I’ve visited Wahaca on a number of occasions but never blogged about it. There is usually the wait for a table to contend with if you choose to visit at a reasonable hour but yesterday Thomas and I head there at around 10 on a wet and windy evening and were seated straight away.
The no bookings policy is slightly irritating and considering their declaration that ‘we believe you should be able to eat whenever you want’ in my opinion they ought to perhaps have a rethink.
The service is usually a bit in your face but this time the waiter was courteous, efficient and non intrusive, as a good waiter should be. We decided to go for the platter for 2 which offers a selection of market style food.
We had this on our first visit here over a year ago and both felt a bit unfulfilled. For £20 it’s certainly good value for money but then we had been disappointed and felt the portions were a little on the measly side.
The new and improved platter provides the following:
Pork Pibil Tacos (pictured at the back). They were so delicious. The pork was juicy and succulent and very rich in flavour, it was falling apart and the Yucatecan marinade (named after a state in Mexico) was smoky in flavour and added an extra zing to the dish.
Also pictured are the Espinacas Tacos with spinach, corn and feta cheese. These were yum but definitely out shined by the pork ones. The tacos were soft, I’d kind of expected them to be hard but was pleasantly surprised. The pork ones in particular bring to mind a sort of Mexican take on a peking duck roll found in Chinese restaurant. But obviously a far superior take on it.
Next came the Smoked Mackerel Tostadas. These were my favourite of the night. The fish was cold which again I had not anticipated but the succulent fish was lightly smoked and not one bit like the smoked mackerel I’m used to. The tomato salsa added a fresh note to this dish, the lettuce and crisp tortilla provided crunch and I found each bite of these to be faultless. I want them now just thinking about them.
Then the Chicken Taquitos arrived, They are deepfried tortillas filled with marinated chicken, topped with tomato salsa and Lancashire cheese. There’s also a creamy sauce drizzled over the top. I felt a bit not fussed about these, they look appealing but tasted just how one might expect a deepfried tortilla to taste, there was nothing notable about them.
The Huitlacoche Quesadillas were by contrast hugely satisfying and came on a plate with the green rice and frijoles. This was the last instalment of the platter and I actually like how the staggered delivery means you’re busy enjoying tucking into one dish to then find your gaze drawn to the latest arrival. It’s all very exciting.
Huitlacoche (or, Mexican Corn Smut as it’s known there, ew!) is quite delicious, here it was used to flavour the combination of South American and British mushrooms and with the oozing melted cheese and all that within the slightly toasted flour tortilla made for a brilliant end to the selection.
The rice was a little on the dry side but the salsas pictured above (served to every table) were put to good use moistening it. The frijoles were delightful, dense and dark and topped with crumbly cheese, much tastier than any black beans I’ve ever tried before.
We rounded things of with Chirros y Chocolate for Thomas,
These doughnuts are wickedly good, crispy and sugary and melt in the mouth in texture. The dark chocolate sauce high in cocoa and perfect with the doughnuts.
I had dessert too, being slightly tipsy from the pre dinner drinks and thinking ‘what the hell’ I opted for the vanilla ice-cream with caramel sauce and toasted pumpkin seeds.
This was creamy and indulgent and worked very well with the doughnuts! I loved this meal, everything about it and the experience. The only downside being my failure to recognise when I’ve had enough wine and instead go down the soft drink route, like Thomas did. The house white is very good though.
Everything tastes so fresh and the sourcing of good quality British ingredients certainly adds to the enjoyment. The Lancashire cheese and the British field mushrooms both fine examples of the benefits of this. Thomasina Myers has a winner here. When I visited for lunch once with Crystal and Em I saw the lady herself grabbing a lunch (she had the Summer Super Salad fyi). With a new branch recently opened at Westfield I can see this fast becoming a chain, without the negative connotations that usually accompany that word!
66 Chandos Place