Last weekend me and Hayley went to London to celebrate her 21st birthday, and on the Friday we headed to Wahaca for a pre-theatre dinner. After hearing so many great things about this Mexican eatery owned by Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers, it had jumped to the top of my list of restaurants to visit in London.
When we arrived, we were greeted by a vibrant, bustling atmosphere and the delicious smells coming from the open kitchen. We quickly settled into our seats (next to the kitchen so we could eye up all the delicious looking dishes!) and scanned through their small, but attractive, cocktail menu. Whilst Hayley ordered the Passion Fruit Margarita, I opted for a classic with a Mojito. My mojito was fantastic! Refreshing and light, with the perfect amount of mint, and just a delight to drink.
Onto the food menu, which offers an attractive selection of small plates to share (a bit like Mexican tapas) and some main dishes. As it all sounded so good, we went for the first option so that we could sample lots of different dishes off the menu. But first we ordered the Fresh Tomato Salsa with Tortilla Chips to nibble on whilst we waited for our food. Although I thought the tortilla chips were a bit dry, the salsa was delicious! It tasted so fresh and flavoursome, and I liked the zing of lime that ran through it too.
Our waitress hadn’t explained how our food would come out, so when our first few dishes arrived before even our drinks had or we’d finished our nibbles, I was very surprised and confused. I would have preferred to enjoy and finish our tortilla chips with our cocktails and then eat our main dishes, or at least be warned in advance first that it all just comes when it’s ready..
However it did ensure our food was hot when we came round to eating it, starting with the Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla which was one of my favourite dishes that we ordered. In between the crispy tortillas was plenty of gooey cheese and tender chicken in a smoky, sweet sauce.
The first of our tacos was the Pork Pibil Tacos; the soft, warm tortillas were were loaded with lots of deliciously tender pulled pork.
We also have the Grilled British Steak Taco with Grilled Cheese and Salsa, which were filled perfectly cooked steak and more of their fresh, zingy salsa. Although the tacos were both tasty, they didn’t particularly wow me as much as I’d thought they would and I preferred the other dishes that we ordered.
We couldn’t not order the Sweet Potato – Crispy Fried Chunks of Sweet Potato, Dressed with Smoky Caramelised mojo de ajo. I loved that Wahaca hadn’t just offered sweet potato fries like most places, but instead had tried out something different with them which really, really worked! The crispy cubes of sweet potato had a soft, fluffy cenre and a deliciously sticky, sweet caramelised coating. A fantastic side dish!
The addition of the crema and cheese to the Frijoles – Rich, Creamy Black Beans cooked twice for flavour, served with Crumbled Cheese and Crema – really lifted this dish. And the smooth, creamy texture of the beans made it a wonderful little dip too.
Although all the staff were friendly, they weren’t very talkative or personable. They were also so efficient that the whole meal felt a little rushed and we were in and out of Wahaca in just 45 minutes! So I’d personally say it’s more suited to a pre-theatre dinner or lunch when you’re short on time, rather than for a long, chilled meal where you want to take your time and relax for a few hours.
However the prices were fantastic and I thought that it was great value for money as our meal came to just £17 each, which covered 1 cocktail each and sharing 6 dishes! Along with fab cocktails, delicious food and a great atmosphere, I think I’ve found a new go-to place when I’m in London and I’ll definitely be visiting again.
Disclosure: We paid for our own food and cocktails, and all opinions expressed are honest and my own