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I’ve been hearing good things about Wahaca for ages. Self-advertised as Mexican street food, it’s bound to be a winning formula. Plus they’re keen to emphasise the ethical side of the business, by buying UK-only meat from ‘trusted’ farms, although their chicken is not free-range. Their branch at Southbank is particularly interesting – it’s built from 8 recycled shipping containers and also acts as a trial location for new dishes (I don’t know if they’re still serving up grasshoppers, but from the sounds of things, we can expect some exciting stuff).
Despite my slow introduction to Wahaca, I’ve now been to both the Covent Garden and Charlotte Street branches. I enjoyed my meals both times. The décor is fresh, colourful and modern, the staff extremely helpful and food is delivered promptly and beautifully presented.
Then there’s the food. You can’t really go wrong when ordering at Wahaca, but equally you won’t have a taste-induced orgasm. The food is simple, tasty and uncomplicated, but never rises above pleasant to be really, truly moreish. As a result, it’s been a tricky review to write – for those of you who’ve been, do you agree?
There are two options for ordering at Wahaca: you can either order lots of little dishes and share (recommended) or take a large plate for yourself.
It seems to be a classic to start off with their Guacamole with Tortilla Chips (£3.85). These are perfect for preventing any table-cloth-gnawing whilst waiting for the rest of the dishes, although they never take long to arrive. The chips are fun to munch but I find the guacamole a little bland for my tastes.
One of the most popular little plates is the Pork Pibil Tacos (£3.95) – slow cooked in a Yucatecan marinade with ‘fiery’ pickled onions (it’s a lie – they’re really not that spicy). This is the option for all meat-lovers out there. And whilst I’ve ordered this twice now and would order it again, it is too salty and a little one-dimensional in its taste.
Black Beans & Cheese Quesadillas (£3.60) make a good veggie option but again, there’s nothing too complicated happening taste-wise.
For dessert, the Chocolate Tres Leches Cake (£4.95) with peanut butter ice-cream sounds divine but is actually pretty light on chocolate. Instead, I recommend the Salted Caramel Ice-Cream (£4.25) with shavings of shavings of Valrhona chocolate – but only if you’re prepared to lick the bowl clean in appreciation.
A ridiculously good value deal is the Wahaca Selection (£19.95) for two people to share. It is so generous that many may be defeated and the variety is great: 3 pork pibil tacos,1 large broad bean quesadilla, 3 chicken tinga tacos, 2 black bean tostadas, 2 new potato taquitos, and Wahaca slaw.
Check out some of the dishes below:
One final point: if you want to drink wine at Wahaca, you have to drink it out a thick glass because wine glasses don’t exist in Mexico!?!
Have you dined at Wahaca? Opinions? Is there some divine dish I’ve yet to try? Hit me with your thoughts.
Wahaca 3/5 – Great atmosphere and service. It’s a crowd-pleaser – not spectacular, but perfect for eating out in groups if you haven’t booked anywhere and need some reliable, tasty food.
Where: Bluewater, Canary Wharf, Covent Garden, Charlotte Street, Islington, Soho, Southbank, Stratford, Waterloo, White City
When: Various, see website.