RAISE A GLASS TO THE DAY OF THE DEAD

TYNESIDE’s newest Mexican restaurant is celebrating the Day of the Dead with a festival of fire and flavour.

Dia de Muertos – held annually on 2 November – is one of the biggest dates in the Mexican calendar, when families and friends honour those who have died.

And, in celebration of the festival, customers at Jesmond’s El Paso, Osborne Road, on Friday 2 November, will be greeted by stilt walkers and fire eaters and a choice of tequila-based cocktails created in honour of the occasion.

The 100-cover restaurant, formerly Scalini’s, is owned by Newcastle-based Malhotra Group plc and diners who arrive one hour before their table booking to have drink in the upstairs bar, will receive a complimentary El Jimador Tequila sharing cocktail.

One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is spicy, Almost Death sauce, which is made to a closely guarded recipeand can be added to everything from tacos and tapas to omelettes and burritos.

For those who like a slightly milder meal, there is plenty to choose from, such as Mexican cerviche – a Latino-style seabass – pibil pork, which is slowly roasted with strong citrus flavours and asparagus baja; a vegan taco with Mexican slaw and pickled chillies.

Signature tacos include Cajun crispy beef with charred pineapple and sour cream pesto and chorizo and monkfish with pea guacamole and chipotle mayo.

The Latino tapas range includes tempura king prawns with charred pineapple and chilli jam, a vegan option of sweet potato bravas with garlic aioli and ribeye steak with chimichurri salsa. 

A Latino Platas section offers main courses of pan-fried salmon with chorizo and Mexican salad, chicken with chipotle rice and sour cream and steak with green beans, pancetta peppers and corn, while diners can also choose from a range of baked burritos and chicken, beefand fish burgers served with skinny fries.

Meals can then be rounded off with desserts such as rice pudding with tonka beans, churros with passion fruit and natilla chocolate sauce, ice creams and sorbets.

El Paso is open daily from 10am to 11pm (last orders for food 9.45pm) with brunch served between 10am and 2pm. For more information, or to book, call 0191 240 7777 or book online at  https://elpasojesmond.co.uk/book-now/