Before Wahaca, my experiences with Mexican food were limited. Occasional dubious run-ins with refried beans didn’t endear me and then there are the yellow kits that feature heavily in my dinner repertoire. Not exactly authentic.
So Wahaca, billing itself as Mexican market eating is a breath of fresh air. The four of us are here today at the Waterloo Wahaca for a quick pre-theatre meal before heading off for a dose of culture at the Old Vic. I’m concerned the queues are going to be prohibitive but the restaurant is large, brightly and colourfully lit and charms us instantly.
While we peruse the menu, we start off with a round of cocktails. We’ve all plumped for the Tamarind Twist, a sweet/sour long drink with a hint of spice. This is delicious, ticking all the sweet and sour boxes but with such a lot of ice, it disappears far faster than hoped.
Today we opt to share; the menu recommends 3-4 street dishes per person and we have no trouble listing off all the items we want on our hit list.
We have the Wahaca selection – a mixed range of items for 2 people and top up with more items – including a Chicken Burrito, Crispy fried sweet potato, Tostada’s, Taquitos and Quesadillas.
The tostadas are corn tortillas, piled high with topping and salad and are fresh, zingy and a far cry from the world of refried beans. The sweet potato chunks are meaty, sweet and a strong umami flavour making this the dish that was demolished the fastest. The pork tacos were superbly flavoursome but were a little oily compared to the fresh tastes on the table.
The quesadillas were hot and filling but compared to the other options on the table, these weren’t my top choice.
We finished off with the meal with what I think is simply the best thing to come out of Mexico – Churros! Since there are 4 of us, we greedily order both a Chocolate & Dulce de Leche version. The waitress misunderstood and only delivered one version but once we brought it to the staff’s attention, they apologised effusively and threw in our desserts for free! Not a necessary gesture, but one that warmed our hearts.
We remain divided on whether the chocolate or caramel version was superior – I’ll let you make up your own mind. And if you really can’t decide, then make your way to Greenwich market – there lies a stand that fills, yes fills Churros with a half and half combo of both!