IT is to their eternal credit that in their selection of restaurants, the team behind the Westgate have avoided the giant chains and gone for relatively small businesses – many of whom are opening for the first time out of London.

In the Westgate Social food court, on the Lower Ground floor, the emphasis is on high quality international street food, with quality burgers from Tommi’s, Ned’s Noodles, Indian food from Rola Wala and Middle Eastern shawarma from Shawa.

Representing Mexican cuisine are the cool lads and lasses of Benito’s Hat.

Lit up in neon, and advertising burritos and margaritas, it has already built up a loyal following – no mean feat in just over a week. I swung round to chat to founder Ben Fordham, and found him hard at work, shoulder to shoulder with his staff filling tacos and burritos.

His love of Mexican street food began while living in Texas for a year. When he came home he says he couldn’t understand why this celebrated cuisine, so well represented across the US, had been so neglected here.

“You could find lots of Mexican food here, but much of it was stodgy. It should be light, fresh and simple!”

He set off on a mission to bring good quality Mexican food to the masses –along with tequila cocktails for fun – and allowing discerning shoppers to enjoy a break with a festival vibe.

There is even locally-roasted Ue coffee. We tucked into tacos, which were light and fluffy– loaded with a choice of sautéed vegetables and guacamole, braised chicken, slow-braised pork chipotle-grilled steak and beef brisket. The highpoint was the fresh and zesty salsa. They were divine, easily better than any other I have tasted on this side of the Atlantic – which, admittedly, isn’t hard – and at around £7 for three, a real bargain. Arriba!

Benito’s Hat,

Westgate Social, Oxford