WAHACA - REVIEW - 17TH MAY 2012
I am a huge fan of Wahaca. I first visited the restaurant when the Covent Garden branch opened, after watching Thomasina Miers win Masterchef, and was very impressed. So much so that I have her Mexican cookbook ‘Mexican Food Made Simple’ and the restaurant is somewhere I visit often with family and friends. I shall also be looking out for the Wahaca sauces that have just launched in Sainsbury’s and if they’re anything like the ones in the restaurants, they’ll be a very welcome store cupboard addition.
When I heard that Wahaca had launched some new summer dishes to the menu, I was very eager to try them so was excited to pay a visit to the Covent Garden branch last Thursday night. As always, it was heaving and had the usual fun, easy going vibe that Wahaca always has.
My diner and I started with a Margarita and a Pacifico while we perused the new menu. Served in thick glass beakers, made in Mexico and imported to the restaurant, Wahaca’s Margaritas really hit the spot. I visited Mexico last year and these really do compare to the ones I had there extremely well.
I love Wahaca’s menu as no matter how hungry you are, they have something for you. Whether it’s a couple of street food dishes (large tapas style portions), a burrito, a taco or a salad, there is something for everyone.
We decided to opt for street food so that we could give a lot of the new summer dishes a try and we ordered - Chicken Tinga Tacos, Cactus Tacos, Broad Bean & Feta Quesadillas and Summery New Potato Taquitos from the summer menu, along with Chicken Taquitos, Green Rice and Sweet Potato.
The Chicken Tinga was smoky and had quite a kick with the chipotle adobo sauce and the Cactus Taco was sweet from the cactus, which is something I hadn’t tried before, topped with grilled cheese which gave it the right amount of saltiness. The Summery New Potato Taquitos were delicious and the potato really melted in your mouth and worked well with the crunch of the taco. The Chicken Taquitos is a favourite of mine and is similar to the new potato topped with shredded lettuce, cheese and fresh tomato salsa but with really tender, marinated chicken.
The star of the dishes on the night was definitely the Broad Bean & Feta Quesadillas for me. Combining three of my favourite flavours - peas, feta and mint with broad beans and new potatoes was mouthwateringly amazing. In fact, just writing this is making me want to have another one right now.
The rice, blitzed with coriander, onion and garlic was extremely tasty, and is something I’ve tried to make myself at home, but it’s never as good. The sweet potato was almost like pudding, caramelised and fried giving the sweet potato a sticky and chewy consistency.
We were pretty full to the brim after a table full of street food and two margaritas and beers but I just had to sample the new summer pudding - Hotcake & Dulce De Leche, which is a buttery pancake topped with vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche and sprinkled with caramelised peanuts. I am more of a savoury than a sweet person and this was perfect for me as it wasn’t too sweet as the pancake balanced out the sweetness of the ice cream and dulce de leche sauce.
The new menu is as wonderful as the old menu and Wahaca remains somewhere that I will be returning to time and time again. It is remarkably reasonable and the service is always attentive and quick. They are opening a pop-up on the South Bank this summer along with a Breakfast Bar and Market Store and I cannot wait to try both.
Dotty Dishes was a guest of Wahaca.
Wahaca, 66 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4HG.