Brighton’s favourite Mexican street food restaurant has kicked off the new year in suitably sustainable style by hosting a meat-free Mexican supper club hosted by It’s co-founder, Masterchef winner Thomasina Myers!
Regular readers will know that it is no secret how much we at Absolute Sussex love Wahaca, the UK’s most sustainable Mexican street-food eatery that has taken the country by storm since celebrity chef Thomasina Miers opened her first restaurant back in 2006, just a year after she shot to stardom winning BBC’s Masterchef program. The substantial chain has been one of the biggest successes of the shows winners, and you cannot miss Brighton’s very own Wahaca restaurant, which has been towering over North Street since 2016. So when we found out Thomasina was going to be in town, serving up a selection of plant-powered dishes at a one-off Meat-Free Mexican Supper Club, celebrating the vibrant diversity of plant-powered Mexican food, we jumped at the chance to attend, I mean, How could we resist taking my ethically minded-selves down to our favourite Mexican eatery to try out some of the dishes prepared by the legend herself? Here’s how it went.
Arriving on a particularly cold mid-January evening we find our comfortingly familiar eatery absolutely buzzing. It seems word has got around that Thomasina is in town. As we take our seat, our waiter tells me the event is a sell-out success, and the vast restaurant is packed out with excited diners, some already tucking in to some delicious looking plant-based morsels. We are offered a booze-free glass of with Wahaca’s first ever non-alcoholic margarita, but as we have well and truly given up on dry-January already, we plump for (very) alcoholic blood-orange Margaritas, which are deliciously fruity and slip down so easily we immediately order two more. As my companion is vegan I decide to get into the spirit of Veganuary and join him by taking on the fully-vegan version of the menu, which on inspection, did not differ much from the vegetarian version at all.
We begin our adventure with tortilla chips and a generous bowl of Wahacamole, a fresh, sustainable take on guacamole, made with organic British fava beans, created by Thomasina in response to the environmental and social damage that avocados can cause. It is lovely and creamy with a hint of chilli and a nice zesty finish. I can honestly say I prefer Wahacamole to the real thing!
Next up: some absolutely delightful Tenderstem and Squash Tempura. Perfectly cooked veg encased in the lightest yet crispiest and flavoursome batter ever devised. Drizzled in a nicely spiced jalapeño tamari and served with a plant-based habanero crema for dunking which did well to highlight, and not overpower all the lovely flavours evident in these delectable bites.
Pickled Mushroom Tostadas are next to arrive and we both comment on how incredible they look. Exceptionally well presented with a vibrant pallet of colours. Incredibly tasty to boot. The Delicate round crisp tostadas are generously topped with creamy vegan cheese, mushrooms, guajillo and hazelnut chunks. So much going on with flavours, textures, and aesthetics for such a petite plate of food. Every bite was an adventure.
Gilled hispi with olive oil and celeriac confit, green mole and ancho relish is next to be served. A true wonderment. If I was blindfolded, I simply would not have been able to guess I was eating cabbage! This dish combined a plethora of exciting flavours, all working harmoniously whilst exciting every part of my palate, the hispi itself is seared to perfection, has a lovely buttery flavour, with a wonderful meaty texture to boot. Sublime.
Spinach Tamale was the most interesting dish of the evening for me. Steamed spinach filled corn parcel served with a spiced mole amarillo and chives. This dish was incredibly rich with a bold earthy flavour that really packed a punch. Very different from all the intricacies evident in each of the previous plates of food, and I utterly adored it! The powerful sauce was lusciously smooth, thick and velvety smooth, completely covering the tamale which had a lovely gentle nutty flavour that somehow still managed to push through. Bravo Thomasina!
Whenever we visit Wahaca we always find room for a dessert of their signature churros and this visit was no different as they are completely vegan right down to the accompanying tequila infused chocolate shot for dunking them in. So I was pleased to see they made their way onto Thomasina’s supper club menu. I can’t see who couldn’t enjoy these. Well worth squeezing them in no matter how full you think you are. We wash them down with a couple of shots of Gran Centanario Tequila, before saying our goodbyes and stumbling out the door, happily full, and more than a littly tipsy.
We are always praising the quality of food at Wahaca, as well as their commendable commitment to sustainability, which is why we go back time and time again. Thomasina’s inspired plant-based supper club menu consisted of some of the most delicious plates of food we have ever had the pleasure of eating, a must try for vegans and non-vegans alike if she ever hosts an event like this again. In the meantime we will keep coming back to sample more from their delicious menu which boasts over 50% of the dishes are plant-based. Each one we have tried over the years has been absolutely delicious so I wholeheartedly suggest you do the same. Breaking new ground in 2022 Wahaca will be the first British restaurant group to introduce carbon ratings to its menus, Wahaca has made a New Year’s resolution to show people that moving towards a more planet-friendly diet isn’t as big a leap as they might think. As such, the restaurant group is inviting everyone to try free plant-powered, low carbon dishes throughout January. Make a mouth-watering choice of Ancho mushroom tacos, Zesty bean & feta tostadas or Crispy cauliflower bites, with vegan versions of each dish (except cauliflower bites) available. So sign up now for your free voucher at www.wahaca.co.uk/eat-free-planet-friendly
160-161 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1EZ