Wahaca – Mexican Street Food – Restaurant Review
Published 31 August 2009
This open style Mexican restaurant is located in Covent Garden, London. There is a no-booking policy in place, so we do suggest you to go there early if you can; if not, prepare to wait for 30 minutes for a table after 6pm. The place is hugely popular with nearby office workers as well as tourists.
On our first visit on a weekend night we were told that we had to wait more than an hour for a table for 2, and on our second visit on a weekday we still had to wait around 20 minutes for a table. However, they do have a big bar waiting area where you can have a margarita or two while waiting for a table to free up!
The Wahaca restaurant group is co-owned by Thomasina Meirs, who won the BBC’s Masterchef programme in 2005. We will not have long discussion about her here. As for the food, we highly recommend the street food section on the menu. For those who had bad experience with extremely spicy Mexican food, rest assured as they do have a big selection of non-spicy dishes. Besides, what is authentic Mexican food without a little chili in it? For those who do enjoy lots of spice in their food, a bottle of extremely spicy habanero sauce is provided on each table.
There are almost 20 types of street food to satisfy your taste buds, and one is encouraged to order tapas-style and try a variety of dishes. If you cannot decide but still want to try as much possible, we suggest that you order the Wahaca Selection which is a selection of their favorite plates for 2 people to share at £19.75. The selection provides you with about 6 plates of various quesadillas, tacos, tstadass and taquitos. The potion is quite sufficient to feed 2 people.
The must-try dish is the pork pibil and chicken tinga (mildly spicy). We enjoyed the shrimp ceviche that was served with lime juice, habanero chilli, a bed of round lettuce and crisp, corn tortilla. If you are up for something with a little more kick, the Chipotle chicken might just do the trick! It is cooked in a spicy
However, we must say that the service is below par. We requested for tap water to ease the immediate spiciness but none served to us after 2 callings. Even the third calling took more than 5 minutes to arrived. So it took about 15 minutes in total to get some water, which really defeats the purpose.
Verdict: The food is quite authentic compare to those in Mexican City, so that is worth a try. But if you are looking for a place to have your meal leisurely, this noisy and busy environment is not your choice. In our opinion, the long wait for a table is not worth it, as the food was good but not that good. Price-wise it was fairly standard value for the Covent Garden area. They have though recently opened a second branch at the Westfield shopping centre, which might be less crowded than the original branch.
Rating: 6 out of 10 stars
Cuisine: Mexican street-market food
Price Range: £25 for two, without drinks
Address: 66 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4HG
Nearest Tube Station: Leicester Square Station (5 minutes walk)
Tel:0207 240 1883