Wednesday the 18th of January, myself and Amelia headed to Wahaca, the Mexican inspired restaurant group to try their sustainable vegetarian dishes for a one-off event. With vegan dishes as an option available to try too, these are small plates which prove “resolutions needn’t cost the Earth” for anyone still going strong with Veganuary. Hosted by co-founder Thomasina Miers and inspired by her cookbook of the same name, Meat-Free Mexican, it was a night that was celebratory of great flavours and considering new ways of dining.
Warmly welcomed into the restaurant on North Street, we were surrounded by food influencers and members of the public, all keen to try a menu which was both delicious and revolutionary. Did you know that in 2022, Wahaca became the first British restaurant group to introduce carbon ratings to its menus?
First, we were given the option to try their new non-alcoholic Margarita (£5.95), or try a blood orange Margarita, just available as a supper club special. Nothing can beat the combination of a sweet and zesty cocktail with a salty glass rim. The non-alc margarita was still bitter with lime and provided the joy of a layer of salt on the glass which ensures that even those continuing not to drink alcohol in 2023 will never miss out on a fabulous cocktail garnish.
Before the main event, we were served tortilla chips and guacamole topped with garnishes such as mint and radish for a refreshing starter.
Then came the pickled mushroom tostada and tenderstem and squash tempura. Wow. The tostada was enjoyably messy to eat, establishing just what good Mexican food is about. The mushrooms were full of flavour and balanced with the rich goats cheese was delightful. Also, the tempura proved that vegetables can be a little bit naughty. Battered tenderstem brocolli and squash made for great texture, and dipped into the red mayo was so yummy. The tamari jalapeno drizzle gave this small dish the perfect zing of spicey flavour.
Next came out the grilled hispi cabbage, and what really made this dish in my opinion was the celeriac confit. What I love about grilled cabbage is the opportunity for great texture and flavour combinations. This hispi decorated with ancho relish, green mole, and topped with pomegranate seeds like jewels, it did not disappoint.
By the time the spinach tamale was presented to us, we were pretty full. But not full enough to resist this soft corn parcel sprinkled with feta and in a rich spiced mole amarillo. Served as a main, it was like a wholesome spinach-filled cloud.
Finally, we had to try desert. Orange ricotta doughnuts sprinkled with hibiscus flavoured sugar – how could we not want this? The doughnuts themselves were ridiculously warm and spongey. Dipped into the chocolate dipping sauce, they were an answer to every chocolate-orange lovers’ dreams. The hibiscus sugar was actually our favourite flavour element though and we gratefully let the sweetness coat our lips.
If all of this sounds appealing to you, you will be pleased to know that 50% of Wahaca’s menu is now in fact meat free. Flavoursome vegetarian options are hard to miss and should be even harder to resist. You can also sign up for a voucher at wahaca.co.uk/eat-free-planet-friendly to claim a free dish to try from Wahaca this January.
The free dish options include a choice of Ancho mushroom tacos, Zesty bean & feta tostadas or Crispy cauliflower bites. They are sustainable by using the freshest, and most reasonably sourced ingredients.
To find out more, and full T&Cs for redeeming your free dish visit wahaca.co.uk
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