In Reviews

Have you found yourself rubbing your eyes as you cautiously, tentatively step outside of your home to take a peek? Questioning - are the rumours true?  Is the city coming back to life? Are we really allowed to hug people? Make plans? See actual real-life friends IN PERSON and INSIDE restaurants? *whispers to prevent breaking the spell* We are. We can do this now. But we have to remember that some things are looking a little bit different than they did before.  Like Jack Skellington in ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ we’re inspecting all the unfamiliar things and muttering “What’s this? What’s this?” What is this gorgeous dark green/blue building? What was it before? What is it called now? Come with me (virtually, though – we’re still limited to six people or two households inside!) and I will draw back the elegant, dark velvet curtain of mystery so we can peer inside together….

Ta da! It’s the super-cool, strongly art-focused, digital nomad enticing ‘The Old Pier at Selina’ hotel. Only it’s not just a hotel. ‘Selina’ has 48 stylish bedrooms. The type of event space that you’ll warm to so much, you’ll want to CREATE an event to hold there. Or attend one the venue is hosting. Think Yoga, Life Drawing, Interviews, Workshops, Launch Parties…you get the idea. The room has been curated by local artist Amy Isle Freeman features a bar and an area that screams (or speaks slowly and loudly) ‘Welcome to Nana’s lounge – make yourself comfortable. Fancy a biscuit?’ Offers friendly co-working space and wellness areas to encourage work, rest and play. But what about the food, I hear you ask? Well, mi amigo, let me introduce you to the fabulous modern Mexican Restaurant - TLALOC. Headed up by the super-charming Xavi Buendia, who is from Mexico City and, handily, a talented (award-winning!) food photographer. Tlaloc (think one cha from Cha-cha-cha and add ‘lock’ as in ‘lock and key’) is named after the supreme god of the rain for pre-Hispanic Mexica culture. Tlaloc was also a deity of earthly fertility and of water. He was worshipped as a beneficent giver of life and sustenance. I told you we would be uncovering mysteries together, didn’t I! Don’t you feel just a little bit more informed than you did five minutes ago? I know I do.

The ethos of Tlaloc is ‘Mexican Soul – Locally Sourced’. Ah, cool, I thought, Mexican - Burritos and stuff.’ WRONG!!!! It’s MODERN Mexican which elevates the menu to another, really interesting, level. Let’s DIVE a little deeper….

  • Oyster with Hibiscus, Jalapeno & Wakama
  • Paired with a glass of Ridgeview Bloomsbury

Wait. What??? Oysters at a Mexican restaurant. Whatever next? Hibiscus flower, Jalapeno Pepper and Wakama seaweed. That’s what’s next. The flavour combination really works. VisitBrighton loves it when VB partners work together. Local supporting local is so important for independent businesses to thrive, so seeing Ridgeview Wine Estate (a family business established in 1995 and a mere 20-minute drive from Brighton) being selected by Tlaloc to supply award-winning English Sparkling Wine gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside (or is that the wine?)

  • Hibiscus Margarita

Hell yeah. The world needs more hibiscus flavoured things. It’s tart-sweet and works exceptionally well in a Margarita. Salud!

  • Tostadas

Tostadas are a thing of beauty. (Helped by the fact that the natural light at the front of the restaurant is PERFECT for Instagram-perfect pics!) Tlaloc served me three varieties - Monkfish Aguachile - Pork Belly & Ranchero Mole - Gobernador Prawns. Every person on my table favoured a different one. The Monkfish Aguachile was mine.

  • Bestido de Vivir Tequila Reposado

Well, you can’t expect to go to the opening of a new Mexican restaurant and not have a shot of tequila or mezcal, eh? (Tequila is technically a mezcal but there are differences in production technique and agave used – see! We’re still learning!) Although, Tlaloc is not actually new – they have popped up a few places since 2018. You may have come across them before at the Golden Pineapple Cocktail Bar on Ship Street, or during a lockdown collaboration with Kindling Restaurant, or a food stand with Pelicano Coffee on The Level.

  • Tres Leches

Using Duolingo to learn five minutes of Spanish every day (or risk a judgemental owl telling you how you’ve made it feel sad) has finally paid off! I can confidently confirm that Tres Leches translates into Three Milks (with a silent ‘Cake’ on the end). Sponge cake soaked in three types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. Topped with strawberries. Sounds bonkers - like there too many milk products involved. Tastes brilliant - like exactly the right amount.

Tlaloc Restaurant serves:

  • Breakfast. For the guests of Selina hotel only.
  • Brunch 10am-12pm (Huevos Rancheros, quesadillas…)
  • Dinner. Guests MUST book.
  • Adults. Guests are welcome from 13 years old. 
  • Dogs. Huh? You read that right – well behaved dogs ARE allowed.

Let’s reflect on the GENUIS of that for a moment. 3.2 million pets were bought in 2020. That’s a lot of animals who aren’t going to quite understand when their owners, home for approximately 22.5 hours of every day, start to go out again. It seems to me that there are tough choices to make: Either accept your chewed up sofa or look forward to a future of completing Netflix while scrolling Facebook to see the dogless families enjoying nights out. But, all is not lost – sensible (and fun!) restaurants like Tlaloc have come up with a third, more agreeable option – take your dog to dinner. ‘Doggie Dates’ if you will.

So, we’ve explored inside, discussed the wonderful food, marvelled at Xavi’s multiple talents. Any other nooks and crannies to inspect? Hmm…well, It’s worth noting that Tlaloc’s thorough COVID-19 policy is in place to keep everyone safe.  Plus, I have to mention the front of house team – Victor, Katrin & Joao. What a lovely welcome. I was looked after so well and they didn’t even mock me when I attempted to devour the oyster in an elegant fashion but failed. It was messy! But what do you expect when you haven’t had to eat around other people since Christmas? I thank you for not pointing and laughing too. Well, it’s been fun exploring the world of Tlaloc, Selina at The Old Pier and Amy’s Room, Brighton with you. Now….where shall we go next time?




Tlaloc is the new resident restaurant at Selina Hotel on Brighton’s vibrant sea-front. Tlaloc is known for their authentic Mexican flavours in the food and drinks offer.



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