Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wahaca

Oh Thomasina Miers. You’re so clever. First you win Masterchef and then you make a book about soup. Everyone likes soup. Then you decide to start a restaurant. You begin with modern British, but come to realize that this is what every other pub is doing at the moment and the market is too tight. I can see you now, scouring the internet food forums to see what everyone thinks that London is missing.

And of course it’s authentic Mexican food.

You open in a big space in Covent Garden. You don’t take bookings, because this is casual street food. You make the portions right for sharing, because that’s what we’re all doing these days. You make sure your fish is sustainable and the pork and chicken free range, because we at the top of the food chain need to be nice to the things we eat.

And then you ruin it all by Anglicising the spelling. We’re not idiots. We can work out how to pronounce Oaxaca. You call it Wahaca. I gnash my teeth.

But it’s really not bad. The fish pastor taco is a bit too sweet and too oily but the salmon ceviche tostados are a real winner with great balance between hot chile, sweet salmon and sharp lime. The guacamole needs more salt and more spice, but the Mexican pork scratchings turn out to be one of the best things to dip into anything since food began. Crispy pork skin dipped in avocado or some refried black beans. What do you mean, you can hear my arteries hardening? Pass the salsa.

A quesadilla with broad beans, mint and feta wasn’t half as light and summery as I had hoped, but it was still a delicious cheesy treat. Another with chorizo and potato disappeared quicker than you can say mole. They make a mean margarita, but serve them in champage flutes, which means soon we all have salt rimmed noses. But it’s all fun, in a continental kind of way. World domination is next, with plans to open in a new shopping mall in Hammersmith. I hope they can keep it up, this is a worthy, if a bit posh-mex, addition to the London Mexican food scene.

Wahaca is at 6 Chandos Place, Covent Garden.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous thekua said...

I absolutely love this place as well. I predicted that this year would be London's Year of the Mexican restaurants (they seem to be popping up everywhere). Unfortunately not all of them are that great either.

Last two times I returned to London I had to stop at Wahaca as well. If you get a chance, drop into Leather Lane Market for a Daddy Donkey burrito. Mmmm...

7:44 AM  
Blogger eyeheartwindows said...

I believe that is Oaxaca not Oaxaha :)

8:24 AM  
Blogger Suzi Edwards said...

I am an idiot. Have edited.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

talking of spelling, isn't it Thomasina Miers not Myers?

9:29 AM  
Blogger Suzi Edwards said...

My god, the corrections are out in force today.

You are indeed right and I have edited.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous John Scott said...

I don’t often disagree with your comments on places I have been to or your views on food.

However...

I went to this place and they fed me a vegetarian thing with chicken in it - idiots.

I thought the place was far too cool for its own good, the food was over priced and underwhelming and the waitress wouldn’t leave us alone. And the beer was way too expensive!

11:39 PM  

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