Wahaca, Covent Garden.
I won’t beat about the bush, Wahaca is somewhere I’ve wanted to go ever since I head Thomasina Miers of Masterchef and Mexican Food Made Simple had opened her first Mexican restaurant. Unfortunately for me all of the restaurants are situated in London which is something like 260 miles away and not somewhere I go to very often.
Luckily there is once a year when I try to make the effort to get to that there London to sample the many beers at the Great British Beer Festival. So after a day (and night) of drinking on Tuedsay and a rather warm night’s sleep in the Easy Hotel at Earls Court, I set off in search of Wahaca in Covent Garden.
It was a baking hot day and the air was claggy and moist so the cool airy basement setting of Wahaca was a welcome break, the size of the place too me by surprise, It was like a rabbit warren much bigger on the inside than it looked from the street.
The decor was great, nice and relaxed, plenty of colour and attention to detail, topped off with a nice atmosphere, It was just after 12 and there was already a few people sat chatting away.
The friendly staff greeted me we a smile and showed me to my table, just tucked out of the way but with a great view of the bar, the waitress explained a little bit about the menu for me before giving me enough time to decide on what I was going to have.
Choosing just what to have was almost impossible, while the menu isn’t massive it is very well thought out and I would have happily eaten just about everything on the menu. The menu it’s self is divided up into Street Food, which are smaller portions allowing you to choose a couple of different dishes to try, Platos fuertes, which are bigger portions, more like traditional restaurant food, then of course there’s a range of sides and deserts. All of these can be accompanied by a large range of Tequilla, various Mexican beers and an interesting range of soft drinks.
In the end after much deliberation I went for Pork Pibil Tacos, Chicken Guajillo Tostadas and a glass of Citrus Fizz. The Citrus Fizz was just what I needed after the events the day before and was the perfect refresher on a hot summers day, not to sweet or sour and with just the right amount of mint, I could have sat and drank pints of the stuff.
The Chicken Guajillo Tostadas arrived first along with some cool fresh salsa and a firey yellow dip, they were just as described on the menu, 2 crisp tortillas piled high with succulent marinated chicken, salad, avocado and pumpkin seeds. They were packed full of flavour and had just a tiny bit of heat so after demolishing the first one I added a splash of the Fuego Maya hot sauce that was on the table and a dollop of the yellow dip to the second, this added an extra dimension and added that little bit of extra zing that I was looking for.
A few minutes after finishing the Tostadas my Pork Pibil Tacos arrived, they smelled and looked amazing, 3 small soft corn tortillas topped with soft, succulent strings of pulled pork coated in a lovely smokey and extremely moreish sauce. I had cleared my plate in no time. Absolutely delicious. I was very tempted to order a 3rd dish when I spotted the Taquitos and Quesadillas on the next table but decided not to be greedy and ask for the bill instead.
My total bill came to just under £10 (£3.95 each for the Pork Pibil and Chicken Guajillo and then £1.50 for the Citrus Fizz) which I think was very well priced, the quality was fantastic, the quantity just right and the service spot on. The bill came accompanied by a little packet of chilli seeds on sticks for easy planting, a lovely little touch which certainly beats mint imperials and cheap chocolates you usually get in places, although it would have been nice if it had the variety of chilli on the packet.
The only things I’d change about my visit would be that I’d have liked the option of a pint or jug of the Citrus Fizz, a couple of different beers…maybe a nice hoppy IPA or dark malty stout and maybe the option of being able to buy some of the awesome yellow sauce or a bottle of the Fuego Maya hot sauce but they are minor things.
If you’re in London and haven’t tried Wahaca then It is definitely worth a visit, now I just wish they would open one up here.