Review | Wahaca Bristol
Co-founded by former Masterchef Winner (It’s like Bake-Off with more wild mushrooms and coulee) Thomasina Miers in 2007 and already heavily established in London, Wahaca moves to Bristol up on the triangle - or the Tortilla as they should definitely now call it. Keen to move the perception of Mexican restaurants away from “tequila girls, cheap shots and greasy tortilla chips”, Wahaca want to infuse your dining with colour, choice and a balance of healthy-yet-hearty eating. I took my favourite cheap greasy tequila girl Seth along to try some new menu items.
Upon taking our seat we were presented with a mammoth menu and some post-it note specials. A specials board would have done, but it did mean I could stick a post-it to my head and pretend to play 20 questions. Am I an actor? Have I had a hit single? OH I’M A TACO?!
To be more precise - a pig cheek carnitas taco, which we duly ordered. The pork was slow cooked to form stringy meaty fibres with a stronger porky taste much more akin to a hog roast. At almost £6 for 2, an indigenous mexican may laugh at ‘street food’ gaining a fine-dining price tag, but those post-it’s aren’t going to buy themselves.
Next, the MSC cod Fish tacos special which were the best item on the menu. It’s obviously important to Wahaca to show their commitment to sustainability, even a if the prefix does make it seem as if their best dish has an arbitrary educational qualification.
The tacos (BA Hons 2nd class) themselves harboured crispy golden nuggets of fish accompanied with pineapple, red onion relish and a nice zesty dash of lime. Excellent. Again, slightly more than your normal menu items but in this case worth it.
Other dishes we sampled included steak tacos (a solid choice), smoky cauliflower smothered with cheese (a nice spicy kick and refreshingly not overcooked) and habanero chicken wings (tasty if erring on caution with the heat).
The presentation of all the food was fantastic - colourful, vibrant, sometimes all down my shirt. Wahaca is a great opportunity to try a wide range of dishes is great if you are in a group. Of if you are up to here with other people’s guacamole-spilling shit, then there’s also larger plates such as burritos and super-charged salads.
I've been to Wahaca a number of times in their London branches and they're all SO DAMN CONSISTENT that they are hard not to be impressed by. It's not the same pang of excitement knowing you've uncovered a local gem, but the authentic Mexican influences and research that have gone into the menu do make a difference and the quality of not only the food, but the service (including introducing things like their quick pay app) make Wahaca an enjoyable experience.