In the kitchen with: Michelle Salazar De La Rocha

Born and bred in northwest of Mexico, Michelle continued her family’s cooking legacy with her business partner and now-husband Sam Napier upon moving to the UK. Their freckled tortillas formed the basis of what quickly became known as the best tacos in London. Now, after taking a breather from the storm of Sonora Taqueria’s success, Michelle and Sam are coming to Arcade Food Hall with their alter ego: Mexa.

The seafood element of Mexa’s menu is made up of two dishes- ceviche and aguachile- both based on the same principle of curing seafood on acid. “People also use orange or pineapple but because ours in Sinaloan we use lime,” says Michelle. Ceviche de lobina (of seabass) is a recipe passed down through Michelle’s family. Crispy tostadas (fried corn tortillas) are topped with a thin layer of creamy mayo, cold lime cured seabass ceviche, fresh avocado and salsa negra. 


The texture of the aguachile (cured prawn) is a little more raw; Michelle describes it as “different and exciting to eat”. The prawns are butterflied, cured in lime until they blush pink, and mixed with a vibrant salsa verde of blended lime juice, coriander and jalapeño. The aguachile is plated with razor-fine cucumber and red onion slices, salsa Negra and cracked chillies served with totopos (tortilla chips). Both dishes are fresh, punchy and “perfect with a Bloody Mary for a hangover”. 


Corn tortillas lay the foundation for toppings such as suadero (confit brisket) with coriander and salsa roja; carnitas (confit pork) with pickled onion and salsa verde; and grilled nopales (cactus) with caramelised onion and fresh cheese. Quesadillas come generously filled in two forms: lamb birria (spicy stew) with consommé and Gobernador (named after a taco famously created for a Sinaloan Governor) with sauteed prawns, melted cheese and salsa roja.

Get your ceviche, taco and quesadilla fix along with margaritas and mezcal at Arcade’s Mexican fiesta on 18th and 25th September. Plus be in with a chance to win two return flights to Mexico to experience the flavours that inspired Mexca! Find out more here

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