BY PALOMA LACY
Anyone for cricket salsa? It’s gone pretty quiet out there all of a sudden. This was one of the specials on when I visited Wahaca in Wimbledon last month.
A tad queasy at the thought, my accompanying friend thought we ought to jump out of our comfort zone and try something new so we did. Verdict?
It was okay. Not unpleasant but I’m unsure as to whether my life has been enriched by the experience.
For those who believe insects as the ultimate protein, it might be worth a punt but for me, once was more than sufficient.
Wahaca remains popular many years after Thomasina Miers won MasterChef and started the chain that now boasts 13 restaurants across London.
It’s credited with changing our capital’s view of Mexican food and I for one am grateful.
For years, we were stuck in a bit of a Tex-Mex rut but that’s all a distant memory.
Wahaca has become a family favourite – including with mine – because it’s ideal for the whole family.
Little ones are greeted warmly with drawing materials, the food’s cracking and the cocktail list pretty unbeatable.
First-timers to Wahaca may be a bit overwhelmed because the choice is vast but all the more reason to keep coming back.
The menu goes so far and beyond the reach of most chain restaurants, continually introducing the diner to a new experience.
Mexico City nachos made a great starter – topped with Trealy Farm chorizo, cheese sauce, tomatillo & avocado salsas (£6.95).
We then moved on to the street food section and its choice of tacos, quesadillas and platitos. We wanted to order everything but managed some restraint.
Wahaca recommends choosing around three per person. These dishes made up the perfect sharing spread and sit at around the £6 mark. Cheese and jalapeno chilli croquetas with tomatillo apple salsa were simply a pleasure. Always one of my favourite dishes and this didn’t disappoint.
Crispy cauliflower bites – buttermilk – battered florets with roast jalapeno allioli (£5.95), Devon crab and avocado tostadas, dressed in chipotle mayo, served with sweet pink onions (£6.95), plantain with hibiscus, crema and crumbled feta in soft corn tortillas. Next we turned our attention to the quesadillas.
In an interesting twist on that most internationally famous of sandwiches, grilled chicken club – with avocado, lettuce, melted cheese and chipotle mayo. Black bean and three cheese, with smoky beans and avocado leaf made up the sixth and final dish.
If sharing isn’t for you the bigger plates will satisfy even the hungriest of palates, with a choice between burritos and enchiladas.
Burrito lovers can take their pick from slow-cooked beef brisket, slow-cooked pork pibil and sweet potato. And there’s plenty of vegan options across the entire menu, including hibiscus-glazed aubergine, with pine nut mole & toasted almonds in soft corn tortillas, sweet potato and feta taquito, and summer bean and feta tostados.
Drinks wise, naturally margaritas loom large but there’s a pretty impressive cocktail list to work your way through.
Paloma Fresca caught my eye – refreshing Mexican favourite with tequila, pink grapefruit, fresh lime & lemon topped with soda – and gave me a good reason to return.
WAHACA RESTAURANT (Wimbledon) The Broadway SW19 1QB https://www.wahaca.co.uk/locations/
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