Review: Wahaca

Tacos aren't just for Tuesdays; you can find them any day of the week at Wahaca. We sent writer Erica Pilavaki to Wahaca to feast on tacos and more.


Wahaca (which is the phonetic spelling of the Mexican State of Oaxaca) is a restaurant chain serving Mexican-style street food, co-founded by Thomasina Miers, who won Masterchef in 2005. You can always spot a Wahaca from miles away, no matter how bad your eyesight is, by the vibrant, eye-catching colours which immediately transport you to sunnier climes.


After eyeballing the very inviting yet predictable sounding menu, we found the usual suspects lined up: quesadillas, tacos, burritos, nachos, guac, etc., with a few dishes putting a tantalising twist on the traditional. The drink section is extensive with a variety of snazzy margaritas, Mexican beers, tequilas and modern interpretations of classic cocktails, and for £7/£8 a pop, you get the sense you could easily mislay an afternoon here.



We ordered:

  • Pork Pibil, slow-cooked in citrus & spices & pink pickled onion taco

  • British bavette steak with grilled cheese, tomatillo & avocado salsa taco

  • Slow-cooked beef brisket served with black beans taco

  • Crispy fried Buttermilk chicken with pink pickled onions & spiced mayo taco

  • Sustainable battered pollock with shredded slaw, chipotle mayo & pickled cucumber taco

  • Chorizo with crushed potato & cheese quesadilla

  • Sweet potato & feta taquito with caramelised onion, salsas & chipotle mayo in a crisp blue corn tortilla

  • Frijoles creamy black beans served with crumbled cheese

  • P.S. Vegetarians are well catered for, too, with 50% of the menu being veggie.


Now before you judge me on my heavy taco ordering, Mexicans consume tacos the same way that we suck down flat whites; meeting up with a mate to chat over a taco or two or five is the Mexican version of catching up for coffee and also, to be downright frank with you, I love nothing more to eat with my hands. I might have over-ordered, but that's common practice when eating out with me.


Now, my only gripe is that most of this food came out too quickly, which is absolutely brilliant if we were dining indoors. However, due to having to dine in the chilly outdoors, I felt an overwhelming rush to eat as much as possible at a ferociously fast rate as to not let the food go cold. All the same, it all went down very well. You might be surprised to hear that my favourite savoury dish was the earthy favoured frijoles. If I closed my eyes, I'd instantly be transported back to Mexico City, eating refried beans with every meal. I honestly could have eaten a giant tub of the stuff.

Onto the sweet spot of the review, for dessert, we had the Banoffee empanada filled with caramelised plantain & a touch of rum, with coconut oat crumble & vanilla ice cream. Crunchy, hot and cold sensations, sweet and boozy, this for me was the highlight and the object of my great affection. Although small, this devilish dessert packed a punch and left me licking my lips over and over again. We ordered one to share, and on reflection, that was a bad decision.


The atmosphere at Wahaca is relaxed and welcoming. If you're ever bouncing around London and need a spot for a quick meal or the opposite, after a long night of tequila and dining, you now know where to go.


www.wahaca.co.uk


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Chatting Food Contributor: Erica Pilavaki