Wahaca Edible Insects are winging their way onto The UK’s favourite Mexican street food restaurant’s menu this Summer!

Wahaca Edible Insects are winging their way onto The UK’s favourite Mexican street food restaurant’s menu this Summer!

I have tried a whole array of edible insects in my time, crunchy crickets and crispy silkworms in Thailand, spicy grasshopper tortillas in Mexico and even chocolate coated ants here in the UK. I honestly enjoyed them all once I managed to overcome my innate aversion to creepy crawly things. However, eating bugs, as gross as it may seem, benefits our bodies and our world in many ways. They’re packed with protein, surprisingly tasty and possibly one of the most sustainable ingredients on the planet. The team at Wahaca, whom I have consistently applauded for their unwavering commitment to sustainability, have decided that it’s high time to reintroduce some insect options to its repertoire of delicious, vibrant Mexican street food. Having recently reopened after lockdown, and as we have gotten wind of the launch of their brand-new Summer menu introducing Wahaca’s new Cricket Salsa, as well as exciting seasonal street food dishes created by their talented team of chefs. We could not resist popping into our go to Mexican eatery to see what exciting new delights they have come up with.

Arriving for lunch 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 super friendly and incredibly welcoming staff make the extra steps we need to take for our safety no hassle at all. We follow the well-designed one-way system round the restaurant to our table by the huge window looking out on to the bustling North Street.

We immediately warm to Mike, our incredibly friendly and knowledgeable waiter, as we get comfortable in our seats and order our drinks. We plump for a couple of Summer Spritzes from the special’s menu, Aperol Spritz with a Wahaca makeover with added grapefruit and 100% agave Tequila. A sublimely refreshing and palette cleansing creation that really packs a punch.

When ordering our meal, we opt to stick to the small-plate street food section of the menu, as this showcases many of the newly introduced dishes, as well as some Cricket Salsa with tortilla chips each to start (of course). The Cricket Salsa and chips are brought out within minutes, and I see my dining companion breathe a sigh of relief. “I thought there would be legs and eyes floating in it” she exclaims. The salsa looks very appetising and is very tasty indeed. The crickets are ground and combined with pumpkin seed and a blend of Mexican chillies. It is spicy with lots of complex flavours. I keep some aside to pour over some of our tacos, quesadillas and tostadas which come next.

First out is pork pibil quesadillas, topped with pink picked onions which is a lovely touch in terms of aesthetics and flavour. The quesadillas are stuffed with slow cooked spicy pulled pork and oozing with indulgently stringy cheese. A classic sumptuous dish that tastes great, and fun to eat too. Sustainable battered fish tacos come next. Crunchy shells stuffed with crispy battered haddock fingers, topped with zesty shredded slaw and a punchy chipotle sauce drizzled over the top, which somehow heightened the delicate flavour of the sweet white fish without overpowering. Lovely!

Mike arrives with two more plates of food. hibiscus glazed aubergine tacos and Grilled Halloumi ‘Al Pastor’ tacos. The hibiscus glaze really brought the flavour of the perfectly cooked sticky aubergine to the forefront making this a spectacular plate of food. The Halloumi tacos generously stuffed with the sublime salty cheese and crispy slaw, topped with sweet pineapple and tomatillo salsas were entirely decadent, with a wonderful array of contrasting flavours and textures that somehow pulled together and wowed.

Highlighting Wahaca’s continued focus on seasonality, our final two plates consist of The Summer special chargrilled asparagus, mint and cricket salsa, and Summer bean and feta tostadas. I was pleasantly surprised by the asparagus taco, as having sampled the wonderfully complex spicy cricket salsa already, I expected it to overpower the on the asparagus, but combined with fresh mint, it complimented and exaggerated the essence of the main attraction. The tostadas come piled high with a zesty mix of chickpeas, barlotti beans, organic peas and feta, and drizzled with a fresh tomato salsa. Super tasty and really filling to boot. I know these were the vegan options, but I could not resist pouring the last of the cricket salsa before devouring my final tostada.

Feeling rather full and a little tiddly from the Summer Spritzes I was ready assert there would be absolutely no way we would be able to find room for dessert, however my companion insisted on trying Wahaca’s newest sweet addition. Banoffee empanada stuffed with caramelised plantain and served with a rum and coconut oat crumble, vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche. I’m so glad we did as there was so much going on with flavours, textures, and temperatures. Every bite was an adventure. A great way to finish off a magnificent lunch.

We are Always impressed by the service and quality of food at Wahaca, not to mention their laudable commitment to sustainability, which is why we go back time and time again. For a limited time, visitors to Wahaca can try a taster of the cricket salsa served with a portion of tortilla chips to scoop up the sustainable deliciousness on the house! It really is a must try. If you miss out on this offer do not worry as the salsa is set to be a regular addition to the menu this summer. The inspired new additions to the already impressive menu are phenomenal and not to be missed.

Tony Shattell



160-161 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1EZ

01273 934763