The UK’s favourite Mexican street food restaurant have kicked off the new year by launching a positively plant powered menu that sees vegan friendly dishes take centre stage.
Even if you have not had the pleasure of eating in Wahaca you would surely have heard of the Mexican Street food behemoth 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. At the start of this year Wahaca launched their new completely vegan menu featuring vibrant seasonal street food dishes created by Thomasina and her team of chefs, using the freshest ingredients from some of the most sustainable suppliers around. The menu also sees the introduction of Violife vegan cheese options for the first time, meaning that those following a plant-based diet can enjoy more of Wahaca’s vibrant Mexican street food than ever before. we could not resist popping into our go to Mexican eatery for a lockdown takeaway to give this exciting new menu a try.
Opting to collect rather than order a delivery, we found it comforting to find all the recommended precautions are being adhered to. A pristinely clean waiting area with sanitisers and hand washing facilities has been constructed at the entrance which is big enough to be able to keep your distance from the staff and other customers. The staff make the extra steps we need to take for our safety no hassle at all with a one-way system leading to a serving counter where we collect our food. Although heart-breaking to see a restaurant that is usually pulsating with activity, it was comforting to see the kitchen team busy packing lots of orders in recycled bio-degradable packaging for the waiting delivery drivers. Even though the team are busy they are friendly and welcoming, and it does not take long for our rather substantial order to appear.
Let’s begin with our “nibbles” of vegan nachos and caramelised sweet potatoes. The nachos are a superb and welcome addition to Wahaca’s ever expanding plant-based options, made possible with the introduction of Violife Vegan cheese, which has a satisfying gooey texture, and tastes authentically cheesy. Topped with tomato and avocado salsas which are both lovely, but I really enjoyed spicing up the proceedings with the trio of mild tomatillo, medium spiced chipotle, and hot and spicy macha salsas we ordered separately to accompany. The sweet potatos had a lovely golden carapace of crunch and a sublimely rich smoky flavour to boot. Also great for dunking in the salsas.
From the small plate street food options we plump for Plantain tacos, which combine Lovely sweet and bold fresh earthy flavours to create a dish that is very tasty indeed, soft tortillas topped with chunky sweet plantain pieces, black beans, house slaw and a spicy chipotle salsa. A plate of food that is satisfyingly filling as well as delicious. We also dig into some black bean and cheese quesadilla, a devilish combination of fillings which together tasted very naughty indeed.
My main of sweet potato Burrito (with added vegan cheese) and Mexican bowl had everything we love about Mexican street food combined in a delicious wrap which is stuffed so full of Mojo de Ajo glazed sweet potato, black beans, green rice, salsas, and slaw to the point it is a mystery how they were still able to still roll it. The addition of vegan cheese adds a little gooey wickedness to the proceedings which is very welcome. My wife’s Mexican bowl is just as delicious and a great healthier alternative, with all the burrito fillings and crispy tenderstem broccoli without the cheese and bread.
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 chocolate shot for dunking them in. I can’t see who couldn’t enjoy these. Well worth squeezing them in no matter how full you think you are, and if you cannot manage them, they keep nicely in the fridge for the morning, so make sure you add them when ordering.
We are always impressed by the quality of food at Wahaca, as well as their laudable commitment to sustainability, which is why we go back time and time again. The inspired new plant-based menu is a must try for vegans and non-vegans alike. We will certainly be back for more.