Food Searching in Elephant & Castle – La Chatica 

My best friend and I were planning to go to an exhibition in the Imperial War Museum near Elephant & Castle. I know that there are a few interesting and little known places to eat around the area so was pretty excited. Not to mention this not my normal stomping grounds and don’t venture here much often (only for clubs and Halloween parties!)

After some research we decided on La Chatica, a Latin American cafe/deli/bakery. I’ve always enjoyed trying out new cuisine and Latin American is one that I’m only a little acquainted with so couldn’t wait!!! The front of the cafe was a pleasant surprise, set in the archways at the side of the infamous Elephant & Castle shopping centre and I felt like I was in a sweet shop as soon as we walked in!!!

We were greeted by an array of baked goods, imported goods and the shop at the back. There were so much to choose from and we were stumped especially since we didn’t have the foresight to check the menu first (make sure you do that if you’re not familiar with the cusine)!!! The place was mostly full of Latin Americans and we didn’t want to ask about everything on display so we just choose the most appealing items on the menu. Although there were other tempting looking things on display. We ordered our food at the counter and then waited for our food to arrive.

We both ordered Arepa Antioqueña, one with pork belly and one with chorizo, then as my eyes wondered I saw some Tamales which I love so I wanted to order some but seeing that on the menu that was only Tamal so we ordered that as well. Haha when the food arrived I noticed my mistake… The dishes all come with a hot drink which we didn’t fancy so we asked to change to a cold drink. Unfortunately we weren’t allow to change to the juice, only the bottled drinks. This was actually behind the counter so we couldn’t see and asked the waiter to just give us 3 different flavours! All this came to less than £18 and with generous portion!!! 

We were very much looking forward to trying the food and was not disappointed, my favourite was definitely the Tamal which is actually a much bigger version of tamales!!! Lol!!! If you’re not familiar with this dish, it’s a steamed or boiled leaf parcel of starchy corn based dough which can be filled with meats, cheese or other ingredients. This actually have always reminded me of the Chinese Zong , a filled glutinous rice parcel, normally in a triangular shape and eaten at Dragon Boat festival. The one we were served was full of flavour and packed with chicken that fell straight off the bone!!!

The Arepa Antioqueña were also good, especially the chorizo which was very different to the Spanish chorizo. It was more like a normal sausage but with strong flavour! Nevertheless it was still delicious and the beans that came with it was very filling. However the arepa themselves were disappointing. They were described as cornbread on the menu and I stupidly imagined the U.S. version. Wrong!!! This was more a flat bread made with white corn flour that was dry and tasteless….

The juices were also a bit of an adventure, we had Blackberry (ok, nothing special), Soursop (interesting, the texture was a bit gloupy and hard to swallow) and Passion Fruit (tasted great but not that exciting)

All in all it was a great experience and there were so many other things I wanted to try but my stomach refused!!! I think I definitely need to come back to try more, especially the empanadas which everyone else ordered!!!

We walked out of the cafe and noticed an intriguing building across the road. As we had a lot of time on our hands we decided to have a look. This place is called The Artworks Elephant, I’ve now founded it was opened mid last year and it’s similar to Boxpak in Shoreditch. It wasn’t very busy when we went in but looks like there’s a lot of fun and independent shops/restaurants. This is another reason that I should come pack and check out this hood again soon!!!

 

I’m loving all the archway restaurants you get in South London
  

All look so fresh!!!
    
This was how we decided what to ordered!!! They are making me hungry now!!!
  
There’s a shop at the back for all your Latin American craving!!! I wanted to try everything but didn’t really know what they were!!! lLol!!!
  
Interesting drinks!
  
This was so good!!!
  
The chorizo is different and I loved it!!!
  
The pork belly was a little chewy but had good flavour!
 
We ordered too much as always, the waitress actually brought us 3 sets of cultery!!! Haha!!!
 
The Artworks Elephant
  
From the courtyard it reminds me of Kingly Court on Carnaby St!!!
 

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