London is one of my favourite places to visit, especially on a lazy hazy Sunday to catch the last of the summer’s sunshine. Making our way from Derby via East Midland’s Rail, the journey was quick and seamless. How was the food at Wahaca?
I’ve actually made myself hungry looking at my notes and photos (always a good sign), I do hope you’ll read on and comment.
I am in the mood for a spot of al fresco dining, so we plant at one of the tables outside the restaurant. It’s a busy but not bustling street, with just the right amount of sunshine to warrant ordering cocktails this early in the afternoon.
I’m finding tapas dishes are a great way to try swathes of a larger menu without getting stuffed, so we order two main dishes and a selection of smaller tapas streetfood dishes to share.
My grilled chicken rainbow bowl is vibrant and beautiful and feels like the best of summer crammed chock-full into a bowl. I like the bed of funky black beans and fragrant green rice, topped with seasoned chargrilled chicken and piquant onions. You can either mix the whole lot together, like a summery kedgeree, or take bits from each section of the bowl and eat a different mouthful every time.
Dining partner’s carnitas tacos are packed with tangy tomatillo salsa, which goes exceedingly well with the slow-cooked free-range pork shoulder that is replete with scrumptious caramelised chewy bits.
I love flavours of the sea and Devon crab tostadas don’t disappoint. Flaked crab bathed in smoky Chipotle mayonnaise feels as if I am enjoying a BBQ on the beach such is the beautiful depth of the Chipotle chilli.
Crispy cauliflower bites are the perfect snack to dip in and out of, the outer casing yielding without little fight, to give way to a squishy floret. The exterior has a moreish tang only achieved by buttermilk batter. The star of the show is the jalapeño allioli, given even more punch by the chilli being roasted.
Sustainable battered fish tacos with crunchy shredded slaw are good, and the spiked spicy mayonnaise makes another starry appearance. I feel particularly good ordering this, because the fish is MSC certified pollock (this means the fishery is compliant with international best practice for sustainable fishing). Slivers of pickled cucumber bring this dish together, making it twist on the traditional fish finger sandwich.
Dessert of churros are the perfect amalgamation of crisp batter with a light chew, deep grooves all the better to cradle the rich sauce.
I mix the dark chocolate sauce with the dulce de leche caramel sauce, and I know you can only order one sauce, but if you ask for them both and mix the two, it is an even more delicious combination.
The passionfruit and hibiscus cooler is refreshing with a hint of tarty sweetness, whilst partner’s mojito is light and the epitome of summer.
The restaurant gets busier as the day progresses, and yet service is always switched on and attentive. Hat-tip to the GM and staff, who made it a pleasure to dine at Wahaca. I loved it so much, I will be back (because there isn’t one in Derby and I love Wahaca too much not to revisit again soon).
Rating: (1: Hate – 10: Love)
Restaurant name: Wahaca Oxford Circus
Address: Wahaca Oxford Circus, 26-28 Great Portland Street, London W1W 8QT
Opening times: Monday – Sunday 11:45am – 10:00pm
Caters for dietary requirements: Yes, just let your server know beforehand of any allergies or dietary requirements.
How to make reservation: Booking is not required, although is encouraged for larger parties. Call or book online.
Telephone: 0203 002 8784
Whilst in the area: Where do I start? So much going on, personal highlights include Postcard Teas to stock up on exotic tea collection (I bought some fragrant Vietnamese breakfast tea), Massimo Dutti (some cool menswear for The Boy) and Fenwick to stock up on cosmetics.