Tuesday, 28 May 2013

A London Lunch No. 10: Wahaca – Mexican Street Food

So I’m heading to Mexico this weekend for this first time and on a recent holiday retail jaunt to Westfield Stratford with the boyf, we decided to get in the mood for the Mexican cuisine by heading to Wahaca.

The rapidly expanding chain has Thomasina Miers' name to it, and has been a firm casual favourite of mine for a few years – having spent many a lunch hour in the Covent Garden branch. This was the boyfriend’s first time at Wahaca and he has been quickly converted to this style of eating small plates as and when they arrive at the table, according to the varying cooking times.

We ordered some Guacamole with Tortillas and a Citrus Fizz each whilst we mulled over the menu. The guacamole was chunky, flavourful, citrusy and with that all-important chilli kick – absolutely delicious. The Citrus Fizz is like an innocent version of a mojito – sparkling water over crushed mint and lime – utterly refreshing and moreish.

We chose six small dishes – all priced very reasonably under the £4.50 mark. The first is my favourite – I cannot enter Wahaca without ordering it – the Pork Pibil Tacos. You get three mini soft corn tacos topped with the most delicious slow-cooked pork which is in a salty, smoky and meaty juice and topped with sweet, pickled pink onions and zingy coriander. It is completely unpretentious but one of the most satisfying little plates of food. We also had the Chicken Tinga Tacos – these again were topped with shredded, slow-cooked chicken in a barbecue style sauce topped with chilli and crema – and it was sensational.


We tried the Ceviche Tostadas as well, a first for me at Wahaca, and whilst it was pleasant enough, I probably wouldn’t repeat. Fresh and fragrant it was, but having eaten such great alternatives at Ceviche and Lima recently, it just didn’t live up to those standards. There was very little flavour from the scallops which was disappointing – Glen loved it though, so maybe give it a try.

Another first for me was the Potato and Chorizo Quesadilla. This had a lovely smoky taste running through from the chorizo and the melted cheese made it feel quite naughty but very, very nice. I have to say this, like a good slice of pizza, tastes oh so much better if eaten with your hands – it’s one of those kind of dishes.

Our final two dishes were the Marinated Chicken Taquitos and the Green Rice – both of which were good. The taquitos had the most fragrant, moist and tasty chicken inside and were topped with a refreshing citrusy green salad and a generous topping of crumbly and delicious Lancashire cheese – gorgeous. The rice is a beautiful looking little plate; blitzed coriander and onion make for the unmistakable flavours and colours of Mexican cuisine – once again showing that a simple dish can be so, so good. 

‘Simple yet satisfying’ is the mainstay of Wahaca and it never disappoints for me. I have enjoyed many a lunch at the various outposts and I’m sure I will continue to do so. There are tons of Mexican restaurants and burrito bars in London these days and I have tried a good selection, but what Wahaca has above most that I’ve tried, is you don’t come away with that awful bloated feeling and I think this had a lot to do with the quality of the ingredients and the freshness of everything used. Oh and with change from £30 for a very enjoyable and filling lunch for two I just don’t think you can go wrong.

If anybody has any recommendations for foodie or otherwise things to do in Cancun or the Riviera Maya in Mexico please do comment below.

Wahaca on Urbanspoon

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