I haven’t eaten much Mexican food in my life, and when I have done, I haven’t been too impressed. Soggy tacos, bland guacamole, not enough flavour; sub-standard Mexican food is in abundance. It’s a shame because on the odd occasion that I have had good Mexican food (I’m thinking of delicious home made quesadillas), I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
Last week I was pleased to visit Wahaca with a Peruvian friend who I hadn’t seen for a couple of months. I watched it’s owner, Thomasina Miers, win Masterchef in 2005 and ever since the first Wahaca opened in 2007, I’ve wanted to try it. And it wasn’t a disappointment. We ordered dishes from the Street Food Menu, small plates with 2 or 3 portions each, made for sharing.
The pork pibil tacos are made from pork, slow cooked until impossibly tender and then served on a soft taco with pickled onions. Definitely the must have dish from the taco section. The tender, marinated chicken taquitos were exactly as described. Soft, juicy chicken stuffed inside a crunchy, fried taquito shell with salsa, sour cream, cheese and salad.
We also ordered the black bean toastada and the chicken guajillo toastada. Oh, and the chorizo and potato quesadillas which were understated but absolutely divine…and they had disappeared before I had a chance to take a photo. :p Needless to say, they were my favourite dish of the day.
The one thing that disappointed me about Wahaca was that the website seems to promise a real Mexican cultural vibe. Now, I’ve never been to Mexico but Wahaca seems less traditional South American market and more modern minimalist. Not a bad thing, the ambience of the restaurant was very nice, but not entirely what I was expecting.
Having said that, it was a quiet lunchtime and I am no expert on Mexican atmosphere or cuisine. All I know was that the 5 dishes we ordered were thoroughly enjoyable, the service attentive and the prices affordable. My one regret is that my stomach and that of my dining companion were too small to accommodate dessert. I had my eye on the chocolate y churros, a classic case of the mind being willing but the body giving up :( Luckily, there is always next time…
80 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0TF
Nearest tube: Leicester Square/ Piccadilly Circus