Thursday, 26 January 2012

Wahaca, Covent Garden, London

Wahaca is billed as 'Mexican Market Eating'. Having been to Mexico and tasted the fantastic street food they have there, this had a lot to live up to. Wahaca is the product of Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers. I was lucky enough to see Thomasina do a cooking demonstration at Jimmy's Farm Festival the year before last. She clearly had a real passion for mexican food and flavours and I have wanted to go to Wahaca ever since.

Thomasina has done a fantastic job with Wahaca. It's certainly the most authentic mexican food I've had outside of Mexico and tasted fantastic. We opted for a selection of the street food. Highlights had to be the Pork Pibil tacos, beautifully slow cooked tender marinated pork and Queso Fundidio, a mexican cheese fondu with cactus and carmelised onions. Make sure you save room for the dulce de leche ice cream too - salted caramel ice cream with Valrhona chocolate - sensational. The atmosphere was great, perfect sharing food, and all very reasonably priced.

There's just one minor grumble. Being gluten free can be tricky and it's made even trickier by confusing allergen menus. Our waitress was quick to get the menu for me, but it was difficult to understand what I could and couldn't have. The menu only referred to things which either contained wheat, contained no wheat, or couldn't guarantee trace free. Coeliacs will know that it's more than just wheat that contains gluten but thankfully mexican food doesn't use a lot of gluten containing ingredients. I was absolutely fine with what I ate but it would have been nice to have had no doubt in my mind.

Overall though, will definitely be going back!

Queso Fundido
Mexican Pork Scratchings with Guacamole
Wahaca, Covent Garden, London
Chicken Wings a la Mojo
Black Bean Tostados
Pork Pibil Tacos


  1. We loved Wahaca too and will definitely return but I agree with you about menus... I'm not a huge fan of Carluccios (style over substance, I think) but applaud them for having a separate, stand-alone GF menu. So much better to see a short list of what you can have rather than a long list of what you can't. Still, hopefully things keep moving in the right direction.

    Thank you again for this great blog.

  2. Thanks again for the feedback Steph! I love hearing people's thoughts. You're right - I try to avoid looking at a menu before I check if they have a gluten free one as inevitably I'll see something I want that isn't gluten free! We went to Ask Italian the other day which also has gluten free options, similar to Carluccios though. My girlfriend found this Italian ( ) in London which looks good (perhaps more authentic?), but we haven't tried it yet.

  3. Continuing the mexican theme - have you ever tried making GF churros?

    I haven't yet but I'm planning to.

    There's a recipe on for dough sticks (under "doughs"). I thought I might try making them and rolling them in a mixture of cinnamon and caster sugar to serve with a thick melted chocolate ganache...?

  4. I haven't but might have to give them a go!I'm a firm believer than you can make anything gluten free, you just need a good flour blend. My girlfriend's gluten free cupcakes taste just as good as when she did before I was gluten free!

  5. Interesting post. We gave up on Wahaca years ago when we couldn't get any sense out of them on email and they told us that the spelt salad was safe for us to eat. We'd love to try it again but your points about the menu are off-putting. Surely it's about time they embraced a gluten free menu which covers off risks from cross contamination i.e. using oil with gluten items in and can reassure coeliac diners that GF really is GF not a maybe...? Especially as so many other places like Las Iguanas, La Tasca, Carluccios, Zizzi can manage to?