Tuesday, 1 March 2016


In my third ever blog post I spoke about how I wanted to visit a Wahaca in London as I'm a fan of creator Thomasina Miers fabulous Mexican street food cookbooks. Imagine my delight then when I heard they were opening a branch right over the road from my workplace in Liverpool city centre. As part of a glut of new restaurants opening inside the reinvigorated Stockton's building on Hanover Street, it was a given that I was going to go and check out this new restaurant when it opened. Having visited on opening week, I went again after work on a mild February evening to see how they were faring 3 months on!

Entering via it's College lane facing entrance we had our pick of seats, the advantage of coming before the after 5pm Friday rush. We sat on the plush couch like seats around the centre of the ground floor area overlooked by the kitchen at the far end of the restaurant. Wahaca Liverpool is a vibrant place to be with boldly colored table and chairs bathing in the light from the large street facing windows. A little piece of central America brightening up this dull February afternoon.

The Mexican inspired decor continues right over Wahaca's three floors, the top floor becoming a dedicated bar area with quirky bird cage seating leading onto a roof top terrace. I can imagine in the summer months with some mariachi music playing and the margarita's on the go this is going to be quite the destination for cooling down on a hot day. Speaking of margarita's, I decided to wet my whistle on their current special, blood orange margarita's. Certainly has a kick to it this but it's super delicious and it's great to see them being created to order over at the cocktail bar close to the entrance. No cheap packet mixes going on here (or if there is then I couldn't tell the difference!).

If your not an alcohol fan or not in the mood for a cocktail then do not fret, you can have a try of one of the many fantastic soft drinks on offer. It's nice to see a restaurant making more an effort with it's non alcoholic offerings rather than just shoving can's of fizzy pop on the menu and forgetting about them. There are many a mocktails to get your hands on or how about one of the fresh water drinks known as Agua Fresca. Translated as "fresh water", I went for a citrus fizz, sparkling water with fresh mint, crushed limes and a smidge of sugar. It was incredibly refreshing and lip smackingly delicious. Who said that having a soft drink with a meal is dull and boring. Not at Wahaca that's for sure!

Onto the food. Now you can entertain the idea of having one of the bigger plates but the street food is where it's happening. The menu suggest selecting 2-3 of the tapas like dishes per person for a main meal and I would say that was ample. The first selection we went for were the black bean and tomatillo tostada. On top of a bed of crunchy lettuce lay those creamy black beans with fresh tomato and guacamole all topped off with the most incredibly crumbly Lancashire cheese which is so feta like that I thought it was feta. Eating everything together on the tortilla base makes for an explosion of fresh flavors and contrasting textures in your mouth. 

Next up came three of these Rajas tacos. Served inside that classic claw "U" shaped tortilla sat char-grilled poblano peppers which start by hiding all stealthily underneath the corn, spinach and more of that delicious guacamole. However, as you pop the taco's into your mouth and crunch though the eye popping red cabbage, the poblanos pop out from under their camouflage and start dancing over your taste-buds bringing that kick of chili, perfect for all those spice lovers out there. There is more of that amazing crumbly Lancashire cheese which this time acts as a cooling palette cleanser for that chili making for a perfectly balanced street food treat.

The black bean and cheese quesadilla was next to land on the table. The menu states that this particular offering is back by popular demand and it is really easy to see why. The tortilla was perfectly toasted and as you bite through it you get that gorgeous cheesy filling instantly smack you across the face. The cheesy (we think it was mozzarella?) was so gooey and stringy and for a pair of cheese lovers like us, it was perfection shaped like a triangle. To be honest I can't really remember the black beans being there but who cares because all I remember was saying "Yum!".

Onto a little meaty treat now in case any of your carnivores were getting worried by the veg-fest. I was having one of my steak mood days so I ordered some of the grilled steak tacos. These can be served with cheese for a bit extra which was a bit of a no brainer! You can't go wrong with steak and cheese really can you and Wahaca have got it down. What is a nice touch was the fresh crisp raw red onion sprinkled over the top alongside more of that scrummy guacamole making these tacos little mouthfuls of street food magic. A must have for steak lovers!

Last for our selection of mains (and in my eyes the star of the show) is this smoky cauliflower cheese. I mean just look at it! It's like a big warm hug in edible form. The cauliflower florets were perfectly cooked with a liberal amount of delicious smoky cheese melted all over the top and to really add some sparkle, there were some cheeky little crispy onions in there as well for good luck. All my favorite things in one bowl! For me there was nothing a could fault about it and I implore you to order some when you visit. Just make sure you order a bowl per person, it's far too good to share!

Even after all that street food fabulousness there was still time for a spot of dessert. Well it was the weekend after all! The honeycomb chocolate bites instantly jumped out at me from the menu and sounded too naughty to ignore so I just had to order some. The little squares of chocolate were superbly fudgey and just the right size for popping straight into your gob. As you bite through them you can that delicious crunch from the little chunks of honeycomb littered right through the squares which then melt away all over your tongue. Drizzle them with a gorgeous sticky caramel sauce and you have the ideal dessert for any sweet toothed chocoholic's at your table. 
I can safely say that after all these years of waiting, Wahaca has lived up to my expectations and delivered a yummy Mexican street food restaurant which is now happily right on my doorstep. Great for a romantic date night for two or for taking a group of friends and sharing a whole table full of treats, head on over to Liverpool One, soak in the carnival atmosphere, down a few cocktails and enjoy the feast.  Doesn't get much better than that really does it! 

Want to know more? Menus and other Wahaca locations can be found via their website here. Now stop reading this and head over to your nearest one immediately!

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