I have decided that I’m not going to dwell too much on this original branch of Wahaca. Mexican cuisine doesn’t belong to the world’s top five, it lingers perhaps within the bottom end of the top ten or maybe even fifteen but certainly not twenty as that’ll be too insulting. Eating Mexican is a change from the norm, it breaks the routine every now and then, but I can never bring myself to eat it everyday as the stodginess and spiciness of its cooking will break me in no time. Historically my tummy has an aversion to this kind of food; I’m not sure what it is, I point the finger at the combination of beans, chilli and cheese. This recent rekindling at Wahaca was indeed welcoming and glad to say no reports of disagreements in the guts department.
I first heard about Wahaca from Su-Lin and this her critique from last Spring. My first and rather positive experience with Wahaca was at its Westfield branch, this can be read here. Came here for lunch one Monday and the oft-reported queue at street level to this basement restaurant was thankfully non-existent.
I like the ambience of this restaurant, it proved more endearing and buzzy than the Westfield branch. The service was great, not too clingy nor inquisitively stalking that’s usually associated with restaurants of this ilk.
The Taquitos with chicken was appreciated by my daughter and myself. As per the Westfield experience the chicken was indeed tender and wonderfully seasoned. Two corn tortillas wrapped around said filling and deep fried. Served with crema, Lancashire cheese and fresh tomato salsa.
Tostadas of Nopalitos- Mexican cactus tossed in fresh tomato salsa and sprinkled with Lancashire cheese. This is fodder for grownups as it was way too spicy for kids, I loved it though!
Guacamole and tortilla chips- so that was supposedly the real McCoy guacamole, now being accustomed to the supermarket variety, I for one am not shy to put my hand up and declare that the Day-Glo green version from Waitrose beats it pants down. You need to know that there’s still a bit of plebeian left in me you know. And to save you the trouble I’m not even going to mention Doritos and MSG…
Quesadillas of Mexican chorizo, fresh thyme and steamed potatoes. This was palatable despite the lack of any chorizo hit, it somewhat reminded me of bombay aloo without the curry spices.
Tacos of shrimp a la diabla- shrimp marinated in chilled chilli salsa on a bed of warm Savoy cabbage. The prawns tasted semi thawed and as a result poor, otherwise the overall composition was surprisingly good.
Like Chinese food, puddings and desserts were scarce and uninspiring on the Wahaca menu. I like the whole concept of the place, I admire the instigator in Thomasina Miers, the lack of any toning down on the dishes to suit unadventurous palates and best of all, one can eat cheap and well here! The only fear I have now is when complacency takes on a new angle should Wahaca start to expand nationwide.
66 Chandos Place
London, WC2N 4HG