Wahaca is a Mexican Street Food Restaurant.
They divide their gluten free menu into two different sections – for those with coeliac disease and those with “mild gluten intolerances”. This is a very interesting take on the gluten free menu and honestly, I rather like it. It allows those who can “cheat” or those with wheat intolerances to chose the foods that are naturally gluten free but are cooked with other gluten containing food. Their gluten free menu also includes their kitchen policy and what they do to reduce the risk of cross contamination, which is always a big bonus and I feel very reassured by the transparency of this.
So I took from the fully gluten free menu and, as with most street food restaurants, I shared a few different dishes with my group. I have to say I was not disappointed.
For starters we indulged in tortilla chips with guacamole and frijoles with chorizo.
The whole thing was handmade. The guacamole had a wonderful fresh taste with the perfect bite from the shallots and chilli; it’s texture was as it should be, chunky and soft, not the paste the supermarkets sell. Frijoles are traditionally twice cooked black beans, those ones had sobrasada (a Spanish raw cured sausage) and chorizo oil, and I have to say I would be pleased to eat both again. My only disappointment was the taste of the tortilla chips – but that was mainly as they had a flavouring on them that I didn’t care for, so it’s more of a personal taste thing.
For mains we shared three flavours of soft tacos, a “bigger plate” and some spicy slaw; Grilled British steak taco with crisp grilled cheese, Pork pibil taco, Chicken tinga taco, spicy slaw and British Steak, the Mexican way.
Spicy Slaw – the slaw was lovely. It’s not the traditional slaw; with red cabbage and herbs as well as the traditional white cabbage, red onion and carrot. The mayonnaise has a hint of something, a small kick but nothing too overpowering. It works really well with the rest of the food and is a very well paired side dish. British Steak, the Mexican way – this was my favourite dish bar the steak taco. Usually it’s cooked medium rare but my family and I love rare steak (I know, I know, “you can see the blood” I hear you cry, “because it’s damn delicious” I reply) and they cooked it rare for us. And it was a perfect rare – something quite a few restaurants I’ve been too can’t get quite right – and the steak was a beautiful cut. The crisp grilled cheese was *wonderful* but then again, cheese is my favourite thing so I may be a little bias. The white and red strips are crisp tortilla strips and it seemed an odd choose with the meal but it goes really well. As we were sharing and not a big fan of rice I didn’t actually try it, I’m so sorry. But overall I would heartily recommend this dish if you go.
Chicken tinga taco – I know the first thing you want to know about; the soft taco. And yes, it’s as good as you think it’s going to be. It really was soft and didn’t fall apart which is always a bonus. The child was soft and tender, cooked in a sweet marinade with just a enough chipotle to give it a wonderful smoky flavour. The slices of radish create a lovely bite to the dish and stop it getting too samey.
Pork pibil taco – The pork is definitely slow cooked. It’s a pulled pork and just as a pulled pork should be; soft, tender, just cooked. The onions are pickled and on their own they’re very fiery but against the pork in this Mexican spiced marinade it’s a wonderful pairing.
Grilled British steak taco with crisp grilled cheese – this my favourite of the lot. The steak is flash cooked, leaving it rare and wonderfully tasty, and the cheese again is just perfect – it’s a mild cheddar that’s like eating the grilled cheese off the cheese on toast in the middle while being wonderfully crispy on the outsides. The guacamole is the same one as before and it all mixed together with the red onions makes an awesomely traditional Mexican flavour.
I would highly, highly recommend this restaurant, not just for coeliacs but for everyone. The atmosphere is wonderful, the staff are very friendly and the food is brilliant.
Life’s too short to eat bad food.