The news that Wahaca was to open in Bristol was welcomed with a warm shower of tweets as its reputation for tasty Mexican (Tastican) is well known even outside of London.
The first restaurant to open outside England’s capital was in Cardiff, and of course I took the bullet for the Saucy Ladies and bravely went to their Cardiff branch to try their food.
Pretty much next to Jamie’s Italian, Wahaca is spacious due to 3 floors; the first two to serve food punters and the third on the top to fill you with Tequila-based cocktails while you wait for a table to be free. It feels warm on the ground and top floor, the middle floor seems a little canteen style and reserved for when it’s really busy.
I went on a Monday evening – quiet time, you know? But boy was I wrong. It was quite busy and Wahaca seems to have had a good start in Wales. I waited patiently on the top floor, clutching my little device that tells me when a table is free, but after quite a long time and inquiring about it, it turned out that the bloomin’ thing was out of reach in the dizzying heights of the cocktail bar and we were swiftly seated.
I knew exactly what I wanted, but that was probably due to having laboured over the menu for around 6 hours. Yes, I am a busy person, why do you ask?
The menu has mains but also smaller plates where it is recommends to order 2-3 dishes per person; well, I can’t argue with the menu. I ordered the Pork pibil tacos, MSC herring tostadas, Tender, marinated chicken taquitos, Chipotle chicken quesadilla, Huitlacoche quesadilla (don’t google what it looks like, trust me), duck taquitos (which was a special) and a bowl of frijoles dip.
This was between 2 people btw. I am greedy but not that greedy (though I could have probably polished it all off by myself).
The food came whenever it was ready which suited my grumbling stomach. I made a start with the pork tacos.
They were dainty little things but the filling was seriously generous, with slow cooked pork, well seasoned and one of my favourites.
The food was beautifully presented and the taquitos were nice and crunchy. The quesadilla had an amazing smell and smoky flavour to it, definitely coming back for those babies alone!
The food was all round well seasoned and each table has a smoky chipotle sauce and a hotter sauce to dip in.
I couldn’t get enough of the frijoles dip, which was topped with some cheese and crema, mmmmmmh. I ran out of things to dip in it so I just started eating it with a fork.
The only thing I didn’t like was the herring as it was cold and didn’t quite had the Mexican feel to it. It felt like I was eating breakfast.
To round off an excellent meal, we all ordered churros and BY JOVE, it was the best thing to have blessed my palate in some time. The churros were crisp, chewy and came dusted with cinnamon sugar. I inhaled intensely while the waitress was placing it in front of me.
The dark chocolate sauce that came with it was incredibly rich and offset the hot churros well. My friend drank some of it on its own but she almost had a heart attack and doesn’t recommend drinking it as it was too rich for human beings.
I was pleased with my meal and will definitely visit again as I am curious about their burritos. The price tag isn’t high either and sits comfortably within the midweek price range restaurants like Wagamama or Las Iguanas.
Mon – Sat: 12pm – 11pm
Sun: 12pm – 10.30pm
51-53 The Hayes
St David’s Dewi Sant
Cardiff CF10 1GA
Thanks Wahaca for these images as I was too focused on eating food than taking photos of it!