates, unless you really love ‘Take Me To The River’, or fancy doubling up and sharing (the food, or the love, your decision) on a double date. It is, however, good for catch ups with mates. Mates before dates. Bros before hoes.

Wahaca, it’s worth mentioning, does not have The Pink Chihuahua, though. Down there in the basement, that’s where shit really gets interesting. We all know what happened to Zed and the Gimp when they took Bruce Willis into the basement.

The Pink Chihuahua is a basement dive bar that’s poky and slightly tacky; which is exactly why we love it. Whenever someone asks the questions ‘do know of any cool bars in Soho to hold birthday drinks?’ this is the bar you show them.

Over 200 tequilas, a retro music policy that actually includes music sung in Spanish, booth alcoves for doing a bit of business, loaded to the roof with guys (ladies, pay attention), preferred by girls with tattoos (guys, pay attention!), and, due to its super late license, this is the Soho bar that all other Soho bar workers keep in business after they finish work. One might ask, where do they go after The Pink Chihuahua?

My Kiwi partner looks at me and says, “So, we happy?”

I straighten my collar, and retouch my quiff before saying, “Yeh, we happy.”

That Pink Chihuahua, now he’s a bad mother f*cker. more

Customer Reviews for El Camion & The Pink Chihuahua

Average (based on 3 votes): 3 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of El Camion & The Pink Chihuahua.

“Dont waste your time, you can set up membership as they say you should before getting there and with no warning on the website about capacity. Turn up with your friends and deal with an unsympathetic bouncer who has no qualms about ruining your Saturday night by telling you that unless you book a table, you are not coming in! I dont waste my time with dingey little places with attitude.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Tanya, London (6 years 5 months 28 days ago)

“The upstairs restaurant is quick and cosy and serves a variety of the same thing over and over. Whatever you order, it'll come loaded with guacamole, beans, cheese, lettuce etc etc. It's decent, but not in the same league as Wahaca. The decor is cool though and the staff are lively. The real reason to come here is the hidden downstairs bar, the Pink Chihuahua. What a find! Open late, so all the bar workers in Soho come here. Massive array of cocktails and tequilas and some nice refreshing beers to boot. The tunes are awesome too. Will interest all the boys and girls who like boys (bit of sausage fest) but the atmosphere is really friendly.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
The Restaurant Hunter, London (8 years 7 months 12 days ago)

“A nice intimate little Mexican restaurant with some unusual varieties on the normal fare.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Helen Joy, London (10 years 2 months 6 days ago)

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Great value menu of authentic food and drink, influenced by the best of Baja California, in an informal setting. With a menu based around classic burritos and tacos, and available for both eat-in and take-away.

Updated 15/11/2010


A cocktail bar downstairs, headed up by Dick Bradsell, offers speciality margaritas and batidas, alongside a menu of bar snacks. The bar is styled after a speakeasy, lit by candles and treads the line between stylish and Mexican kitsch. Four large banquettes under arches form ‘caves’ which can be booked for groups of up to 10, with plenty of bar stools and tables for smaller gatherings.

Updated 17/05/2010

El Camion & The Pink Chihuahua Opening Hours

Monday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm Friday: 12:00pm - 12:00am
Tuesday: 12:00pm - 12:00am Saturday: 12:00pm - 12:00am
Wednesday: 12:00pm - 12:00am Sunday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm
Thursday: 12:00pm - 12:00am    

Additional Information

El Camion & The Pink Chihuahua Hire Details

El Camino’s menu is ideal for groups, banquettes in the restaurant seat up to six, and banquettes can be booked in the bar for groups of up to 10. The bar can be taken over in its entirety, during the day or in the evening, for groups of up to 50

Updated 17/05/2010

Name: El Camion Bar
Type: Restricted Area
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 0 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: Optional
Capacity: 50
Notes: The bar is a sophisticated space, with ‘caves’ providing an intimate setting. Call to discuss hire options. Minimum spend variable depending on hire date.

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