Wahaca opened a couple of years ago in Covent Garden and has recently acquired a little sister in the business district of Canary Wharf. Finding myself with a friend in this part of town on a Saturday, we slipped in for Mexican street food and a cheeky margarita.
The concept is fun, bright and fresh. Wahaca is clear about its influences, but this place does not claim to food exactly as you would eat it on the streets of Guadalajara. Think more like fusion food that has spend a lot of time hanging out in Cancún. The decor is nice and picks up the themes from the Covent Garden location, but as this is the middle of a corporate area of town, it does not have the same buzz, and nor does it have quite the same explosion of colour and the odd-but-it-works quasi-industrial look. Maybe you need to come back at night when the tall buildings of the wharf start to light up…
Back to the food. We started with margaritas, which did the trick. Strong and cold, served in a salt frosted glass. I’m not sure why, but these are very drinkable and very strong, so well worth watching out as you order another. The food comes in quite small portions at reasonable prices, so we both merrily picked out all of our favourites, plumping for vegetable tacos, black bean tostadas, black bean and cheese quesadillas and huitlacoche and feta taquitos. The black beans were absolutely great, rather like comfort food with a Latin twist. We both though that the food was quite cheesy and might have liked a little less if we had been eating more of it, but everything was well executed and utterly delicious.
After mains and a few more margaritas, thoughts turned to dessert, and our eyes were inevitably drawn to the churros. The dough had been fried to golden, crisp perfection and dusted with cinnamon sugar. The chocolate sauce was fantastic – rich, dark, flavoursome and just the right consistency. Oil, chocolate and sugar might not be healthy, but when they come in small portions and are as delicious as these, who can argue? Viva México!