It really doesn’t feel like it was nine years ago when Thomasina Miers (Tommi, as she prefers to be called) won Masterchef.

Back in 2005, mainstream Mexican food consisted of beige soggy nachos and fajitas. When the first Wahaca opened its doors in Covent Garden, in terms of alternative international cuisines, Nandos was a relatively new concept in the UK but was expanding at a fast rate.

Wachaca now has 12 restaurants in London and with the constant rumours of an expansion to the north, we had to pay Wahaca a visit.

Since our first holiday to Mexico we have been massive fans of the food, especially the street food we sampled in Playa del Carmen. Neon pink onions, fresh salsas made with tomatillos, tangy guacamole, lobster tostadas and amazing sipping Tequilas.

chicken Mole

Wahaca is based around the experiences Tommi and co-founder Mark Selby discovered during their time in Mexico City. They wanted the restaurant to capture the vibrancy of the Cantinas and the culture of sharing food.

We visited their restaurant at Waterloo. As soon as we came out of the train station we could see the white sign swinging in the wind. The large glass windows drew what little light there was on this rainy day onto the wood panels, colourfully decorated foosball table and the stairs leading down to the main eating area.

We were seated at one of the banquettes and given the menu, the waiter then proceeded to scribble all over it (one of my pet peeves). The Menu is in five sections: Nibbles, Street Food, Platos Fuertes  (bigger plates), sides and puddings.

Seeing as we were in for lunch we went for a few of the street food dishes, and the Frijoles & tortilla chips.

The black bean sauce was smooth and the vegetable stock helped to balanced the flavour (where I suppose you would have used pork bits to get the balance).

Frijoles & tortilla chips

The star of the meal had to be the pork pibil tacos which was all types of spicy lovely-ness, with the right amount of pink onions. I would have been happy with a spoon and a large bowl of this.

Pork pibil 3

The potato and chorizo quesadillas was a favourite of the Other Half, I loved the way the chorizo was speckled within so you could taste the smoked flavour with every bite.

potato and chorizo Quesadillas

We were in and out in 30 minutes (we could have stayed for longer but we were meeting friends elsewhere).  Along with the bill came what at first I thought were some matches but, on further inspection were some chilli seeds.

Wahaca as a brand has enabled some amazing Mexican flavours in to the mainstream and widened appetite for this cuisine. It does give me hope that one day there might be a similar outlet for other cuisines, such as caribbean food, only time will tell.

Wahaca: http://www.wahaca.co.uk

PS.if you ever do find yourself in Leeds, please visit my favourite restaurant, which so happens to be a Mexican one, Pinche Pinche. There is always something truly amazing on the specials board.

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  • That pork pibil is the stuff that dreams are made of – I always make sure to order it when I go to wahaca! Their churros are also pretty dreamy.

    Pinche Pinche blows them out of the water though – it’s my favourite as well!

    • Rebecca

      Did not have time for the Churros, really wished I had tried them.